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After ten months of hiatus Rie fu has finally released her new single, "Tsukiakari." The sensitive medium-tempo ballad, whose title means, "moonlight" in Japanese, show her thoughts on the eve of graduation---just like her debut single, "Tsuki no ue" which coincidentally means "on the moon."
Rie fu (RF): "Both of the songs were written around the common theme of graduation. "Tsuki no ue" was written when I was graduating high school, while "Tsukiakari" was written just before my college graduation this June. Each of the songs reflects my feelings during traditional times. The names refer to the moon because whenever I feel nervous or lonely, like when I'm thinking about the past, I look up at the sky and watch the moon. No matter how far away I go, it will always be there, and it will never change. Besides, I like the moon's subtlety. It's not as prominent as the sun or the planets, if you know what I mean. It also seems feminine, because it changes appearances as it goes through its phases."
Rie fu even found herself drawn to the moon when she was overseas. She lived in London until recently, and one night she saw a moon that was so beautiful she had to paint it. The streets of London are darker than Tokyo's at night, and the moon seemed to be the same size as the street lamp next to it. She says it was simply gorgeous and hearing that, it's obvious that London has had a big impact on her creative side.
RF: "Although London is much less convenient to get around in than Tokyo, I felt sad to leave because the city is so diverse, in fact everyone just takes it for granted! But I had things to do in Tokyo, I'm totally devoted to music right now. It's like I'm preparing for a second debut! Speaking of London, I get the impression that there's a difference in how Japanese audiences and people overseas enjoy music. Japanese listeners try to understand the concept behind each song---we're kind of left-brained, so to speak---but in other countries people enjoy music more intuitively. I wanted Japanese audiences to relate to my new single, so I wrote the lyrics in Japanese and arranged the music to give it a distinct Japanese flavor."
Not only is Rie fu Playing with her lyrics, she's also experimenting with her singing style, breaking new ground with her hard-hitting vocal delivery in "Tsukiakari."
RF: "I wanted to make the song sound catchy, so it'd be easy for listeners to remember and sing in karaoke. I often go karaokeing, and when I do, I sing classic Japanese pop songs from the '70s. Even though I didn't grow up with them, I like them because they're packed with entertaining elements. That's why they're still attractive today. In "Tsukiakari," there's a part where you sing in the style of Japanese folksongs called enka. I want everyone to have fun mimicking enka when singing karaoke."
Now that she's back in Japan and getting into the full swing of her work, what are her goals?
RF: "I have a stockpile of songs that I've written but haven't recorded so my goal for this year is to release a lot of CDs and hold live concerts, I think it's important for a singer to maintain a connection with the audience. The genre doesn't matter to me. I just want to keep making songs with heart, so they'll be popular for a long time."
Extra: The title song, which Rie fu sings and plays the piano on, gives off the mystical feel of a hazy spring moon. It's also reminiscent of Japanese pop oldies. The other song on the disc, "dreams be" is a light hearted pop song with the English lyrics. It plays during a commercial for the engineering company Yumeshin Holdings.