Max Matsuura's blog entry about Ayu - "Meeting ayu" - Ayumi Hamasaki Sekai
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Old 19th May 2010, 09:07 AM
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Max Matsuura's blog entry about Ayu - "Meeting ayu"

Spoiler:
ayuとの出会い

ayuとの出会いを教えてくれと質問が多いので。


あくまでも僕の視点から見た話で、あゆのそれとは違うかもしれない。


あれは僕が31歳のころだから15年近く前のことになる。

ヴェルファーレで働く人間の紹介でayuと会う。

「今、ドラマ(未成年)に出てる」とか「今度、歌も出す」

とか、たわいもない話をした中、

まだ当時、たいしたことのないはずの自分は偉そうに、

「歌はそんなに簡単に売れないよ」なんてayuに言っていた覚えがある。


それから、何故か、割と頻繁に会うようになる。

もちろん今のayuなんて予想だにしていない。

カラオケで歌を歌わせて、

KEYをどんどん上げていってどこまで声が出るかなだとか、

どんな声質だとか、歌がうまい下手などと

勝手なことを言っていた気がする。


どちらからともなく、連絡を取り

たまに会っていたけど、仕事の話とかはあまりした覚えがない。


ただ、「お母さんと事務所に行って辞めてきた」

という話を聞いたのは鮮明に覚えている。

歌手になりたいという話は聞いたことはあったけど

あまり本気に取り上げてはいなかった。

だけど、事務所を辞めてきたとなると

「どうするの?」という疑問は普通に出てくる。


その時から、二人三脚は始まった。


そうなればこちらも本気になる。

僕はayuをデビューさせるための作戦を

日々、考えるようになる。

一方、小室さんとの関係はますます悪化していった。


当時の僕の最大のミッションは、小室さん無しでavexを自立させること。

そのため、僕自身でアーティストをプロデュースする必要があった。

ちょうどELTをデビューさせることが決まり、それに没頭していたころだ。

1996年の8月にデビューしたELT。

華々しく売れていくELTの裏で、

僕は次のアーティストのデビューへ向けて全力で動いていた。

それがayuだ。


一方、ELTは96年の8月にデビューし翌1月には3作目の「Dear My Friend」が大ヒット。

ファーストアルバムも200万を超えて夏には「For The Moment」「出逢ったころ頃のように」

などシングルヒットを連発。続いて、「Time goes by」などシングルヒットも続き

ayuがデビューする98年4月にはセカンドアルバムを発売。

450万超えを達成。要した時間はデビューから一年半であった。

こうして、小室氏が抜けていく穴を急速に埋めるのが自分の役目だった。



そしてELTが450万枚を記録することになるセカンドアルバムの発売日からちょうど一週前の

1998年4月8日にayuはデビューする。


デビューするまでには1年ちょっとかかった。

ニューヨークへもレッスンに行かせたし、

失敗は許されないと思い、

どういう形態でデビューさせようかとも相当悩んだ。

だけど、僕の考えや心配は彼女が「私は絶対ソロで行きたい」の一言で一蹴。

ソロの難しさを知っている僕はかなり悩んだけど、あえて難しい道を選択。


同時期にデビュー前の売り込みに走りまわるが、評価は散々。

テレビ局の友達からも「売れないからやめとけ」といわれ、

業界の先輩方達からも「スポンサー受けする顔じゃない」とか言われ、

その悔しさをバネにするしかなかった自分がいた。


ならば、世の中の人の好みまで変えてしまえと当時は思ったものだ。


一方、スタジオでは星野靖彦 @magic_bus_ を中心に楽曲制作は進んでいた。

デビュー曲を「poker face」に決めて、デビュー時には10曲以上のデモと

シングルとして4枚目まではすでに決まっていた。


「poker face」はカウントダウンTVのテーマソングで4月8日にデビュー。

それから、2ヶ月に1枚のペースでシングルをリリース。

3枚目の「TRUST」でベスト10入り。方向性がなんとなく見えて、

4枚目は洋介の協力のもと、森永製菓のCMに出演。

5枚目の「Depend on you」でまたもやベスト10入りし、

99年1月1日発売のファーストアルバム「A Song for ◊◊」

で堂々のオリコン一位。そしてミリオンアーティストの仲間入りを果たす。

同年7月「BOYS & GIRLS」でシングルでミリオン突破。

その後の活躍は皆の知っての通りです。


translation from amazing teth:

There were a lot of questions asking me to talk about how I met Ayu.

This will be from my perspective so how it happened may be different from Ayu’s perspective. Our first encounter is when I was about 31, so almost 15 years ago.

I met Ayu through someone that worked at velfarre (Avex’s disco in Roppongi)

She was saying frothy things like “I’m in a dorama (Miseinen)” and “I will put out a song.” At the time, I was still someone of no importance. Even so, I remember telling Ayu that “selling music is that easy you know”

After that, for some reason, we met quite often. Of course I did not predict at the slightest that she would become today’s Ayu.

We would go to karaoke and have her sing, and I have a feeling I would dare to talk about what kind of voice she had, how well or bad she sung, or how high she can sing as I raise the key, etc.

