We here at A-To-J Connections had the distinct pleasure of interviewing the brand new group callme. When we were presented with the opportunity to review their debut album, “Who is callme?”, we knew absolutely nothing about them. Needless to say, we were swept away by how amazing their album was. Being given the opportunity to interview them shortly after that was an immense honor. We hope that you enjoy the interview as much as we did. They are a very fun and unique group who we suspect you can expect great things out of.
callme debuted January of this year and consists of three members who were previously in Dorothy Little Happy: Ruuna Akimoto, Mimori Tominaga and Koumi Hayasaka. They first appeared as callme at JAM the Field vol. 7 at Tsutaya O-East in February this year and performed for the first time in April at the same location. Since then they have performed multiple times and held multiple events. Their first album (which released in October) is a testament to their talent, and shows us that they have a very bright future.
A-To-J: What are some of your favorite music artists?
KOUMI: I like Fall Out Boy!
MIMORI: I really like Miley Cyrus ever since I was in elementary school when I was watching her TV show and was listening to her songs.
RUUNA: I like Maroon 5 a lot, when we saw them live in Japan, my love for them grew even more and they’re an artist that I respect a lot.
A-To-J: Are there any groups or artists you’d particularly like to collaborate with?
KOUMI: I want to collaborate with Becky G. since we’re the same age. I’ve very interested to see what would happen if an idol group and artist of the same age collaborated.
A-To-J: Are there any other idol groups you look up to and respect?
RUUNA: Within Japan, we think greatly of Perfume. They’re also 3 person group so we learn a lot from especially their staging.
A-To-J: Are there any other music groups that you look up to and respect in a similar fashion?
MIMORI: I play piano currently and there’s someone I imitate while playing… There are quite a few but I specifically imitate John Lennon a lot of the times.
A-To-J: Are there any other genres you might want to try in the future?
MIMORI: Right now we’re trying out many genres but we haven’t tried country or country pop yet. I listen to country so I want to do it with callme as well.
A-To-J: Which countries do you feel would appreciate your sound the most?
KOUMI: We would like to go to places that do Japanese festivals/events such as the US and specifically Los Angeles, as well as the UK. We would like to spread our music to not just places like America but to other parts of Asia as well.
A-To-J: If you had to choose one foreign country to go to first, which one would it be?
MIMORI: This is an easy answer right?
RUUNA and KOUMI: Yes, of course!
A-To-J: Is there any venue where you would like to perform?
MIMORI: We research a lot of festivals because we want to perform at them… but one of them that seemed fun was South by Southwest.
RUUNA: We heard it’s done in the middle of the city and music is flowing in the streets so we want to participate in such American festivals. We also want to perform at Japan Expo where they celebrate Japanese culture.
A-To-J: What can your US fans do to help you?
MIMORI: The number one thing is to listen to music. We put a lot of hard work into the album and I think it can be enjoyed all over the world. I want them to listen to our songs and have fun with us at lives.
RUUNA: We just recently released our album and we wanted overseas fans to also enjoy the songs so we titled them all in English. We have Japanese lyrics of course but we also mixed in English lyrics. Even though the Japanese may be difficult, we made it so overseas fans can enjoy the album as well.
A-To-J: Is there anything you’d like to do with overseas fans outside of performing?
MIMORI: Yes, I have something! From when I was little, I loved comedy dramas. I watched dramas such as the one Miley Cyrus starred in and laughed at them a lot so I want to make comedy dramas with our fans and laugh together.
KOUMI: Hannah Montana right?
MIMORI: Yes, “Secret Life of Hannah Montana”! Also I like “Austin & Ally”!
RUUNA: I want to introduce our fans to Japanese culture at our fan meetings by wearing kimono and doing Japanese tea.
MIMORI: Or eating “nagashi somen”! (Or Flowing Somen. More information can be found here.)
A-To-J: Besides performing is there anything else you’d want to do while in the US?
KOUMI: I want to go to Hollywood where that one thing is… (Gestures a wide rectangular object)
A-To-J: The Hollywood sign?
MIMORI: Yeah, we want to go there and… “Photo!”
KOUMI: I also want to go to Universal Studio Hollywood!
MIMORI: If anything, I really want to go to the festivals we’ve been talking about. I want us to enjoy music there as well.
KOUMI and RUUNA: Yes, definitely!
RUUNA: I want to conquer all of the food in America.
MIMORI: Ah, steak!
A-To-J: Is there any other American food you like?
RUUNA: Yes, hamburger!
MIMORI: The three of us has gone to eat hamburgers before and it was delicious so we want to know the taste from the home of hamburgers.
