Energy Arizona FM Radio Interview: Transcript

Utada - Energy Arizona FM Radio Interview (August 2004)
Transcribed by Yuki Shiido

Radio person: Welcome!

Hikki: Thank you for having me.

Radio: First thing I gotta ask you is, how do you say your name?

Hikki: Um, my full name would be ?Hikaru Utada?. See, my full name sounds like, you know the Lion King? They go, ?Hakuna Matata?, that?s what it sounds like.

Radio: (laugh) I think that?s cute, though.

Hikki: (laugh)

Radio: What was the reason for changing the name, or shortening the name?

Hikki: I felt, first of all, people can?t say my name, ?Hikaru?. And secondly, I think it sounds a bit... feminine. Well, that?s okay, since I?m a girl! But, I just like the idea of having a short name, that?s more like a brand, like ?Honda!? You know, ?Sony!? ?Utada!?

Radio: Or even like ?Madonna.? So, tell me, Utada, how did you start your day?

Hikki: My day began in? well, I kinda woke up a bit hungover in? Dallas, Texas?

Radio: A little story there?

Hikki: (laugh) No, I went to, um, this little club where my friend?s friend was spinning, noticed the Texas girls are really cute? and, yeah, then I went to a few radio stations there, flew to Phoenix?

Radio: Have you had a chance to take in Phoenix yet?

Hikki: No.

Radio: Just a lot of running around?

Hikki: Mm-hm.

Radio: So, you?re huge in Japan, you?re breaking into the United States-

Hikki: That?s the plan, that?s the plan.

Radio: That?s the plan? What- how are you going to do that? How are you going to take your Japanese art?

Hikki: Well, my first step has been going around on this promo tour, meeting all these, y?know radio people like you? it?s been kinda fun.

Radio: So this is your first English album?

Hikki: Uh, yeah, officially, yeah.

Radio: So you have some unofficial English albums floating out there?

Hikki: I did, but? um? I was really really young-

Radio: Well, you?re young now! You?re 21, right?

Hikki: 21. Well, when I debuted in Japan, I was like, what, 16? so? younger.

Radio: So, let?s talk about Exodus, that?s the name of your new CD. Who came up with the title?

Hikki: Me!

Radio: And, how did you come up with it?

Hikki: Um? one of the last songs I made for the album was with Timbaland, and I wrote the words and the melody to the song, I titled it ?Exodus ?04?. And, I liked the way the word sounded, like, Hm, it?s got a story, you know, it?s like a drama, it?s moving from one place to another, and, a lot of references ? A lot of drama, I like that ? and the word sounds nice. Y?know when x?s and z?s, things like that sound kinda sexy, like Arizona?
Radio: You think we?ve got a sexy state here?

Hikki: Yeah!

Radio: So, you write your own music. How do you sit down and write everyday?

Hikki: How do I? Do that?

Radio: Yeah! For the life of me, I couldn?t write a song if I tried.

Hikki: Well, I don?t- I don?t know how you can stand here and manage all these little different controls all day! It?s not like you have to force writing a song, you kind of? you kind of just hear it.

Radio: Where does it come from?

Hikki: Sort of from inside and sort of from? above.

Radio: I?ve been reading on some of the online forums, like

Hikki: Mm, yeah.

Radio: And I asked some people there to give me a list of questions.
Hikki: Ooh, okay.

Radio: And, it?s? kind of frightening. Are you ready for a list of questions from your online fans?

Hikki: Okay??


Radio: These are the fan questions, from the site, the first question is, ?Do you play videogames? If so, what kind??

Hikki: I play a lot of Dr. Mario and Tetris. (laugh) Very classic, very standard.

Radio: Those are ones I can keep up with!

Hikki: Y?know, I?m really awful at RPGs, Role-Playing games, like Final Fantasy? I just can?t handle it, I don?t know why.

Radio: What?s in your CD player right now?

Hikki: Um? Velvet Revolver.

Radio: Who does Velvet Revolver?

Hikki: (gasps) You don?t know Velvet Revolver?! Shame on you!

Radio: Sorry! Apparently, I should know Velvet Revolver?

Hikki: Um, well, it?s, um, the vocal of Stonetemple Pilots, Scott William is the vocal, and the rest is like Guns N? Roses, slash, and (mumbles)

Radio: So you like the hard stuff?

Hikki: Yeah, I can take it, yeah.

Radio: What music can?t you live without?

Hikki: I can?t live without? Mary J. Blige?s second album, My Life.

Radio: Mary J, she?s good, very good. Did she influence you at all?

Hikki: I used to play that album, I?d sing in my room, three times over, the full album, when every day after school.

Radio: Speaking of singing in your room, did you ever sing in the shower?

Hikki: Yeah, this morning! (laugh)

Radio: What did you sing?

Hikki: I think I was listening to Velvet Revolver!

