Interview with SAGA

interview - 10.14.2014 20:01

Before the new Asian super band comes to Europe, JaME got the chance to get to know them a little bit better.

Before the new Asian super band comes to Europe, JaME got the chance to get to know them a little bit better.

Hello SAGA! Since this is our first interview with you, please introduce yourselves!

SAGA: Hi everyone! SAGA is the world's first music group that unites Japan, Korea and China under the theme of "NO BORDER". SAGA consists of female vocalist Ramy from Korea, male vocalist Kevin from China and producer/DJ Rio from Japan. Our music is based on EDM (electronic dance music) mixed with Asian musical influences. Our messages are all positive; they are about peace and unity of the world.

What’s the most significant trait of each member?

SAGA: Kevin looks cool, but actually he’s a really cute guy. Ramy also looks cool – she’s a strong and funny girl. Rio looks crazy and yes, he is crazy.

Could you please explain your band name "SAGA" and the concept behind this project?

SAGA: In English it means "journey", but in Japanese it means "human instinct". So it's SAGA's journey through the world to unite people with music. We want to reveal what we humans really are and what we are here for.

You decided to unite Asia with music, but how are you working together in the band? For example, who’s in charge of writing music and lyrics? And in what language do you communicate?

SAGA: Yes, this is the most interesting part of our group. Kevin and Rio communicate in Chinese, Rio and Ramy communicate in Japanese and Kevin and Ramy communicate in English. When the three of us want to talk to one another at once, we use English. Concerning band work, Rio acts as executive producer, basically coming up with all the concepts and ideas for music and activities at first. Then we all have a meeting to brush up and finalize these ideas. Afterwards, each member writes lyrics in their own language on the same song. Kevin is a great songwriter as well while Rio does most of the composing, all the arrangement and mixes.

Do your different linguistic, cultural and musical backgrounds present any particular challenges?

SAGA: It's not about differences between the three of us, but it's always a challenge every time we have lives in different countries. The audience is very different, the environment is very different and the way people watch the show is different. Every time, we try to read the atmosphere and adjust the way we create the show.

How would you describe your music? What song would you recommend to someone who has never listened to SAGA before?

SAGA: Our lead tracks so far are One, Together, Na Luna and I Love you. Now we are really focusing on how to mix our Asian pop style, which comes from us naturally, with fresh and edgy Western electronic music. By listening to those songs mentioned above, you can get an idea of how we mix these styles in our own way.

In November, you will be playing 11 shows across seven different countries in Europe. What are your hopes and expectations for this tour?

SAGA: This is our very first time going outside of Asia. We’re sure it will be an exciting challenge for us to prove and embody what we say in our music: “There is no border in this world.”

It's not your first time touring abroad, but it's your first time in Europe! What do you know about Europe? Do you feel any special connections with the continent?

Rio: In my life, the most exciting thing is when our music is accepted in different countries. Europe especially is my biggest inspiration of both classical and electronic music. We’ll make this tour a success so we can return in the new year with an even bigger tour.

At lives, what do you do right before going on stage?

SAGA: Rio is always mixing the live set right up until we go on stage, so that it fits the venue and atmosphere. Exercises and stretches are definitely very important also.

SAGA's first shows will be at Lucca Comics, an anime convention in Italy, on October 31 and November 1. Some anime fans may know the theme songs you composed for “Initial D” and “Viewtiful Joe”. Do you think these songs will help to broaden your audience?

SAGA: Yes. We are preparing new mixes of those classic anime themes to bring them into a super modern sound. It is always fun to remix our own songs. Please look forward to these reborn SAGA songs.

Imagine you could make one of your wishes come true right now — which one would it be?

Rio: My wishes for what I want to do are already on the way to coming true, and I am enjoying every single step and every little moment, so … well, if I try to answer this question in a different way, I want to go to space and meet aliens to talk about the world.

Thank you very much for the interview! Please give a message to our readers!

SAGA: SAGA will take you guys to a place none of us have ever seen before. Please join us on our journey and you will be a part of a new genesis. Thank you!

JaME would like to thank SAGA, Aurélie and Nina for making this interview possible.
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