[Translation] GIRLPOP Vol.52 (November 2001) ó Addressing CREA and her role in the music business - Ayumi Hamasaki Sekai
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  #1  
Old 8th April 2018, 04:15 PM
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GIRLPOP Vol.52 (November 2001) ó Addressing CREA and her role in the music business

I was reading some old interviews and this one stood out to me. I figured y'all might be interested too, considering discussions about CREA tend to pop up from time to time.

For those who don't know: CREA is the pen name Ayu uses when she writes music herself.

This isn't the entire interview. I only translated the last section.

~~

GIRLPOP Vol.52 (November 2001)

[...]

Q: Dearestís final lines "We took a detour, but weíve finally arrived" somehow feel like saying "welcome home" to someone. Were those words also directed towards yourself in a way?

Ayu: Yeah. In songs like NEVER EVER and Endless sorrow, I heavily felt a sense of "Ayumi Hamasaki is sorry" towards my staff and listeners. How to put it... as always, there was never enough time and Iíd be told "give us 30 seconds of music for a tie-up by this and this time". As that went on, writing songs* ó which I had loved doing at the beginning ó became suffocating. As Iíve said when I first started writing as CREA: I am neutral about my songs. If I think someone elseís song is better than mine, then Iíll use theirs. But it seems the adults around me felt, "You created one song, so keep creating more."

* T/N: She means writing songs as CREA, in this context.

Q: Their way of thinking was different from yours.

Ayu: When I realised that and thought "I guess I have to keep writing then...", I really started hating it. I hated writing songs, and I hated writing lyrics for a song which I had hated to make, and I hated recording vocals for a song that had been created in such a way. Although creating songs had always been a difficult process, I would always be really happy about the finished product. But I didnít have that feeling anymore.

Q: It felt like time was just passing by?

Ayu: Yeah. But during the process of releasing a product to the world, various staff members will put in their effort to make it even better, right? And once itís released, many, many people will buy it with their hard-earned money. I felt like I was being rude towards those people.

Q: Was it partly because you were going at an impossibly quick pace?

Ayu: Yeah. This year was fast. I am also partly to blame for thatÖ During the release of my best-album, I said something like, "Iím OK with being consumed. Thatís why Iíve stopped slowing down the pace." But that wasÖ hmm, I donít think those were my true feelings. Part of me had given up, stopped caring, I guessÖ But around the release of Endless sorrow I felt, "I am dragging down the Japanese music industry". Everything is fast nowadays, itís always about the next new thing, right? I might be the person who can stop that trend the most*, but I am actually spurring it on the most. I really hated that and didnít know what to doÖ It made me not want to appear on television anymore.

* T/N: Remember, this was during the peak of her popularity.

Q: Because television is the media that spurs it on the most, right?

Ayu: I didnít know what message I should get across there. So I hid away or maybe ran away. At that time there were various things going on, not only at work, but also in my private lifeÖ I think that was an important factor. Like, itíd be difficult at the workplace, but also when I came home. There was nowhere to throw out my true thoughts. I realised this was bad, so I decided I would take a little break after the tour. I went into tour preparations with that mindset. But not a single idea would bubble up. I couldnít decided on the setlist or the performances. But everyone was asking me, "What about this? What about that?" There were many meetings, but I was the only not bringing any suggestions. I thought, "Aah, I give up" (laughs).

Q: Thatís really rock-bottom, huh. How did you climb back up?

Ayu: I was watching television one day. I was watching, but not really watching? (laughs) It was a commercial. I was watching absent-mindedly and then the television suddenly shut off. I donít know why, but I remember it really clearly. Itís like I came to a sudden realisation. I thought "This is no good." Itís like something inside of me had been pushed.

Q: The TV went off and you went on?

Ayu: Yeah, yeah. Because I had always been running and running, I was probably scared of slowing down the pace. You will see things when walking that you wonít see when running, right? That was scary. Part of me felt, "Itís no point seeing those things this late in the game. Itís bothersome." But when that switch was suddenly turned off, I felt "Iím not scared of anything anymore."

Q: A mysterious thing.

Ayu: Yeah. I strongly felt, "Ah, itís OK". Up until then, things which I needed and which I didnít need, things which protected me and things which didnít ó they had been increasing more and more. I had kept running carrying all those things because I felt everything would go out of order if I let go one of those things, even if I really did want to let go of it. However, I felt I could control it now somehow.

Q: Thatís an amazing turning point.

Ayu: When I could finally arrange everything, I felt really light. I was able to run comfortably. [Ö] Afterwards, various ideas started bubbling up again. [Ö] If you were to compare it to books, then lately, Ayumi Hamasaki was releasing short stories which were easy to read for everyone. Which made you say, "Give me the next, give me the next". But I want to release a thick book of quality now. One which you can take a long time to read while you wait longer for the next one. A book with difficult parts, but one which youíll understand by rereading. I want to release something like that.

~~



And a big thanks to Taki for scanning the interview (x)

Last edited by tenshi no hane; 14th April 2018 at 07:49 AM.
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  #2  
Old 8th April 2018, 04:43 PM
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Thank you for translating, it was an interesting read and I think it helps understand the current ayu a lot.

I'm glad that ayu can afford to do things at her own pace now, if it means that she can enjoy her job.
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Old 8th April 2018, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Q: That’s an amazing turning point.

Ayu: When I could finally arrange everything, I felt really light. I was able to run comfortably. […] Afterwards, various ideas started bubbling up again. […] If you were to compare it to books, then lately, Ayumi Hamasaki was releasing short stories which were easy to read for everyone. Which made you say, "Give me the next, give me the next". But I want to release a thick book of quality now. One which you can take a long time to read while you wait longer for the next one. A book with difficult parts, but one which you’ll understand by rereading. I want to release something like that.
I'm impressed. I keep asking me if she is passing for something like that nowadays.

Thank you, tenshi no hane, beautiful translation!
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Old 8th April 2018, 05:05 PM
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Thanks for translation!!
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Old 8th April 2018, 07:01 PM
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Thank you for the translation ! It was a pleasure to read it.
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  #6  
Old 8th April 2018, 10:11 PM
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Very enlightening. This interview is almost like a missing puzzle piece of CREA.
I wish we would get such deep interviews now a days.
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Old 11th April 2018, 10:57 PM
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Thank you so much for the translation! It was an interesting read!
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Old 13th April 2018, 03:48 PM
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That's really interesting, sometimes it's important to return to her interviews from the past to understand her choices.

Thanks a lot tenshi no hane !
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  #9  
Old 16th September 2018, 01:12 PM
vicreborn vicreborn is offline
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Interesting to know more about that era. Thank you for translating!
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