Blood type: B
Day by Day
DOPE SPACE NINE (Remix Album)(11.02.2005)
Flower of Life (09.25.2003)
You & I
I Don't Wanna Lose U
Koi No Kesetsu
Luv Me Right
Whenever U Call My Name
If I Could
I'm So Glad, I'm So Sad
Rain (English Version)
Tekito Lover (7.18.2007)
Single Day by Day (2007)
Single Don't Vanish Love (10.25.2006)
Loop in My Heart (07.13.2005)
Come Home (09.02.2005)
The other side of love (11.17.2004)
Debut Single Rain (06.25.2003)
VOICE OF LOVE (12.10.2003)
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While music is her first love, she decided to continue her education after high school and is currently a college student in Tokyo majoring in literature. But fans don't worry, her music career will continue during her college years and after graduation.
On May 26, 2009 Emyli was kind enough to give an interview to Andrew from J-Pop World.
Let's start from the beginning. Can you tell us about the hometown where you grew up?
My hometown is in Tokyo, in a very residential area. Shibuya was a few minutes from home, so I would go there often and shop at 109. I was also involved with an international community, so I had friends with multiracial backgrounds.
What kinds of things did you like to do as a kid?
I used to wake up early and draw a lot. Aliens and people, mostly. I know it's bizarre!
How did you first get into music?
In my household, there was always music playing: Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, etc. And so growing up, I naturally listened and sang the songs that were being played in my house. Before I knew it, music became something that I wanted to pursue. Then I started taking vocal lessons, and I made my debut at 15.
Did your parents have a musical background?
My father is a vocalist, music producer, and a vocal coach.
You recorded your first single "Rain" in 2003 at the young age of 14. Later that year you came out with your first album "Flower of Life." Tell us about that experience.
Creatively, I was very much involved in "Rain" and "Flower of Life" (and I still do heavily involve myself in the creative aspects of making music). With both "Rain" and "Flower of Life," I worked with the trackmakers to decide what sound of the hi-hat was good, what guitar beats suited a particular song, what base line sounded hot, etc.
With "Rain," I also worked with the choreographers to change certain dance moves and add more of my flavor into them. I wanted every bit "Emyli" to be reflected in my work; I believe that an artist isn't an artist unless you give 100% of your creativity, so I gave all that I had into both works. I knew very well from the start that I didn't want to be just another singer -- an "artist" was what I was aiming for.
With so much music in your life, what was high school like?
I missed out on watching the occasional football games and going to manicure sleepovers, but other than that I had a pretty normal, good high school life. I went to several homecoming dances, as well as prom. Everyone, both students and my teachers, were nice to me regardless of my career, which I am still very grateful for.
In 2006 you released the single "Don't Vanish Love" with music by Yukoh K. You worked on the lyrics for that song as well as the lyrics and music for the single's second track, Far, Far Away. Tell us the story behind both songs.
With Don't Vanish Love, I was unfortunately unable, or should I say, not in the power to express myself 100%. My lyrics and music video involved some ideas that were out of my control, but at the time it had to be done. With Far, Far Away, on the other hand, I was given the freedom and complete control over the song; I wrote both song and lyrics without any co-writers, so when I finished recording it, I felt like I gave birth to a baby!
In 2007 you released another single called "Day by Day" that included the song Shake the Habit. Tell us about how you wrote the songs and what they mean to you.
Both Day by Day and Shake the Habit were written in the studio with a piano. Day by Day is a song about someone longing to be with a loved one after an unfortunate break-up, hoping that the loved one will come to realize these longing feelings. On the other hand, Shake the Habit deals with a break-up as well but in a much more optimistic way; it basically says, "I can move on with my life without you by my side."
Your latest single is "Tekito Lover," which also has an English version. What's the story behind the song?
I wanted to make a song about a girl getting hooked on a guy who's hot -- from the way he dresses to the way he talks -- but lacks the commitment needed to start a relationship; hence him being a "lover" and not a "boyfriend." I kind of wanted to portray that inner struggle within the girl: "He's cute, but he's 'tekito'... I don't need a lame guy like that, but I want a hot guy like that" type of thing. I felt that this song was a great opportunity to collaborate with VERBAL (since I always wanted to work with him), so I asked him to play the bad-ass lover, and the song and video turned out awesome.
How would you translate the title?
"Lover Who Cannot Commit"! Haha!
The song features a high-energy music video. Tell us about its creation.
Since the song is very pop, I wanted the video to be pop-ish as well, so candy-pop colors were incorporated into my wardrobe and flirtatious moves were put into the choreography.
Who does the rap part of the video?
VERBAL from m-flo and Teriyaki Boyz does the hot rap part!
Have you had professional dance training?
Yes. I did ballet for ten years; hip-hop for fifteen years and ongoing; soul lockin' dance for eleven years and ongoing; and I recently started jazz.
Do you find it different to express yourself singing in English versus Japanese?
No, I don't feel that language is a barrier in expressing myself through music. The way I sing in Japanese is no different from singing in English.
You're currently a busy college student. Can you tell us what you are studying and where?
I'm a lit major at an international university in Tokyo. I'm studying a lot of Japanese literature. We recently read and analyzed a book by Haruki Murakami -- one of my favorite writers -- which was very eye-opening in many ways.
You've also been writing some songs for other artists? Can you tell us about them?
At the moment I can't disclose any specific information, but I have been writing for other artists in Japan.
Any chance of a new album being released before you graduate?
Did you do anything special for your 20th birthday?
Nothing grandiose, but I did go out clubbing in Roppongi with my friends. We all had a great time dancing the night away.
Let's learn more about your creative side. Can you describe how you write music?
I write music with my piano in the studio. Occasionally, I would use a guitar. I write the melody first, then the lyrics.
What types of things inspire you musically?
The ups and downs of friendships, family and romantic relationships. Books and movies also inspire me as well.
Are there specific artists who have inspired you the most?
Mariah Carey has always been a great inspiration to me. Lately, Kara DioGuardi has inspired me to write more songs.
Can we get a peak into the romantic side of Emyli? What type of places do you like to go to on a romantic date?
I like going to the beach! But since I don't like most beaches in Japan, I resort to walking around Tokyo, haha.
What traits do you look for in someone you would date?
He has to be trustworthy. That is the most important trait to me. And he also has to understand the nature of my job.
Any thoughts on marriage or kids in the future?
I used to be fiercely anti-marriage and anti-kids, but after watching "Ikiru" by Akira Kurosawa, my thoughts have changed. But I definitely don't want to get married, nor have kids at the moment.
Other than music, what type of things do you do for fun?
Clubbing with friends, city strolling, reading novels.
What are your plans for after graduation?
I'd like to focus solely on my artist career, but at the same time I kind of want to go to grad school.
What one thing do you most want people to know about Emyli?
That there is much more to know about me! Haha!
Do you have anything else you want to bring up or comment on?
Thank you for having me on your site!
Do you have a final message to all your fans?
I am in the making of some new material, so hold on a little longer -- I'm doing my best to get it out there ASAP!
For more info checkout Emyli's MySpace page. Leave your comments about this interview and read what others had to say at the following link: Interview Comments