RUUNA: “Big burger!”
A-To-J: Out of Japanese foods is there anything you would recommend foreigners try?
KOUMI: Unagi!! “Do you know Unagi?”
RUUNA: Maybe “yuba”? (tofu skin)
KOUMI and MIMORI: Yuba?? (Laughs)
MIMORI: There is something called “harakomeshi” from the Miyagi prefecture we come from. A well-known dish there is “harakomeshi” and its rice cooked with some salmon and roe. It’s very well-known and delicious.
RUUNA: It’s a type of “takikomi gohan” (rice cooked with seasonings and different ingredients)
A-To-J: Can you tell us any funny stories from when you were performing?
MIMORI: There is something funny that happened! During our release event, my shoe fell off and broke. For 3 songs after that I danced with one shoe missing!
A-To-J: Did you change your shoe after that?
MIMORI: We couldn’t fix that shoe so we bought new shoes afterwards! (Laughs)
A-To-J: Have you had any challenging experiences while performing?
MIMORI: Out of our dances, we tried out doing Latin Pop style. It was a “groove” that we didn’t experience before so the dance was hard and it was hard to be synchronized.
A-To-J: You mentioned liking video games and anime, what is your favorite video game?
MIMORI: I like a lot of different games right now but… the game I thought of when composing “just trust” was Final Fantasy! Recently I’ve been playing a lot of Sengoku Basara. I also like playing Mario Kart and Smash Brothers so I want to play with people overseas!
A-To-J: We like games so we play those games often as well!
MIMORI: We might be going against each other in one of those games! Please be gentle if that happens (Laughs)
KOUMI: I like Metal Gear Solid!
RUUNA: I like Taiko no Tatsujin, I play those kinds of games often.
A-To-J: It’s not a game that is in the US so we have to import it to play it.
MIMORI: So we need to bring it from Japan if we want to play it with overseas fans! We have a lot of these games so we’ll bring them over!
A-To-J: What are some of your favorite anime?
MIMORI: I have a lot of favorite anime... I’ve been watching CLAMP’s “xxxHolic” as well as “Inu x Boku SS”, it’s kind of a minor anime… but an anime I loved from when I was little is “Ojamajo Doremi” and it’s been the center of me. Do you know those anime?
A-To-J (Teepu and Manuel): Not those specific ones…
A-To-J (Tiffany): I know of them and I have many friends that love anime as well.
MIMORI: Maybe everyone knows Gundam or Evangelion more? Because I love those anime too as well as “Sousei no Aquarion”! I also like the iDOLM@STER.
RUUNA: We have all watched “Precure” as well as kids.
A-To-J: What are some of your favorite fashion brands?
KOUMI: I like “OPENING CEREMONY” and “Marc Jacobs”!
A-To-J: What is your ultimate goal in Japan? You ultimate accomplishment?
MIMORI: Like a dome tour?
RUUNA: In Japan, the “dome tour” has to be the biggest ultimate goal and we would like a lot of people in Japan to listen to our music.
A-To-J: Moving forward, what are your goals for next year?
RUUNA: Next year’s goal for callme has to be performing overseas. Like we said, we want to go to places like Japan Expo or South by Southwest to deliver our music to people overseas.
A-To-J: Please give us a message for your overseas fans.
RUUNA: callme hasn’t done any overseas lives yet but we want to make opportunities where overseas fans such as ones in Los Angeles, can listen and watch us perform live. We also just released our new album, “who is callme”, and we would like to convey our thoughts to as many people so please give it a listen!
A-To-J: Lastly is there anything that A-To-J can do to help promote callme?
RUUNA: We would like you to recommend it to others!
MIMORI: We want you to share your opinions and review the album so you can share it with other people, whether it is good or bad. [Editor’s Note: Our review of their album can be found here]
RUUNA: Lastly, please love this album a lot!
The first half of our interview with callme can be found here! Keep an eye out for other news about callme! The video for the newest single and relevant links can be found below!
The above interview was conducted by Teepu Khan with direction by Manuel Figueroa. On-site and post translation by Tiffany Fujii.
Official photos courtesy of avex.
- Akimoto Ruuna (秋元瑠海)
- Tominaga Mimori (富永美杜)
- Hayasaka Koumi (早坂香美)
For More Information:
callme’s Official Site: http://avex.jp/callme/
callme’s Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/callme_official
callme’s Official Instagram: https://instagram.com/callme_official/
callme on mumo Shop: http://shop.mu-mo.net/avx/sv/list1?jsiteid=MSW&artist_id=CALLM
callme on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/callme/id968272102
callme on cdjapan: http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/person/700706365
callme - step by step