Hello Kawaii Kakkoii Sugoi readers! Remember two months ago, I featured a YouTube persona by the name of KimonoTime?! Well, I’m back in this post to bring you a very special interview with her! Check it out!
Me – J
KimonoTime – K
J: At what age did you started dancing & singing? And why? Were you particularly inspired in some way?
K: I started dancing when I was around 5 years old and my cousins went, so I wanted to do it too. I started singing lessons when I was around 11 years old. For singing, Disney movies and musicals had always inspired me and I would watch the videos and copy them! For dancing, Michael Jackson has always been a massive inspiration, I still watch his live performances all the time on youtube.
J: You’ve done a great job with all of your choreographs. How much time, work, and planning went into each choreography?
K: I actually don’t choreograph the dances on my youtube. It’s a trend in the jpop/kpop dance community to learn the dance routine from the actual music videos and live shows! So that if you meet at conventions or you go and see a performance, everyone can join in and is doing the same routine! It’s so much fun!
K: Also on niconico douga, (a Japanese kind of version of youtube) Japanese dancers choreograph to vocaloid songs and if a lot of people like the dance, they will cover it too!
K: The time it takes for me to learn a dance kind of depends. Like, my “Nyan Cat” video took me 10 minutes to learn, where as my “Bad Apple” video took me 2 months to learn and a full day to film both parts! But I’d say the average time it takes me is about 2 days to learn and clean the dance, then around 2 hours to film, and then 3 hours to edit! So it is time consuming!
K: Some of my videos, I have made the dance myself such as “I=Fantasy” I choreographed myself, and I’m pretty inexperienced at doing my own routines, but it’s something I’m working on!
J: It’s interesting that you talked about the dance routines being a trend and how anyone can just join in on the dance at conventions. That sounds like a lot of fun! What sites do you go to for these communities? Or are these more of a random get-togethers?
K: It is so much fun! Basically youtube is the big place to meet people who also dance to jpop and kpop! But also, in convention forums there is usually a thread about a jpop dance meet up and you can chat to people there and arrange it too. But sometimes at cons, I have noticed three people start dancing and then after 5 minutes there’s over 30 people dancing along, it’s amazing!
J: You’ve mentioned it takes many hours to actually get a video done. Being a small video blogger myself, I have to agree. Has the process of making a video gotten easier for you? Any tips you’d like to share on being more proficient on video making? Also, have you ever had a video that you’re just not satisfy with and you have to scrap completely?
K: Oh, I feel your pain then! Over time it has taken me quicker to edit videos and think of ideas. I think the more you do it, the quicker you become. I learnt lots of stuff from tutorials on youtube. I use Sony Vegas, so I just searched for Sony Vegas tutorials and they really helped me out! I’d say if you ever have some spare time, just mess around with your video editor and get used to it before you start doing proper videos and I like to have a rough idea of what my video is going to look like before I edit it, so it doesn’t take as long.
K: Oh, I’ve had plenty of videos that I have just had to scrap! Either I wasn’t satisfied with my dancing or the editing was just not working out and my video just looked dull! My “Bad Apple” video I actually filmed as a solo video 2 times before I finally put it on youtube and decided to do the split screen effect!
J: You seem like a big fan of the Japanese & Korean pop culture. What about them that attracts you? Who are some of your favorite artists?
K: Yes yes, I’m a huuuuuge fan!! The majority of my ITunes is just jpop and kpop! I think what attracts me to Jpop is that it is just so much fun, and it always makes me so happy! It’s very different to Western music, so it’s always so refreshing to hear. What I like about Kpop is that it always has an amazing catchy beat to it that I can dance to while getting ready in my room! Andtheir outfits! The videos in Kpop are always so creative and out there! My favourite Jpop artists would be Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Morning Musume, BABYMETAL, Momoi Haruko, Perfume, Capsule,Utada Hikaru and Natsuko Aso. My favourite Kpop artists would be…2NE1!! They are my ultimate favourite Kpop group. CL is just so badass! But other artists I like are T-ara, Big Bang, SHINee, F(x), 4Minute and of course SNSD Girls Generation.
J: Have you ever seen any of these Jpop/kpop groups live?
K: Sadly I haven’t seen many of them live! 🙁 However, I have seen Natsuko Aso live at the convention Hyper Japan! She was such a great inspiration to me, and she actually inspired me to do more con performances. She had the crowd going and her energy was amazing! It was such a fun performance to watch, and she was so cute!
J: Which jpop/kpop group would you like to see live most?
K: For Kpop I would love to see 2NE1 live, I think I would be fan-girling so much! And for Jpop, I really want to see Kyary Pamyu Pamyu live 🙂
J: What got you into being a YouTube persona? When/how did you get started? Do you believe you came a long way since the beginning? How does it feel to be recognized?
K: Well, I didn’t start off as a YouTube persona, I was just chilling on Youtube dancing away and then people asked what I was when they met me, and they usually came to the come conclusion…”Oh! You’re a YouTube Persona!” So…I just rolled with it! How did it start? Well, my KimonoTime youtube started off in 2010 as an AMV(anime music video) channel for a while as I was fan of anime’s and I liked video editing. That’s when I found out about the Hare Hare Yukai dance from the anime “The Melanchony of Haruhi Suzimiya”. I searched around on youtube and I found people had covered the dance and put it on youtube and I was amazed to find out it was a thing to learn jpop dances and film them for youtube! One person I found was Kozue (her youtube is xxxayu3) and she was very inspiring as a dancer and when I saw her videos I thought “Wooooow! She makes it looks like it’s so much fun!” Then a few friends offline and my online friend from Deviant Art (I used to think I could draw) told me about a documentary she saw about a Western girl who had posted a jpop dance to youtube and her video went viral, and she was a star in Japan! Of course, she was talking about Beckii Cruel! My friend tried to persuade me to upload Hare Hare Yukai as I had told them I knew it, and I thought back to Kozue and how much fun she looked like she was having. It was the summer holidays and I was bored out of my wits, so I went for it!
