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[Natalie:JPN] Shiina Ringo Part 1

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Shiina Ringo

Translated by Owatari @ www.onehallyu.com





Isn't it Natural She'll Appear Like Jihen


-Did you not have the realization that this is "Sheena Ringo's first original album in 5 and a half years."

No, I did not. But I've always had activity going on. And that.

-It probably isn't that (laughs). Certainly, the music production itself continuously went on right?

Yes. Every year I had some big projects. For Example NODA x MAP's "Egg" that was a drama/play insert song.

- During that time, you were also partaking in activities with Tokyo Jihen.


-There were also musical releases with Sheena RIngo's name.  Amidst the various projects and jobs of "Sheena Ringo the solo act" what kind of work balance do you look for and gain interest in?

Creating music during the drama NODA MAP, TEI san's compositions in the songs were a bit of a hindrance and working solo like that, our senses were very different.

-Your positions and methodologies?

Yes. I didn't change my position. Influential performance members seem to have a difference between "married partners and casually dating partners" In the case of that happen I went ahead and registered my marriage. That's why, it became that visitors would listen to my solo work well and  not exclaim "What the hell is this! This is similar to Jihen."

- Why is she using a Kansai Dialect (laughs). There would be a lot of reactions from listeners if there wasn't a difference between your solo work and Jihen.

Yeah. That is why in advance of this album, I released "Ordinary woman," and checked for what kind of reaction I wanted. "This isn't like Jihen"  I said with that kind of voice.

- Yeah, I thought this is clearly different. "Ordinary Woman" is definitely a song in the name of the singer Sheena Ringo.

Thank you very much. But surely the work one does themselves doesn't always change, and I started with Tokyo Jihen it's natural to have that sense. It was I who gathered members. In the case that I arranged the defined demo  I prepare for  the instruction "Just the eight note is fine and take it out". Of course if I write things myself and designate them. That's why doing that was kind of the same, and the musicians embodying them are different.

-  The voice saying "This isn't like Jihen!" can understand.

Yes. I had the feeling of "Is that so?" But Jihen dissolved after I produced the single  "Jiyuu he Michi Tsure," it was really awkward. I was heart-broken or should I say loney.

-You had a feeling of loss?

I did. because I had become accustom to the activity of Jihen. I had the feeling of "You're not there……" (laughs)

- In "Jiyuu he Michi Tsure" POLYSICS' Hayashi-san played the guitar, GOING UNDERGROUND's ishihara satoshi-san played the base, Dragon Ash's Sakurai Makoto-san, and Sheena-san, musicians all around the same age participated. Did you noticed your loneliness even more because the approach for this song was like Jihen's Straight band sound?

Yeah that is right. Doing "Jiyuu he" Jihen and the type were different so I gathered different players. I felt that doing this song with different playing types, and being "different from JIhen" it ended with both listeners and myself not being hurt. Actually it was very stimulating and interesting… but on the other hand, it has become quite lonely after all. I would say, "It's like that after all."

- I think it is good that you're frank. Once more, what was the time like spent with Tokyo Jihen.

I can only think of good memories.

-Is that so.

It was the flash of youth, exactly like that. I didn't write that song with such intentions, but for me, I being able to be a part of Jihen. Regarding the members, I felt, "Everyone do well."

If Hikaru-chan was There


-The story has changed, but for "SWITCH" did you, by mail, send a correspondence to Utada Hikaru. That made me smile greatly.

It that so?

-I was smiling a lot. When I read that, I thought, for example, Ringo-san likeUtada-san  have had long periods of absence and distance from their music production, both of you have lived over seas as well.

That's probably so, is that so? I really think that it is like that too. That's why Utada is called "ãšã‚Šã„よ"  (laughs) Even I have many feeling like that, but I think that's because of the absence.

- In the music scene.

Yes. There's a vacancy in the Japanese Pop scene.

-But, Utada chose her current way of life after occupying that space didn't she?

I don't know what kinds of things she was thinking when she made that decision, but I can swear that, in Hikaru-chan's absence, to my extent there has been feelings of loneliness. Of course, I understand that in this world things that come and go out of fashion repeatedly, but basically, there is a standard value of quality you must keep…….

-Before you can make pop music sincerely?

Yes. After all, in order for that, you have to base your process of work on something. In the time that you feel that the work process lacks a base, you'll start to think it is good that Utada-chan was here after all.

-But, Shiina-san has chosen to continue to stay in the scene by yourself haven't you? Is that something you feel like is your sense of duty?

Things like that are true, but I wonder afterwards if it has to deal with Japan's tax system.

- The tax practice system? (laughs)

Yes. Because after all, I cannot live simply by constantly not releasing work.

-If it weren't for Shiina-san, something like that probably wouldn't exist (laughs)

If I were alone as 1 person it would be okay, but there are a lot of staff at my office. My concerts also have a swarm of people. I have to continue to work for their sake as well. Oh, because I feel like the production detail similar to the way I do it is the present state, nobody can do it, but in the instance that they can I will leave. I think I want listeners to be able to think that "It's good if a record like that exist, and I want to see a concert like that. If I could only think of my own life, I think I'd want to lay around in bed all day, drink alcohol, and read.

-Yes (laughs).

If I have to raise a child, I think I would move to Hiroshima or Paris. Still now, I think I want to live close to Hikaru-chan. Because, to be frank, my current private life is too busy. I think of being a parent, and there seems to be thoughtless reasons in addition to other things that come up.


Will translate ãšã‚Šã„よ as soon as I figure out what it means. This is a very long interview so it will be broken up into parts. Be sure to check out Shiina's new album!

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Thank you so much for this! The Utada part was interesting. I wonder what she means by "vacancy" exactly.


And moving to Hiroshima or Paris to raise kids? She already has kids though...


You're welcome! And I guess she kind of meant that with Utada gone there is a space missing in the scene. Like no one can really touch Utada's space. She seemed to think that the scene overall is kind of iffy right now or well that some people are lacking the proper/strong work ethic. At least that's what I got from the first part.


The word she used translated into English as "educate" but it used raise as a synonym. I guess she wants to give them a greater world  view, but I'm not sure why those two places.

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  • 2 years later...

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