Radio: Very funny, now here?s another question for you. Someone wants to know, at the end of Easy Breezy, there?s a line that says ?She?s got a new microphone.? Was the recorder still running and somebody said that? What?s the story behind that?

Hikki: You know, I actually got a new microphone that day. I was trying it out in my little studio, I was recording it myself, just feeling it out. I was thinking, this was the first microphone I ever really bought, and it took so long to pick it out. ?Cause, each model is so different and I had to find one that was really good for me, and it took a few months to find a matching pair. I finally got them and I was in my little room with my little rig, and my computer, and my little keyboard and my mouse. I was playing, ?click, record, stop?, you know, just over and over, and? ?Hm? she?s got a new microphone?? And I was, ?that sounds cute!? And I just began singing it. I was afraid to play it to my staff at first, I was, ?Mm, that sounds a bit kinky,? but then I played it and they were like, ?Okay, cool.?

Radio: And, the simple questions that you probably hear all the time? what?s your favorite color?

Hikki: Hm? purple!

Radio: We?ve got purple in the logo! Er, whatever shade of purple? lavender?. What?s your favorite food?

Hikki: ?. cheese?

Radio: Do you have a favorite kind of cheese?

Hikki: I like any kind of cheese!

Radio: Is there a different thought process in writing Japanese songs than writing English songs?

Hikki: Part of it is, English is a lot more musical. It just suits singing more than Japanese does. Japanese, it sounds better when the meaning is really clear? it?s kind of like? Country music. Like, the words really really matter in Japanese. But in English, it?s more like the sound that?s cool, it flows nicely, you find one cool phrase, like ?You?re Easy Breezy and I?m Japaneesy? or ?She?s got a new microphone.?And, it sounds kinda catchy, you can be more playful and humorous, make more jokes.

Radio: Let?s talk about Devil Inside for a second. It?s got a couple of remixes, the Richard Vision mix, the Scumfrog mix. Who decided on the remixers?

Hikki: Me and a few people in the record company. They?d send over a few samples of people and I?d fish through it, say, ?This guy! No, not this guy, this guy?!?

Radio: Did you ever get to meet the Scumfrog guy?

Hikki: Nope. Maybe eventually.

Radio: Pretty strange name, isn?t it?

Hikki: Yup? Scumfrog? it?s nice and dirty!

Radio: Back to the dirty?! Wow, you?re-

Hikki: That?s an awful thing to say! How uncolorful is that?!

Radio: So, a couple of months ago, I find out about you, and I?m learning all about you, even today like you see here! I had no idea you had this huge fanbase here in America!
Hikki: I had no idea!

Radio: You?ve got to be pleasantly surprised!

Hikki: Yeah, it?s great, I mean? I just didn?t think anyone really knew me!
Radio: What abut Europe? You gonna head to Europe?

Hikki: Well, I?ve been thinking about Europe, when I have a little more ease with America.

Radio: What?s your message for everybody around the world, that listens to Energy Arizona FM dot com?

Hikki: Well, I do all the writing and the singing, and? um? when I?m 25, maybe, I just want to be a producer, I think that?s what I?m best at doing.

Radio: You?ve worked with some legendary producers? Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis?
Hikki: Well, I?ve worked with the Neptunes before.

Radio: How?d you hook up with them?

Hikki: I don?t really know! It just? came along.

Radio: You going to California anytime soon?

Hikki: I?m going to LA tonight.

Radio: Ooh, you gonna hit any clubs while you?re there? Maybe? Which ones will you go to? You gonna wake up tomorrow with a-

Hikki: A bit hungover?! (laugh) Oh, the lifestyle of a musician? so tough! Well, it?s funny, I?m collecting my band right now, to do some shows in Tokyo for TV and stuff like that. I was so excited about auditioning all of these young, cute guitarists, and my husband?s like-

Radio: -you?re married!-

Hikki: -?NOOO!!!? (laugh) What are you talking about?! It?s for my work!!

Radio: That?s the line I always use. (Laugh) So, you met our online winner, Wyatt. He?s sitting in the corner, extremely quiet?

Hikki: I?ve been feeling so self-concious!

Radio: Come over here, Wyatt, say hello to her.

Wyatt: (mumbles)

Radio: See, you can barely hear him! He?s like, mumbling! His heart is pounding out of his chest!

Hikki: Oh my god, you smell really good!

Radio: He says he?s your number one fan here in Phoenix.

Hikki: (flustered) Yes, you are!

Radio: Did you want to thank her for everything she?s done for you and not even aware of?

Wyatt: Um? thank you for your music, it?s really connected to me.

Hikki: Aww, just having said that to me, it?s what keeps me going! So, thank you!
Radio: Your music really does connect with people, which is good! Thank you very much for coming to our studios today!

Hikki: Well, thank you for having me, thank you for letting me meet my number one fan here in Arizona!

Return to Sections Index Return to Sections Index
[ Back to Special Translations | Return to Sections Index | Printer Friendly Page]