K: I do think I have come a long way in just over a year. I never really thought many people would be interested in me watching me dance in my room. I was really doing it out of pure boredom at first! But after I uploaded Bad Apple, people just started coming in from loads of places and I still can’t believe 16,000 people are interested in me and 3 million people have watched me! Imagine that many people in a stadium! So yes, it is a long way from those first 10 views I got on my first video!
K: I don’t really get recognised in public a lot. I usually get noticed at cons and it always sounds so weird when people are like “You’re KimonoTime!?”
K: It’s lovely, but also at the same time, weird! After my MCM performances I was so shocked when people came up to me after I had got off stage and were asking to have a photo and sign things for them! I’m just a youtuber, I’m not supposed to be signing things! But again, those people were so nice and it’s amazing to know people enjoy and appreciate the work I put into my videos!
J: Haha, that’s a great story! YouTube has been a huge cultural impact and has turned a lot of people into celebrities so of course you’re suppose to take photos with fans and sign for them! You’re a star! 🙂
You’ve mentioned about your MCM performance. Was that your first live? Or was it another event? How many lives have you done to this date?
K: Youtube is such a cool place I am so glad it was invented. I feel like I can be creative and have things out in the world without spending thousands of pounds. And the best thing is, we’re all ordinary people! I still find it strange though that people see me at that status, but it’s really nice and I do appreciate it!
K: Oh, my first performance was at MCM in 2011, and I did just a dance set from my youtube videos. There weren’t that many people there for that one, but they were all very supportive. Since then I’ve done a performance at MCM May 2012, and the difference in the support and the amount of people was overwhelming! I’ve also done NemaCon in Middlesbrough in June 2012, and I have just done a performance at London Anime Con July 2012! So I’ve been very busy performing, but it’s been so much fun! And everyone who came to watch me was so nice and very enthusiastic! So I’ve done 4 lives so far.
J: In your opinion, which one of your videos are you most proud of? Like if you were to recommend someone to check out your channel, which video would you tell them to watch first?
K: Definitely Bad Apple! I can’t seem to do anything better than that video haha!
J: Has forming a dance group/joining one crossed your mind?
K: It already has indeed! I was actually a part of a UK dance group called MKDance, and they have been performing at cons for a few years now, it’s always much more fun doing it with other people.
J: Tell us more about “Oishii!”
K: Ooo Oishii Project! So, basically it is a project of girls from all around the world and we are creating original content and music based on the Idol culture and Jpop. It’s made by Jpop dancers,singers and enthusiasts and Beckii Cruel is actually the Co-Manager. The manager, Camille, owns a very popular Jpop dancers blog on tumbr! Also on the staff is YukaPon! You should check these people out too! None of us are big time record dealers, we are just youtubers and young people creating a very exciting project! I am in the first group which is called Oishii Ichigo. There are 9 of us and our original songs will be out very soon, along with videos and actual CD’s! We’re doing songs in English and Japanese! At the moment everything is made and handled over the internet, but we hope one day to perform together. I actually met 2 members of Oishii Ichigo at MCM and it’s just so cool! Then there is the Oishii Cherry’s. They are a group of girls training at the moment and later on they will be in their own Oishii group too. You should check us out on youtube, it’s http://www.youtube.com/user/OishiiIchigoOfficial or our website where we post news and blog updates http://www.oishiiproject.com/ . 🙂
J: Couple months ago, our blog attended Anime Expo. I personally gain a lot of insights on Vocaloids especially Hatsune Miku. It also has a community for people to create original music and share with each other. Are you into Vocaloids? Would you and Oishii possibly use it to further your project?
K: Oh wow, if I ever had the money I would come over to Anime Expo, I hope you had a good time! Yes, I love vocaloids, and actually a lot of jpop dances are set to vocaloid songs! My personal favourite vocaloid is Megurine Luka. However, I don’t think Oishii is going to use vocaloids in the future because we want to stick to all our own voices.
J: Here at KawaiiKakkoiiSugoi.com, we strive to find things that are cute & cool. What things are cute & cool to you? 🙂
K: Cute and cool is the way forward! Hmm, what I find cute and cool? Definitely Harajuku fashion! It’s cute and cool at the same time!
J: Anything you would like to say to your fans and our readers?
K: Ooo, anything I would like to say? Ok 🙂
K: I would just like to say thank you so much for watching me on youtube and supporting me so much! It might not look like it means much in writing, but if I physically could, I would give you all a massive hug, I am so grateful and thankful for you all! Also, please don’t ever be afraid to be yourself! I used to care greatly about what people thought about me, but if I didn’t pluck up the courage and didn’t do what I wanted to do, or be what I wanted to be, or wear what I wanted to wear, I wouldn’t even be having this interview now! So yes, power to you all! <33
For more KimonoTime, check out her Facebook and YouTube! 🙂