We would randomly contact each other and met occasionally, but I don’t remember talking that much about work.

However, I distinctly remember her saying, “I went with my mom to my talent agency and quit”

I have heard her talk about wanting to become a singer, but I didn’t really take it seriously.

But, if she had went and quit her agency, then the question of “what are you going to do?” would of course come up.

Our partnership began from there on. (NOTE: He actually said “three-legged race”, which means the two worked together from that day on.)

In that case, I got serious too. I began to think daily on the strategy to get Ayu debut.

At the same time, my relationship with Mr. Komuro was getting worse and worse. So my biggest mission at the time was to make avex stand on its own without him.

To do that, there was a necessity for me to produce artists myself. It was around that time when it was decided to debut ELT and I was pre-occupied with that.

ELT, August of 1996 debut

Behind the ELT that was selling spectacularly, I was giving my all to make my next artist debut. That was Ayu.

At the same time, in the January following their August 1996 debut, their 3rd single “Dear My Friend” was a big hit.

In the summer when their album sold over 2 million copies, they also had consecutive hits “For The Moment” “Deatta koro no you ni”. After that, with single hit like “Time goes by”, they released their second album in April of 1998, the month that Ayu was going to debut.

The album sold over 4.5 million copies. It took a year and a half from debut.

With that, it was my role to quickly fill the gaps left with the exclusion of Mr. Komuro.

And, just one week before ELT sold their 2nd album that got a sales record of 4.5 million copies, Ayu debut on April 8, 1998.

It took a bit over a year for her to debut.

I sent her to lessons in NY, and thinking that failure is not acceptable, I agonized over how I would debut her. But, her one phrase of “I definitely want to go solo” kicked away all my thinking and worries.

Knowing how difficult it was to be a solo artist, I agonized over this but ventured to choose to difficult road. Around the same time, we went around promoting her before her actual debut, but the reception was disastrous.

Friends from TV networks also told me “she won’t sell. Give up now.” Seniors in the industry also told me “she doesn’t have a face that sponsors like.”

All I could do was to turn all that frustration into a spring (to make sure Ayu succeeds).

If that was the case, I thought at the time that then I was going to change even the tastes of people of this world. At the same time, music production was happening at the studios with Yasuhiko Hoshino at the center of the efforts.

“poker face” was decided as the debut song. At the time of her debut, over 10 demo songs and up to her 4th single were already decided.

“poker face”, the theme song of CDTV, debut on April 8

After that, singles were released at a pace of one every two months

3rd single “Trust” entered top 10. We began to somewhat see the direction of her music.

4th single: with the help of Yosuke, she appeared in a Morinaga CM

5th single “Depend on you” entered top 10 again.

First album “A Song for XX”, released on Jan 1, 1999, became #1 on Oricon Chart.

And she became one of the million selling artists.

In July of the same year, she sold over a million for the single “BOYS & GIRLS”

You all know about her success after that.

http://ameblo.jp/maxmatsuura/entry-10538972325.html

He recalls when he met Ayu briefly here, and talks about things up until B&G. He seems to be rather open about Ayu nowadays. You know, the "she is a part of Me / he is a part of Me" thing that they have going on.

Last edited by truehappiness; 22nd May 2015 at 04:07 AM.
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  #2  
Old 19th May 2010, 09:33 AM
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Cool, I hope there will be a better translation soon. I would love to know the encounter between Max and ayu
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  #3  
Old 19th May 2010, 10:15 AM
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I wonder why he remembers it all now
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  #4  
Old 19th May 2010, 10:46 AM
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note: not literal translation

Quote:
There were a lot of questions asking me to talk about how I met Ayu.

This will be from my perspective so how it happened may be different from Ayu’s perspective.

Our first encounter is when I was about 31, so almost 15 years ago.

I met Ayu through someone that worked at velfarre (Avex’s disco in Roppongi)

She was saying frothy things like “I’m in a dorama (Miseinen)” and “I will put out a song.” At the time, I was still someone of no importance. Even so, I remember telling Ayu that “selling music is that easy you know”

After that, for some reason, we met quite often.
Of course I did not predict at the slightest that she would become today’s Ayu

We would go to karaoke and have her sing, and I have a feeling I would dare to talk about what kind of voice she had, how well or bad she sung, or how high she can sing as I raise the key, etc.

We would randomly contact each other and met occasionally, but I don’t remember talking that much about work.

However, I distinctly remember her saying, “I went with my mom to my talent agency and quit”

I have heard her talk about wanting to become a singer, but I didn’t really take it seriously.

But, if she had went and quit her agency, then the question of “what are you going to do?” would of course come up.

Our partnership began from there on. (NOTE: He actually said “three-legged race”, which means the two worked together from that day on.)

In that case, I got serious too.

I began to think daily on the strategy to get Ayu debut.

At the same time, my relationship with Mr. Komuro was getting worse and worse.

So my biggest mission at the time was to make avex stand on its own without him.

To do that, there was a necessity for me to produce artists myself.

It was around that time when it was decided to debut ELT and I was pre-occupied with that.

