Interview with J☆Dee’Z at Anime Messe Berlin

interview - 06.17.2018 20:01

JaME met dance pop trio J☆Dee’Z during Anime Messe Berlin and talked with them about their career at their very young age, their dreams and why ami wants to go to Canada.

The members of dance pop trio J☆Dee’Z are only teenagers. Still, they achieved much more than the average 17-year-old, like playing at Japan Expo in France as the youngest guest ever or contributing a song to the famous Pokemon XY anime series. JaME sat down with the girls during their stay at this year's edition of Anime Messe Berlin in Germany to talk about their career so far, their future plans and what's the most fun part of their job.

Hello J☆Dee’Z! Since this is your first interview with JaME, please introduce yourselves to our readers.

Nono: My name is Nono. I am 16 years old.
ami: (In German) Mein Name ist ami, ich bin 17 Jahre alt. (My name is ami, I'm 17 years old.)
MOMOKA: (In German) Mein Name ist MOMOKA. Ich bin 18 Jahre alt. (My name is MOMOKA, I am 18 years old.)

It’s also your first time in Germany. What did you expect and how do you like it so far?

Nono: I was very nervous about coming to Germany and worried if everything would go smoothly, especially with the language. I was not sure if we could communicate with people here. We did some research about Germany and the German language of course, but I was still a bit nervous. But when we were greeted very warmly at the hotel and I realized just saying "Hi!" is totally fine, I was relieved. We were able to talk to each other after all! So now I am really happy to be here and it was great getting such a warm welcome.
MOMOKA: I have a friend who has been to Germany before and they told me that Germany is a really beautiful place with good vibes and that I would probably like it here, too. To be honest, I love it here and everything is even better than expected! I can't wait to play another concert in Germany!
ami: Me too, I was super excited about going to Germany. Especially during the concert, I wondered which kind of mood there would be. After all, the mood was totally different from our concerts in Japan, because the audience overseas liked different songs than our audience in Japan. Seeing this, I was so happy about our performance here and I am very happy to be in Germany.

Most people probably know you because of Peace Smile!, the ending theme for the anime series Pokemon XY, but in your opinion, which is the number one J☆Dee’Z song that no one should miss?

Everyone: Wow, that's a tough question.
Nono: Answer!
ami: For me too, Answer!
MOMOKA: Ato Ippo.
Nono: Well, when we started, we were a four-member band, but now we are only three members. So Answer was the first single we released with only three members. Although it was our second single with J☆Dee’Z, we felt like from then on, we would give our best as a three-member band. We wanted to become stronger and really do our best from this release on, so we poured everything into this song.
ami: For Answer we have been going to New York and did street lives actually! For us, this has been a big change and also a big inspiration to work with this song, that's why I like this song so much.
MOMOKA: Can I change my choice to Answer, too? (everyone laughs) But even though we are like-minded about Answer, I think everyone who listens to J☆Dee’Z will come to love a different song. But that is totally fine and I like the idea of bringing our music to many people all over the world. I am always happy if someone listens to our music, be it in Japan, Germany or anywhere else in the world!

You just released your first mini album Ato Ippo on March 7th this year. Please tell us more about the songs on this CD.

ami: This is the first time we released a mini-album and it was also the first time we released a CD as high school students! So this mini-album is basically saying "This is who are we now! Here we are, come and get to know us!"

When it comes to band work, which is the most fun part for you?

Nono: As a band, I love performing at live concerts. Of course, recording and working on singles and albums is fun, too, but this is also a lot of work. Being on stage together, though, when the tension builds up more and more and people are having more and more fun during the concert, this is the best feeling.
MOMOKA: For me, it's the best seeing people smiling during our concerts or when our fans approach us afterwards, telling us that they felt great during the show and how cool it was. That is the best feedback and it means everything to me, working as a band. I am really happy then.
ami: Of course, for me it feels also great being on stage and singing and dancing with my fellow band mates. But to be honest, I love meeting so many interesting and kind people in so many different places. Being in the band even made it possible for us to be here in Germany right now and to get to know even more nice people from this area. I am very happy about all these new experiences and I enjoy that a lot. Also being able to get in touch with you guys is wonderful. That's what I enjoy most about being in a band.

All of you are only 16 to 18 years old, but your careers already started at an even younger age. Has it always been your dream to sing and dance in a band?

Nono: Since I was a child, I always loved to sing and dance, I was dancing to every song that came up. For me, this is a way of expressing myself. That's why I knew I wanted to do something like that on a professional level. Becoming a member of this band was quite a coincidence though, but I really feel like I fit in here and this is where I belong. So I am content with how my career started.
MOMOKA: For me, it was always fun to sing and dance and things just fell in place and now I am here!
ami: I still can't believe that everything worked out like this, because we all come from different places in Japan. But still, we were able to meet and now we are playing together! Loving to dance was what connected us and finally lead us to the audition, where we all met for the first time. At first, we were strangers of course, and it took some time to become a real band, but we were able to create strong bonds between all members and we became a unit. Actually we started as a dance unit only and it took some time until we began singing our own songs, but now I am really happy how things turned out.

