Congrats on your debut as an artist! How did you feel when your debut was decided? Kajiwara: Thank you. I was frankly happy when I got the chance to talk to you. Originally, I liked music, but I thought that I would like to improve my acting skills first. During that, I thought it would be nice to be able to do music activities someday, but at an earlier stage than I had imagined. Please talk to me. I feel happy to be able to do music activities under my own name.
I hear that music has been an inseparable existence since childhood. Kajiwara: Yes, I have been attended singing and piano classes since I was a child. I played the piano for about 6 years. Now I can’t play at all (laughs). Do you remember the music you were familiar with back then? Music by Yumi Matsutoya. I used to listen to it in the car when I was little. I’m from Osaka, but I was living in Toyama at the time. I listened to it with my family in the car on the way back to Osaka during long holidays. Even now, when I listen to my songs, I have flashbacks of the scenery when I was driving on the highway, and it makes me feel nostalgic.
Why did you start playing the guitar, and why did you form a band? Kajiwara: I started playing the guitar when I was in junior high school, so I don’t remember much, but I think I just wanted to play and sing. So, try playing a song in the instruction book or a song you like. But I’m playing alone (laughs). So, I started a band because I wanted to work with someone. When I was in high school. It was basically a copy, and sometimes an original. Music was really close to me. Yes, before I knew it, I felt like I was touching music.
I heard that you had a lot of discussions with the production team when making this work. What did you talk about specifically? Kajiwara: First, I gave my opinion about the image of the song. The letter “A” in the title means “Boy A” who has no name. I think that’s the first path most performers go through. People around you might not even know Boy A’s name, but if you look at him yourself, he has a name, a place he wants to aim for, a dream, and a goal. I want to create a song with the image of A, becoming a person with a name, gaining skills that will be recognized by everyone. It overlaps with Asta from “Black Clover”, which I have a tie-in with. In the beginning, Asta was looked down upon and scorned by those around him, but after that he grew up and met various people. Asta’s first letter “A” is also used for this purpose.
Is Asta a good partner for Kajiwara-san? Kajiwara: Yes, a partner and a model to emulate… Anyway, it’s cool. I will not bend what I have decided, I will not give up, and I will stand up even if I am about to lose. There are many words in the lyrics that make you feel Asta’s aspirations. I wanted to link it with “Black Clover”, so it appears in the work. The words also appear in the lyrics. Asta is a good partner, and I came with him… I don’t sing as Asta, but as someone who respects Asta’s way of life, I thought it would be great if I could create a song with him.
Were there any requests for sound? Kajiwara: Yes, my favourite sound image is rawer. It’s not too sparkly, not too aligned in a good way, it’s an imperfect sound. In fact, “A Walk” is a band sound that is not like Anisong in a good way.
Sounds like that, isn’t that so? Kajiwara: That’s right. I was conscious of that. I’m more attracted to sounds that humans make properly, rather than things with sound with a perfect rhythm. That’s why, even if the sounds weren’t the same, we talked about wanting to create a sound that would make it taste even better. Then please accept me. From the beginning, I was wondering if it was okay to order so much (laughs), but I was grateful.
How was the recording? Kajiwara: How was the recording? Surprisingly quicker than character songs, I feel like I can sing. Because I was able to express myself straight as it was because I didn’t go through the character. Don’t think about difficult things, just keep your feelings. I thought that if I cherish the words and expressions while singing, I could go on like that, “It’s the voice that calls me,” is particularly emotional. I think that ending with this phrase symbolizes the world view of the song. I especially like the last phrase.
A nostalgic love song that challenges lyrics with coupling. Kajiwara-san himself wrote the lyrics for the coupling, but what kind of song is it? Kajiwara: (As of the interview) I’m almost finished writing it now. Originally, many of the songs and works I liked were about romance, and the songs I was listening to were also love songs. So, when I decided to create something, I wanted to write a love song. I think it’s a song that makes you feel nostalgic. While mixing in my own experiences, I expanded my own imagination to create a story, and the lyrics are a bit heart-breaking.
Based on this coupling song, there will also be a voice drama written by the scriptwriter of Gekidan Europe Kikaku. Kajiwara: Yes, I plan to have them write a story that complements the world view I wrote. It’s content that you can dig deep into, such as “Is there such a secret in this phrase?”
How was the music video shoot? Kajiwara: It was my first shoot, so I was nervous at first. Up until now, I’ve basically only expressed myself with my voice, so it’s difficult to add new expressions with my body and facial expressions. But my face moves a lot during post-recording, so in that sense it doesn’t change (laughs).
But it’s a natural atmosphere, isn’t it? Kajiwara: There’s no lip-sync or line of sight, and the MV doesn’t like a voice actor in a good way. I got into the world view of the song with the feeling that I became a different me. Rather than singing to everyone, I put more emphasis on expressing my feelings. So, it may not feel like a so-called voice actor. I also hide my eyes (laughs).
There may be people who listen to without knowing that you are Asta. Kajiwara: I think that’s about as good as it gets. I had an image of something different from the character, so I would be happy if you listened to it that way.
The jacket photo also has an artistic atmosphere. Those who know the usual facial expressions on YouTube’s “Gakutomo Channel” may be surprised. Kajiwara: It’s the exact opposite of gaku and monotoki (laughs). Actually, it was shot at the same location as the MV, and it uses the same lightning as the MV. The 3 patterns are completely different pictures. I think it’s getting cool, so I’d like you to see it.
Three days after the release of this work, your birthday will be celebrated. Do you have any resolutions? Kajiwara: As an actor, there are still many things that I am not satisfied with. I want to grow even more with acting, which is my foundation. I want to be able to play a variety of roles, and I want to be the kind of person that makes people think, “If it’s this guy, I can leave it up to you.” I feel that it is also connected to the expression of “songs” in artist activities.
Kajiwara-san, do you have a way of expressing your songs? Kajiwara: I sing, but I think it’s important to feel like, “But I’m talking like this.” I’m singing, but it’s like talking. Of course, I will match the melody, but I think it would be nice if I could properly express the words that come in like I’m listening to a normal reading, like a play.
Kajiwara: When I saw the video of “A Walk” in “Black Clover”, it was an immeasurable feeling. I’m really happy to be able to sing the ending of the work that I was first given a named role under my own name. There are also a lot of songs that I really like. I thought it was very moving to hear the song I sang along with the credits.
Kajiwara: What is called “Michishirube?” I think that the way of life that makes Michishirube comes from creations such as manga and movies. Music is one of them. I grew up being touched by such creations, and there were many opportunities for me to think through them, so I wondered if I had a clear goal of what direction I wanted to go in, and what kind of person I wanted to be. I think.
Who taught you the most about your artist debut? Are you Junichi Suwabe? Kajiwara: I knew about it even before my debut was officially decided (laughs). Suwabe-san was a big senior in Black Clover and in the office, and I’ve been indebted countless times. When Watanabe-san went to the office, he happened to hear that “My artist debut may be decided”, and after that, every time I met him at the post-recording site, he would ask, “Did you finish the song? How did you feel?” We received comments on our debut, but next time we meet, I’d like to hear directly about your impressions of the song!