JPHiP Interview: Yoko Ishida @ Lantis Festival in Las Vegas
JPHiP was given the chance to interview Yoko Ishida. Topics included her thoughts on her work with the Sailor Moon series and being an overseas phenomenon thanks to Japanese anime and anisongs. Read on to hear what one of the most popular anisong artists in the world had to say!
JPHiP: For those new to you and your music, tell us how you got involved in anisong and the Lantis Festival.
Yoko Ishida: The very first step was when I won the Grand Prix at the anisong singer contest. I had an opportunity to work with Lantis 3 years ago, and they invited me to Lantis Festival.
JPHiP: With Sailor Moon R in 1993, how did you relate with the characters and interpret the anime when performing the single “Otome no Policy”?
Yoko Ishida: Sailor Moon R was the second season of the Seilor Moon TV series, so I studied it hard by watching the first season. However, it was my first recording so I remember that I was really nervous.
I couldn’t afford to think too much about anything so I simply sang it out with all my heart.
JPHiP: Who and what are your musical influences and how do you use them in your songwriting and performances?
Yoko Ishida: Because I love Japanese pop music, I’m always paying attention to the lyrics when I hear a new song. So I guess I have to say I’m inspired by everything.
JPHiP: Is there anything else you’d like to try, for example acting?
Yoko Ishida: I’ve done work as a voice actor before, and it’s really interesting. I’d like to do it again.
JPHiP: What is the difference between your J-pop records like Sweets and All of Me versus your anisong career and how do they relate?
Yoko Ishida: The special thing about anisong is that it’s pretty much free from being only one genre. It can be J-Pop, rock, or anything. Both of the albums you mentioned actually contained a mix of pop and anisongs, and that’s the way I plan to keep going in the future.
JPHiP: This is not your first time abroad. How do you like traveling to other countries to perform? What do you like about it?
Yoko Ishida: I never imagined I’d be able to do this many concerts outside of Japan when I made my debut. I’m very happy and proud of how popular Japanese anime and anisong have become overseas. I really love how I can unite with fans in person for the first time at these concerts.
JPHiP: You obviously are very popular among the overseas fans. Why do you think that is?
Yoko Ishida: That is absolutely because of the power of anisong! And because I was given many opportunities to perform overseas.
JPHiP: You helped popularize the Para Para dance internationally. What do you enjoy about performing it in front of live audiences such as The Anime Fusion Tour and Anime Expo 2004?
Yoko Ishida: It really makes me happy when fans recognize it like “Aha! I know this song!” It’s so fun to see them dance with me and having a blast at my performances.
JPHiP: What do you want everyone to pay special attention to at the concert?
Yoko Ishida: The fact that many, many Anisong artists will be performing! There might be collaborations too. It’s a hot anisong festival with a live band, so there’s so much to get excited about!
JPHiP: Do you have anything you want to say to your overseas fans?
Yoko Ishida: I want to continue singing and visiting all the fans around the world. We want to make a great success of the Lantis Festival World Tour, so please support us by joining us at the Las Vegas show!
Yoko Ishida performs live in America at Lantis Festival in Las Vegas on January 16 & 17 at The Joint – Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
VIP and General Admission tickets at AXS.com
Special thanks to Ms. Yoko Ishida, Lynks International, RESONANCE Media, and Amuse USA for making this interview possible.