This interview is about the story behind LIFE and how Sony turned YUI into a songmaking machine.
Original transcript by Akabaneouji
Did you create LIFE recently?
I wrote it shortly after I came to Tokyo, so I made it about a year ago. I wrote “feel my soul” just before leaving Fukuoka, and this one after arriving here. I made quite a bunch of songs back then. This was one of them. Anyway, at that time my speed to finish songs increased a lot. It was a period when everything, including song making and the promotion campaign, started at once like “Whaaa”.
Talking about song making, do you focus on that single task?
I think so. I seclude myself in a lesson room in the office’s underground floor. My plan is to create the melody first, so I do many. LIFE is a song where I decided the chords first, and then I placed the melody. On the way I changed the key, and also thought the chords were peculiar. I think that’s the virtue of this song. I searched for different elements to include in the melody.
So do you think this song has a somewhat amusing chord pattern?
Usually, when I write songs, I look for the chords as I play guitar . But this time I took great consideration in organizing the first, second verse and the chorus individually.
Can you say with this song you have really grown accustomed to the process of song making?
Not really, I have written a lot of songs, by doing so I have tried many methods. In order to get the atmosphere of the songs I try to single out the chords and be absorbed into the composition. But then I love to put melodies in chords that if you listen to them alone you would think they could never be in harmony with any melody at all. This is one of such songs. I had a big feeling of achievement when I managed to write a fitting melody.
You also met a lot of new people at that time, so my question is, was it hard for you to calm down enough to write songs?
Honestly, there was a time like that. I thought I should take into account the opinions of other people, but considering so many of them would make me freeze (Haha) I just took everything in. I thought it would be a shortcut to learn many things. For that reason, taking in opinions, making songs fumbling around, performing live and meeting new people, everything felt like that.
Everything was happening simultaneously, right?
That’s right. It felt like everything was coming from all directions. No matter how many bodies I had, It wasn’t enough (Haha). But there was no room to think of that as something terrible. On the contrary, the desire to know even more was stronger.
You did an amazing practical study.
That’s totally right. I also wrote it in the lyrics: “All the days that have passed comprise who I am now”. It was such period.
Were you open hearted about your thoughts when writing the lyrics?
I think I was. Even when playing games and such, you can’t feel motivated if they are too easy right? It’s because they are hard that I can be enthusiastic about it. It’s the same when it comes to life, There are surely moments like that too. It’s our human nature right? Looking up in the end, or feeling the desire to move forward. That’s what I thought when I wrote “I can change my life”
That part means you were in the midst of a change in your life.
I was given many opportunities. I think I would have not changed If those chance were not there. But because it was more than a big change, it was like a teething fever (Haha)
However, after listening to the third single I think your voice has changed a bit, right?
Is that so?
Somehow it feels stronger.
It’s probably because of the melody. It must be that the tension in my voice is different. Also, I have sung LIFE many times live, so the way of singing became a habit. But it’s evident that the singing technique is different from that in feel my soul and Tomorrow’s way, right?
And, when you sing this song now, many memories come to mind right?
By the time I wrote that song, there were so many things coming in my direction. There were many times when I felt lost or worried. Therefore, I’m singing now a song I wrote in the past with such feelings, so I will feel really happy if among the people who listens to it there are some who feel stimulated. It’s because there are parts within me that have been rescued by this song as well.
What do you mean by that?
It feels like “Such thing happened uh?” or something like it. No matter how lost I can be, I will be able to sneak away eventually. I think this is the way of thinking that saved me. Now that I think of it, even if I didn’t do things with such a hurry, I hope I could have done things more at my own pace. But I guess I can only say that from my current perspective. So I could also say that it is because I did things in such a hurry that I’m now the person I am.
And now that you are facing a new challenge, the School Festival Live, do you have any aspirations?
I think I should be alriiight~ (Haha) It will be different from summer festivals. I’m looking forward to seeing how it will be like. Well, as for me, I will always be on my own pace. I think it will be okay if I just have fun. Moreover, I think this should be a meaningful concert to many people right? But when I begin to think about it I tend to get stiff. I wish I could be more relaxed (Haha)
Thinking YUI did all this before turning 18… what the hell have I been doing with my life?
She’s really a genius.