This year Daisuke Namikawa celebrates his 10th anniversary as an artist. With the simultaneous release of the Music Clip Collection Blu-Ray Disc and the 7th single, what are your thoughts as you look back on your journey so far? I got a glimpse of the days of challenges and anguish that continue to be an entertainer. Namikawa: The MV shooting site 10 years ago was really hard!
With the release of Music Clip Collection, how about looking back at the MV again? Namikawa:After 10 years, you’re a different person (laughs’). However, the atmosphere of the shooting hasn’t changed much from the past, and I think I was able to relax in a good way even though I was nervous. Of course, things like leeway increased with each passing year. It was really hard at first!
It’s “Rock Star”, isn’t it? Namikawa: It was a shoot like Jigoku. It was a place I wanted to shoot someday, so I was happy that my little dream came true, but it wasn’t a suitable place for shooting. There are no restrooms, and filming takes a long time, and my hair grows, so I have to get a haircut in the middle (laughs). Now that I think about it, it was the second most difficult shoot.
Which MV was the hardest to shoot? Namikawa: It was “Akatsuki”. It was a location from 10pm and there was no toilet here either (laughs). It was cold and pitch black because we were shooting on a cliff. It turned out to be a realistic image, but with today’s technology it didn’t have to be on location. I wonder if I should have just aimed at the sunrise (laughs).
Namikawa-san has appeared in many video works, and he himself has taken the megaphone. Are those video works and MV’s still different things? Namikawa: It was completely different. I don’t have confidence as a subject, so I have no choice but to compete with the limited things, and it’s extremely difficult to convey with a video of just over 5 minutes. One of the good things about MV’s is that they are left to the imagination of the viewer. In the past, I used to ask in detail, “I want this kind of image”, but now I’m starting to ask the director what kind of image I want to shoot. Images are evolving rapidly, and many young directors are appearing, so I decided to take the plunge and hire a new 20-year-old director. I’m doing it with the stance of trying to get it.
Were there any MV’s that you had a hard time deciding on the concept? Namikawa: “Hurricane Rock Star” was a really tough fight. The only thing I could think of was that it would be impossible in terms of time and budget for a one-day shoot, and nothing was decided until two days before the shoot. In the end, it was a song that said, “It doesn’t matter what others say, just open up!” At that time, I must have been like that too (laughs). I wanted to encourage myself. I was scared to show my swing and needed courage.
The second work “Only Love” had a bright and pop atmosphere. Namikawa:In the practice scene of my confession, the director put in “I want to show the cute side”. I remember working hard to ad-lib. I would never do it now (laughs). I can’t think of the scene where I sprinkle water at the end now that I’m in my 40s! This is history (laughs).
In the following “UTAO”, you showed a completely different side from the rock image you’ve had so far. Namikawa: It was really scary to suddenly show the swing width. I have an image that laughter = fun, but I have to be cool when I’m cool, and I thought that if there was laughter, it wouldn’t be persuasive, and if I did that, the meaning of singing would be lost. From here on, it was a battle for me, and I struggled.
The next “Hand in Hand” makes sense between those swings. Namikawa: I think it was a lot of work. It’s not that “UTAO” has gone too far, but it’s hard to understand if you don’t show the directions properly to the people who support you. I made it while doing trial and error like that. It was the first time for me to make a drama as a video, and it was filmed on a cliff, but the makeup artist was afraid of heights and didn’t come to fix my makeup at all (laughs). “
“Jump Out Loud” was impressive with a huge speaker. Namikawa: As the title suggest, I proposed that the music video should use gimmicks to create a powerful image, with the theme of “flying and making noise”. The speaker was small at the beginning, but it grew to that size as I repeatedly said, “Make it louder!”
“Recollection” was a composition that intersects the monochrome present and the colour past. Namikawa: In terms of the melody and the lyrics, I asked him to take an image cut, saying, “I absolutely need a girl.” I like to connect the two worlds. In “Elevation” as well, I shot two scenes because I wanted to show that there is a dirty side behind the gorgeous world. In “My Treasure”, I am challenging the expression of incorporating another image into the image using a projector. I had a hard time with this because it was difficult to link to the video.
Are there any other MV’s that incorporates Namikawa-san’s tastes? Namikawa: In terms of video, I like images that use water, and I am drawn to the emotional smell of rain. That’s why I liked the water spray when I hit my shoes in the water with “Trising!” However, it is difficult to take pictures of water. It was difficult to get the image I wanted because I couldn’t retake the shot that much.
When it comes to water, it’s “Hiyake! Dancing”, and only Namikawa didn’t fall into the pool. Namikawa: I was completely determined to fall. However, the shooting order of the pool scene is the head, and if it falls, it will too much time to prepare for the next one. It was a fun shoot doing nothing but stupid things, but that was the only frustrating part. I think I was able to fall in a really good way (laughs).
“L’ Ambition” had a wonderful nostalgic atmosphere. Namikawa: This is a song written by Maayo Sakamoto-san. This album itself is a collection of songs written by me from everyone’s point of view, so I tried to make a video that expresses something like “I grew up like this” in the MV. I want to continue to give back to music and everyone.
And what kind of concept is the 7th single produced? Namikawa: Until now, things like “Because it’s my birthday” or “Because it’s my coming-of-age ceremony”. However, everyone told me that such anniversaries are also important, and she looked back. “What was the 10 years I’ve been doing?” At that time, since I’ve done a lot of cheering songs so far. I thought about making it with the theme of “The strongest cheering song” this time.
From the lyrics, you can feel the thoughts of the 10th anniversary of music activities. Namikawa: They’re all universal words, in a good way. What I’ve done is nothing special, and anniversaries will come naturally as time passes. I think that how much you cherish such ordinary things and how good you make them depends on various factors such as music and your own feelings.
Please tell us if there were any events or turning points that left an impression on you during your 10 years of music activity. Namikawa: Until now, I’ve never really thought, “I’m doing it because I enjoy it” or “I’m doing it for myself”. I just want to be an entertainer, so there were more things that I thought were painful. However, I think it’s true that there are people who say, “If the person isn’t having fun, it’s impossible to entertain them.”
Was it more difficult at first? Namikawa: That’s right. There was also the frustration of not being able to convey what I envisioned, and the finished product was different from what I imagined, but it was evaluated, and conversely, what I thought was good wasn’t evaluated that much. I’m often told that I’m honest, cheerful, and natural, but I have a surprisingly servile personality… I’m an entertainer with a negative power (laughs). That’s why I’m working while thinking that I want to give back to the music that healed those negative parts and to everyone who supported me. I’m thinking of going without changing.