You were invited to Japan Expo in 2013 as the youngest guest ever. How was it to play at one of the biggest conventions in Europe as a middle schooler?

Nono: That was also the first concert we ever did in our life!
MOMOKA: And doing this in France even on such a big stage at a convention, that left a very strong impression on us. There were so many new experiences for us, like foreign food, travelling, being on stage in general. All of this had a big influence on us. We are absolutely thankful for this huge opportunity we got back then, because I think we might be different people if we wouldn't have been able to do that.
ami: Impressive, huh? Even for us, this retrospective is very impressive, because we were there at such a young age.
Nono: Actually, we just loved to dance and we just loved to sing, so back then we were like "Oh cool, we'll be going to France!" (everyone laughs) We just didn't think about how young we were then, we've just been full of excitement and really wanted to do this. Like "Yeah, okay, let's do this!"
MOMOKA: This was really a wonderful experience and we would do that again anytime. The only difference is, back then we just went on stage and performed, we did not think too much about it. Now we are probably worrying about so many things, but we would love to do it again anyways!

If you could go anywhere for a concert and sightseeing, where would it be and why?

Nono: Wow, so hard to decide! (everyone agrees and is thinking hard)
Everyone: We would like to go back to New York! We could also imagine playing a live in Canada or somewhere else.
MOMOKA: I also would like to go to London! But since we didn't really have time to do sightseeing in Germany, we would love to come back here for a longer time.

For a longer time – like for a Europe tour?

Everyone: Oh, we would love to!
Nono: I'd love to go to all the countries! (everyone laughs)
MOMOKA: There are so many places where we didn't go yet, and there are so many places we want to go to that we just can't decide. But if we get the chance, we will definitely go anywhere! We want to see a lot of places after all and we are thankful for every chance we get.

Any more specific places you really want to see?

ami: (without hesitation) Canada. Because I know nothing about Canada! (everyone laughs) Before coming to Germany, we informed ourselves on the Internet about how it would be here. Though it is now even better than we imagined. About Canada, on the other hand, we know absolutely nothing and I think it could be really interesting to go there!

Is there anything special you wanted to do or see in Berlin?

Nono: The Berlin Wall!
ami: We want to get on a Doppeldecker bus (two-storied sightseeing bus)! Because there is nothing like that in Japan. Every time we saw one passing by, we thought "Wow, it's so big!" That was really impressive.
MOMOKA: I would like to use a train! Because we saw some train stations earlier and they looked interesting. I would like to try taking the local public transport and see how it is.
Nono: Honestly, I would love to go shopping and see how things are around here!

Your song was chosen as an ending theme for an anime. Do you like anime as well? Which series is your favorite right now?

ami: I LOVE anime!
Nono: She's a total anime freak! When we had time to visit the convention and see the booths and people and everything, ami was like "I want to take a photo with this character and I want to take a photo with that guy!" all the time. (everyone laughs)
ami: At the moment, I like "Haikyuu!!" very much. I even saw a lot of Haikyuu-related merchandise at the booths! My favorite character is the libero of Nekoma highschool! Quite an unusual choice, right? I looked for him at the convention, but too bad I couldn't find him.
MOMOKA: Though I also like "Pokemon", I love "Sailor Moon"! It's nostalgic, right? My favorite character is Sailor Mercury.
Nono: I think my favorite is "Totoro".
Everyone: Me too! We all love "Totoro" very much! (Start singing a line of the theme song)
Nono: My favorite is the middle-sized Totoro, the blue one. Because I like his color the most.

Thank you very much for the interview! Please leave a message for the JaME readers!

Nono: I am so happy about the opportunity to be here in Germany and I feel so lucky about having a concert here. I fall in love with Germany more and more with every second we are here. Being here and playing a concert is so great, but since you mentioned it before – having a tour here would be such a fantastic thing! I would love to do this.
ami: I love this event as it connects people who love anime and Japan in general and all this is happening in a very peaceful way. Being able to come here and play a show means very much to me and I'm so happy to be here. I fell in love with all the nice people here and I would definitely love to come back here if there is the chance.
MOMOKA: Even though Japan and Germany are very far apart and we even needed such a long time to come here by plane, the world seems to be very small because of the Internet. You can watch anime easily on the web and you can learn a lot about Japan online. Also the other way round, we can learn a lot about other countries as well. I am very happy that so many people took a liking to our own songs and enjoyed our concerts so much. That made this event very beautiful for us, too. If you call for us, we will definitely come back immediately, so please invite us again! Also, if you guys come to Japan, you are very welcome to visit our shows there and we would be so happy to see you there.
ami: (in German) Ich liebe euch! Danke schön. (I love you all! Thank you very much.)

J☆Dee’Z song Answer with its video shot in New York:

J☆Dee’Z song Peace Smile!, ending theme for the anime series "Pokemon XY":

JaME would like to thank J☆Dee’Z, Sony Music, Anime Messe (especially Michael Klement), Kanzen Music and Stephanie List for making this interview possible.
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