Spice website published an interview with Ieiri Leo in which she comments about the 5th anniversary since her debut. She also mentions the influence YUI had in her decision to move to Tokyo.
Okay. Let’s talk about other things for a bit. What things could you say left you a big impression in the past 5 years?
Uhm… It’s hard for me to say this or that, because everything has been impressive. I wonder… But more than talking of the 5 years span of time I would say my decision to move from Fukuoka to Tokyo was paramount. I debuted at 17, but I was having talks about moving to Tokyo since my 15. When I was first asked about it I said I would do it immediately. But I got scared as the day approached. I finally moved on March 26th so…
You remember even the exact day? (Haha)
That time was intense enough for me (Haha) So, the day was March 26. A little before, on January or december I said “I think I’m not going after all!” Having said so, I left everyone startled right? (Haha) The office and the record company had been setting things up for a while and all.
So then, Nishio-san, who has been by my side all this time said: “I want you to come over to VOICE school for a moment!” He wanted to asked me why I didn’t want to go to Tokyo. I said: “Nah, It’s just scary. I don’t have anyone in Tokyo. I don’t even know If I can make it.” In the middle of the conversation YUI-san called over the phone. The words she said to me really pushed me forward.
When you talk about YUI-san, you mean THE artist YUI-san?
That’s right. She talked about her own experiences. She said to me: “Even if you don’t understand it now, Ieiri-chan, I’m certain the day when everything works out will surely come.” That time I wasn’t so sure about it, but somehow I agreed. The next day, I was taking a shower before going to school and thinking “Yesterday I really said I would go…” I clearly remember the scenery of the bathroom that moment. “Let’s do it” I said, even though I was pretty scared…
I bet you were!
But when the time came to board the plane bound to Tokyo I just boarded as if nothing happened (Haha).
Hahaha. But thinking about it, Isn’t YUI a key person in your life?
That’s right. I arrived to Tokyo the same day of YUI’s birthday. I wonder if it was fate. I think I’ve received strength from so many people.
Are you close with YUI to this day?
Yes. She would take me to different places. This morning she gave me her LINE account (Haha).
In this super small picture from 2013 you can see yui and Leo next to the director of VOICE, Nishio Yoshihiko.