ELT, August of 1996 debut

Behind the ELT that was selling spectacularly, I was giving my all to make my next artist debut. That was Ayu.

At the same time, in the January following their August 1996 debut, their 3rd single “Dear My Friend” was a big hit.
In the summer when their album sold over 2 million copies, they also had consecutive hits “For The Moment” “Deatta koro no you ni”. After that, with single hit like “Time goes by”, they released their second album in April of 1998, the month that Ayu was going to debut.

The album sold over 4.5 million copies. It took a year and a half from debut.

With that, it was my role to quickly fill the gaps left with the exclusion of Mr. Komuro.


And, just one week before ELT sold their 2nd album that got a sales record of 4.5 million copies, Ayu debut on April 8, 1998.

It took a bit over a year for her to debut.

I sent her to lessons in NY, and thinking that failure is not acceptable, I agonized over how I would debut her.

But, her one phrase of “I definitely want to go solo” kicked away all my thinking and worries.

Knowing how difficult it was to be a solo artist, I agonized over this but ventured to choose to difficult road.

Around the same time, we went around promoting her before her actual debut, but the reception was disastrous.

Friends from TV networks also told me “she won’t sell. Give up now.”

Seniors in the industry also told me “she doesn’t have a face that sponsors like.”

All I could do was to turn all that frustration into a spring (to make sure Ayu succeeds).

If that was the case, I thought at the time that then I was going to change even the tastes of people of this world.

At the same time, music production was happening at the studios with Yasuhiko Hoshino at the center of the efforts.

“poker face” was decided as the debut song. At the time of her debut, over 10 demo songs and up to her 4th single were already decided.

“poker face”, the theme song of CDTV, debut on April 8

After that, singles were released at a pace of one every two months

3rd single “Trust” entered top 10. We began to somewhat see the direction of her music.

4th single: with the help of Yosuke, she appeared in a Morinaga CM

5th single “Depend on you” entered top 10 again.

First album “A Song for XX”, released on Jan 1, 1999, became #1 on Oricon Chart.

And she became one of the million selling artists.

In July of the same year, she sold over a million for the single “BOYS & GIRLS”

You all know about her success after that.

Last edited by tethevo; 19th May 2010 at 11:54 AM.
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  #5  
Old 19th May 2010, 11:13 AM
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THank you sooo much. Actually a litelral translation isen't a good translation, the main purpose is to translate the ideas to make them understandable. yours is great! Very interesting!
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Old 19th May 2010, 11:23 AM
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Thank you very much!

That was interesting!
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Old 19th May 2010, 11:49 AM
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Thankyou so much!

I like this sentence:

Quote:
I thought at the time that then I was going to change even the tastes of people of this world.
Thanks Max!! To show us Ayu!! *-*
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Old 19th May 2010, 11:54 AM
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Thank you for sharing & translating!

am i the only one with this strange idea that there's something going on between Ayu & Max recently? i don't mean to launch rumors or whatever, but they just keep talking about their relationship and how close they feel so it gives a strange impression of them being a couple. sort of.
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Old 19th May 2010, 11:55 AM
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That was really interesting to read. He really had high hopes for Ayu huh?
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Old 19th May 2010, 12:04 PM
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Thank you, that's was really interesting. It's really cool that Ayu's debut changed even the tastes of people in appearance/public personalities.
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Old 19th May 2010, 12:07 PM
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That was so interesting to read! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 19th May 2010, 01:13 PM
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That was so interesting to read. It really made some thing clearer. I'm so thankful to Max for not listening to the people who said she wouldn't succeed. And yeah indeed, look at her now.
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Old 19th May 2010, 01:21 PM
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thanks a lot for sharing and the translaiton
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Old 19th May 2010, 01:37 PM
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Thanks for sharing!!
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Old 19th May 2010, 02:05 PM
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Thanks for sharing it's so interesting
Thank you Max for today's Ayu
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Old 19th May 2010, 02:07 PM
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thanx for sharing ^^

Max kind of remember back all his memories with Ayu back then,wonder why? because of this upcoming new single MOON? XD

nwey,he's great for believing Ayu and so we're all know who's Ayumi Hamasaki the empress of jpop now <333
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Old 19th May 2010, 02:34 PM
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thanks to Max Matsuura to debut Ayu!!!
she's one of the greatest artists whom i've known so far..
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Old 19th May 2010, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayayu View Post
Thank you for sharing & translating!

am i the only one with this strange idea that there's something going on between Ayu & Max recently? i don't mean to launch rumors or whatever, but they just keep talking about their relationship and how close they feel so it gives a strange impression of them being a couple. sort of.
me too, apparently you're not the only one haha.. well we'll never know unless the news comes from the two of them
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Old 19th May 2010, 02:54 PM
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thanks!!
this really reminds me of the old days..
when she just started to debut during 1999 era (when i first encountered her)
max really worked hard otsukare sama desu~
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Old 19th May 2010, 03:05 PM
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it's really interesting...i don't know that max is giving his all for making ayu success, even i can say that without max there is no ayu...ayu is here now because of max...

thanks max!!!
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