Kana in France: Interview and Live Report

interview - 29.10.2006 12:00

Exclusive interview with Kana who found time for us after her first overseas appearance and a live report of her show.

It's Monday the 9th of October, the day after Kana's Showcase event at Glaz'art that she kindly meets with us for a small private and exclusive interview. Kana is dressed as usual in one of her self-made outfits. Though she looks impressive, she seems very shy. And this is how the interview begins:

Hello Kana
Kana: Hello!

Can you tell us about how your concert went yesterday?
Kana: Well, I had a lot of fun, everyone was content and happy. I am very pleased about it.

Why do you give the visual aspect of your show so much priority?
Kana: I feel good in my own world. I make clothes that only I can make, wear or create and I sing songs that only I can sing. My stuffed toys are my friends, I make them myself. I want to put a bit of my soul into each one. The stuffed toys that you find elsewhere are made with machines, they don't have a soul and I don't like that. That is the same for all my creations. I have my own style, beyond any rules.

Is your audience in France different from that in Japan?
Kana: The French audience is much more active and moves more. In some ways, they are more communicative, more present. Whilst I am onstage they motivate me to do even more.

What did you think of the European “gothic lolitas” that you saw yesterday night?
Kana: For me they are like the ones in Japan, they are people with the same hearts and they have the same approach. The main difference is in their gestures or the way they present themselves. Japanese are more... reserved.

Why did you come alone (without musicians)?
Kana: Quite simply because it was a showcase. I wanted to get to know France. Now that this is over with, I would like to come with musicians next time. A concert is planned for 2007.

We know about your extroverted personality during shows, but are you also like that in real life, or are there “two Kanas”?
Kana: In fact, I am much more shy and reserved in real life. When I step onstage I transform and gain confidence. I love communicating with my fans but in reality I'm not all that talkative (laughs).

We know you for your creations, mainly for your outfits. Have you considered starting your own fashion label someday?
Kana: I have already had some outfits made with better methods of production. I don't always do everything myself, but I add my personal touch to each creation in order to give it a soul, which I talked about previously. Concerning creating my own label, if I had the possibility, I'd do it. I'm not against it, far from it.

You said you were finding out about yourself during your break, what new things did you discover about yourself? Do you see life differently now?
Kana: Well, I wanted people to understand me better. So I decided to give them some time to do that. I want to tell my audience everything, which is why I'm mainly releasing full albums rather than singles. Each album is a sort of long story which I tell, something impossible to do with a single of one or two songs. I think that since 2002, the date of release of my last album, people have been able to understand me better.

What do you think of your music spreading to France?
Kana: Well, the more people there are listening to my music, the happier I am. I never thought there were so many people in France who love my music and that makes me happy to know.

And what do you think of Jrock in general spreading to Europe?
Kana: Quite frankly, I just laugh about it.

You are drawing something yourself for Japan Vibes, which will appear in each of the following issues of the magazine. Tell us about your work and how it came about.
Kana: I was contacted by Japan Vibes who proposed me to do something for the magazine. I am really very happy with this project because those who listen to my music will understand me better. I want to touch them, to tell them what I feel deep down. I want my heart and that of my audience to communicate.

Last night we were able to hear you speak French, is it important for you to address your fans directly without any obstacles in the way?
Kana: For me it's something very important. Also, I like the French language alot, it's “kawaii”! I'd very much like to learn the language so that I can share many more things with my French audience.

To finish off, have you got any last words for your fans?
Kana: I hope that our hearts can communicate.

Thank you Kana for giving us such honest answers.
Kana: Thank you too.

Thank you to JV store/Japan Vibes, Ganshin France and of course Kana for this interview.

Live report of Kana's concert on 8/10/06

It's 19:15, about 35 people are present in the large park which has the form of a sandbox, which is infact the entrance to Glaz'art and the location of Kana's show. Since our arrival we noticed that 100% of the fans already present are dressed in the same way as their idol: Kana.

The audience is aged from 14 to 25, mainly female, the majority coming from Paris but some have even come up from the South of France. They mainly seem to have been drawn here because of Kana's image rather than her music.

It's around 20:30 when the doors open. The fans try to enter in a rabble; it's true that in this aspect the organisation wasn't brilliant.
At the entrance, the merchandise stand offered different items from other concerts we were able to see: CDs, photographs, of course, but also stuffed toys made by Kana herself costing between 40 and 70€.

21:00, and at this point about 120 people are crowded around the Glaz'art stage. Amoungst the crowd, 80% are wearing make-up. The only 'normal' people seemed to be the invited guests and the staff. Some parents are also present, due to the date and location of the concert they were 'forced' to accompany their children.

Kana's concert

A screen was placed in front of the stage where the fans watched a small introduction before the stage was revealed. The singer seemed to have planned a Japanese style show, a couch and a night table containing all her belongings are presented onstage.

Kana arrived along with a storm of applause, or tears for who can't hold back the emotion to see their favourite singer for real for the first time. She is dressed in a pink and white dress, very 'sweet lolita', and her hair is blonde. In fact it's this topic of conversation that was floating around the audience that night.

In faultless French, the star presented herself and announced her first song: the famous Hebi Ichigo. The show then began in a jovial atmosphere. Onstage, since the beginning, you can say that Kana was happy to be there, moving and dancing. The sound in the room was pretty clear but the lighting wasn't really well chosen for a private concert like this one.

Though taking photos was prohibited, alot of people attempted to take photos using their mobile phones, but without much success.
Though the stage was small, Kana did not really move around on it much and the people at the sides of the stage don't really see her face-on. The atmosphere was very intimate, and the proximity of the fans counted towards that aspect. It's for this reason that the majority of the audience had chosen the pit rather than the settees just opposite from which you could have watched the concert on the large screens set up for the event. It's amusing to note that only the people who weren't dressed up were sitting down.

Onstage, Kana embellished the beginning of each song with some little sketches, with which she also presents Charlotte, her friend (a stuffed toy rabbit), and she done small puppet shows with her other stuffed toys. She also took advantage of this time to alter her costumes by putting on a bonnet with rabbit ears or a top hat for example.

All her interventions or presentations were done in French to the delight of the audience. When the audience did not seem to react to something, she clapped her own hands encouraging everyone else to follow suit. This lack of reaction is not due to Kana herself, but the young age of the fans who did not seem so accustomed to concerts.

The concert lasted 55 minutes and there were no encores. A nine song set was short but the audience seemed to have appreciated it. During the last few songs it was noticeable that Kana had a few difficulties keeping up her voice like she has done for the rest of the live. The main problem with this presentation remained that Kana looked a bit lost of a stage far too big for her.

01: Hebi Ichigo
02: Maid
03: Papichan
04: Butoukai
05: Tramp Game
06: Shisha
07: Meron
08: Kumo no doku
09: Nuigurumi

Cosplay competition

After Kana left the stage to heavy applause, a competition started: 16 people lined up to be judged, but only three are rewarded for the prettiest costumes. The winner left with goodies and gift vouchers from the Capsule Tokyo website. The winner, Strecy confides that she can't believe she won and breaks out in tears. The competition took place in a cheerful atmosphere and finished with a photo of the cosplayers along with Kana.

(photos by Ayou)
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