[Interview @ AWA 2010 Day 3 (Sunday)]
Erica: We are here with musical artist Mayu. Do you want to tell us how you got started in music?
Mayu: I started writing songs a couple years ago when I was in college. I met some friends who wrote their own music, so I was like ‘oh why not try it’. I saw an audition so I tried out for that and I won it. I was like ‘yay’, and I started writing songs, and before that I didn’t really write songs. I knew how to play the guitar from my dad, and I’ve always liked singing and doing covers on my own. Yeah then I decided to write songs.
Erica: So you write your own songs?
Mayu: Yes I do.
Erica: We wanted to get that straight. Do you have any particular style that influences you the most?
Mayu: I like Jack Johnson and Colbie Caillat. I really like the guitar and singer-songwriter type of songs. Mellow music.
Erica: Actually when I listened to your CD that’s the first thing I thought about Colbie Caillat.
Mayu: Really? Oh cool.
Erica: It’s a little different, but that’s what it reminded me of. It’s really pretty.
Mayu: Thank you. I think it has a little bit of Japanese pop mixed in it maybe.
Erica: Do you enjoy doing the acoustic stuff more than maybe say like rock music or more pop music?
Mayu: I think I’ve always liked to listen to mellow music. I think maybe because it’s easier to sing along [to], and it’s fun to just go to Karaoke and sing. It’s hard to sing rock. It’s not as easy.
Erica: That’s true.
Mayu: Because I play the guitar I just look for songs that I can play and practice. Maybe that’s how I started liking songs like that?
Erica: So you mentioned your dad taught you how to play guitar. How involved were your parents in music growing up?
Mayu: My grandpa played the guitar, and that’s probably why my dad plays the guitar, but neither of them were artists or anything. They just did it for fun.
Erica: Oh ok. Have you always lived in the states?
Mayu: Yes. I was born in Hawaii and then I moved to California. I live in Orange County right now.
Erica: Oh wow so you came a long way.
Mayu: First time to Atlanta.
Erica: So what do you think?
Mayu: It’s really nice. I’m really liking all the green on the trees. Because you know Orange County there’s nothing. It’s like a desert. Wherever you go it’s brown or grey and everything here is just green. It’s really nice.
Erica: Did you Zippy have any questions too?
Zippy: Well Thom and I got the pleasure to go to your concert last night Mayu which first of all was awesome. Thank you for that. I just kind of wanted to ask do you traditionally like intimate settings like last night where it’s you on a small stage close to the audience? What are most of your concerts like?
Mayu: Actually I rarely perform. That’s why I was really nervous yesterday. It’s probably like my fifth time performing in front of someone, but I do prefer smaller audiences. The type of music I do is more like listening quietly. Better than a concert hall [since] I’m sure it’s better to have more of [an] emotional connection with the audiences if it’s smaller. Yeah so I prefer that.
Zippy: Kind of following that really quickly too some of your songs, and the stories you were telling about them too [at the concert], sound like you either have a personal connection or an emotional connection flowing through. Do you feel like you’re just trying to put that intimacy in to your songwriting?
Mayu: Yeah I try to write about realistic things and not make it too romantic or too pretty. I just really go for honest, real emotions…true emotions. So I think it’s easier for the audiences to connect to with the lyrics.
Zippy: I agree. Thom?
Thom: Mayu you’ve mentioned a couple of your influences. Do you have Japanese influences in your music as well? Maybe some that are your favorites that influence your style?
Mayu: Do you guys know Urufuruzu?
Mayu: [Chuckles] It’s like pop/rock I guess? But it’s not like Heavy Metal or anything. It’s also mellow. Yeah I like them. I also like Makihara Noriyuki. They’re both male singers. I prefer male artists. I don’t know why. Maybe their lyrics are less romantic and less pretty?
Erica: I [have] a question since we are at an anime convention this weekend. Do you have a favorite anime or do you watch anime?
Mayu: I don’t really watch anime but I do read a lot of comic books. My two favorites are…I think a lot of people like it, but I like Dragonball. I have everything. I have all the comics. I also like Slam Dunk the basketball comic book. I really like those two. I see a lot of Gokus [at the con] so it’s like ’hey Goku!’ [Laughs]
Mayu: That’s kind of cool.
Erica: Going back to the music where do you actually make your CDs? Do you have a studio in your house or is it a separate studio that you work in?
Mayu: I write my songs at home and I record them myself and then I send it over to the publishing company and then we decide to… When we decide to record it we go to either Nashville [or L.A.] because there’s an office in Nashville too. So we record there or sometimes we get a recording studio [in L.A.] and record there.
Erica: We actually live pretty close to Nashville. That’s awesome.
Mayu: Really? Oh cool. It’s a really nice place too. I really like Nashville. I like all the buildings. They’re like bricks or…it’s really cute.
Zippy: You mentioned that you’re putting out a new E.P. soon, and I just wanted to see what’s the status on that thus far and when you’re planning on releasing that?
Mayu: I think we have all the songs recorded. We should have about seven or eight songs on it. It’s going to be all in English. Our goal is to release it November 1st. We’re not sure, but we’re going to try to aim for that. We’ll probably put it on Facebook.
Erica: Which I actually visited this morning. It’s very nice.
Mayu: Oh really? Thank you.
Erica: Are you going to put it on iTunes or anything like that?
Mayu: Yeah you should be seeing it on iTunes and Amazon.
Erica: That’s really awesome.
Mayu: Thank you.
Erica: Well we really really appreciate your time. It was very nice of you to do this for us.
Mayu: Thank you very much. I enjoyed it a lot.
To check out videos of her performance at AWA 2010 please click here.