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Interview with Japanese pop princess Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

Hieu Chau

Wed Mar 19 2014


JAPANESE pop sensation, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, will be touching down in Australia for the very first time to perform in Sydney as part of her second world tour. Hieu Chau caught up with the international star before her Sydney show. 

Ayumi HamasakiUtada HikaruShiina Ringo.

Japan is never short of chart-topping pop stars and, over the years, has produced a number of veritable talents the likes of which have gone on to achieve superstardom in their home country.

Unlike the aforementioned singers though – each of whom are incredibly huge stars in their own right – Japan’s current reigning princess of pop, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, arguably has the biggest international fanbase; one that’s helped her become a huge icon outside of the country.

The 21 year old singer’s meteoric rise to fame and relative prominence in the western world is largely owed to the power of the Internet.

Her debut music video, ‘Pon Pon Pon’, was a viral sensation and has amassed more than 62 million views on YouTube. Since then, her following music videos’ views have each gained millions of views, each more grandiose and colourful than the next.

Now embarking on her second world tour, the former fashion model turned Japanese pop princess will be touching down in Australia to perform a sold-out live show in Sydney as part of her Nanda Collection World Tour.

Speaking to Meld Magazine, Kyary expressed enthusiasm when asked about her upcoming visit to Australia.

“This will be my first time in Australia so I am very excited about it. I am looking forward to meeting local fans! If I get a chance, I would love to go a koala park and go see my favorite sharks.”

Fans lucky enough to score tickets to see Kyary live at her sold-out Sydney show at the University of New South Wales Roundhouse on Sunday can expect the Japanese pop sensation to deliver a vibrant live show, one more animated than her previous world tour.

“I bring my own stage set from Japan so you could have a taste of my music videos. The whole theme of the set is my room, so please look forward to it!”

Much like her music videos, Kyary’s persona can be best described as unconventional, a term which could partially explain the young singer’s appeal to her fanbase.

She has been often compared to the likes of pop superstars Katy Perry and Lady Gaga though their direction in music and tastes in fashion couldn’t be any more different.

Kyary's outfit in her music video for 'Fashion Monster'.

Kyary’s outfit in her music video for ‘Fashion Monster’ is edgier than her other music videos’ outfits according to her.

Representing the Harajuku sect of Tokyo – a popular area in Japan’s capital that sees many of the country’s subcultures and unique fashion trends converge – Kyary’s elaborate outfits for her music videos and public appearances are also part of what make her such an interesting personality overseas.

Her favourite music video costume to date, she says, is the one she wore in the music video for ‘Fashion Monster’.

“My other videos are all about colorful ‘popness’ but what I love about ‘Fashion Monster’ is [that] it’s rock and [has a] cool taste to it.”

Her music is also refreshingly different. Mixing the cutesy pop appeal of Japanese idol groups like AKB48 with the catchy electronic dance sounds of Perfume, Kyary’s music is just as entrancing as the visual overload of her music videos and choice in fashion.

Despite this, Kyary’s latest single, ‘Yumeno Hajima Ring Ring’, has a distinctly different sound from what the singer is known for which caused a minor scare for fans who assumed that the mature song signaled the end of Kyary’s venture in music.

“[My] latest single ‘Yumeno Hajima Ring Ring’ is about graduation. I sing about [the sadness] and excitement [of] leaving what you used to have and [the] new life you are going to live,” Kyary said.

The music video for her latest single sees the young singer revisit many of her famous costumes with music set to “sentimental melodies and a cute pop twist” though whether or not this is a sound that Kyary wants to carry forth from here on out is seemingly out of Kyary’s hands.

Yasutaka Nakata (part of Japanese electronic dance oufit, Capsule), the producer takes care of everything when it comes to music,” she said.

Having toured all across Japan and in countries like the United States, Canada, France, Hong Kong and Singapore, it wasn’t long ago that the well-traveled singer was just an ordinary student coming to understand her place in the world.

At a recent student-only event in Japan, Kyary spoke about how she adjusted to a new lifestyle, living alone and finding out where she belonged – something most international students can relate to. For students on the cusp of graduating, Kyary offered Meld’s readership some words of encouragement.

“I just want to say be an honest person. If you set your mind on one thing, keep at it no matter what people around you tell you – do what you got to do. You will grow up so fast but the bright future is right ahead of you so be a happy and decent adult.”

While most people her age would be finishing up with their undergraduate degrees or diplomas, the fact that Kyary has achieved so much success in such a small amount of time is a testament to Kyary’s free spirit and natural charm.

She’s made Katy Perry fall in love with her, claims she can talk to sneakers and told an aspiring theatre actress to pretend that people in the audience were potatoes.

She isn’t the official kawaii ambassador of Harajuku for nothing guys.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu will be performing in Sydney at the University of New South Wales Roundhouse. To stay up to date with all Kyary-related news, visit her official Facebook fan page. For those who can read Japanese, you can also follow her Twitter profile, @pamyurin.