YUI’s Workflow — Interview with Hisashi Kondo (2007)

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Apparently this is the first time Hisashi Kondo gives an interview regarding his work with YUI. It was published by Nikkei entertainment on June 2007.
Original transcript by Akabaneouji

The person who is in charge of the work is revealed. The person who makes the best of YUI’s flash.

nikkei-entertainment-jun-2007-01

We heard the stories of music production behind the scenes from the person who supports YUI in her recordings since her debut. The director Hisashi Kondo from Sony Music Records.

“I always tell YUI to treasure the power of the moment when a song is finished. That’s why I always bring a laptop and a microphone with me, because whenever she writes a song, we want to record it immediately. It doesn’t matter if the song is in order, or if it’s only one phrase. What I want to capture is the energy.”

YUI can create songs in all kinds of settings like a flash. We have made recordings right before a live performance. She will call me in the middle of the night and say “I made something great”. She will sing in random English while playing guitar (We and the fans use to call it YUI-go) and we make a recording with the laptop. After that, my job is to write the sheets of music and rhythm.

“With the recorded music, it’s easier to recall the original feelings in order to make the complete piece. With the impact it gives we make a provisional title easy to understand. Usually we use a formula like “○Moon×Sun Mellody A”. In YUI’s case, a melody were a bird is supposed to fly high, she will call it “HighFly”. For example “Something you ought to protect” > “the back of an office worker” > “OffiBack” And things like that “Haha”.
By the way, for the singles of the second album, we had the following provisional titles. “Rolling Star” > “Gaacharick, “CHE.R.RY” > “Sunshine” and “Good-bye days” > “Mr. Ballade”.
When we work on a song we take the accumulation of songs and phrases, we expand them and join together.”

First and second. A year of growth.

The first album is a work packed with a sense or urgency for living, proper of a young person. She sings having herself in the center of everything. That is the nature of YUI’s music, but in the second album another side came out. It seems like the experiences of her tour changed. She made a happy song to get excited with everyone “Happy Birthday to you you” and she made a song to encourage others. “Rolling star”

“The composition method changed too. Two years ago the emphasis was made in the guitar chords. Using only one habit of playing as a source, she made many songs that sound similar. So lately she also adopted the method of omitting one sound of one chord on purpose and placing the melody using only the Tonic and Dominant. Then, she rises the chords and confirm the key.
I think that the variation in her songs have increased because of that. Lately she has also challenged herself by adding instruments other than guitar, like piano and such.”