The scenery has changed. Miyu Irino will release his third full-length album since his 2006 “Dare to Dream”. This work, titled, “Life is…”, has become a work of positive and gentle songs that sing about life! Irino: I want to make happy and fun songs.
In the first half of this year, the entertainment industry was greatly affected by the spread of COVID-19. Irino-san also had his live tour and stage performances cancelled, but he was energetically moving, such as delivering an online live “UUU Mini Live” for a week only. Irino: I’ve been wanting to try it since before, but I haven’t had the time to try it, so now is the time to do it, which is 24 June, the 1st anniversary of my artist debut! I had a challenge. I cam up with this suddenly, so I am truly grateful to the staff team who prepared it so quickly.
And in August, there was news about the release of your 3rd album “Life is…”, November 4th is a bit ahead, but I’m really looking forward to it. Irino: My 3rd album has been produced little by little over a year. It was last summer that the concept was born. There are many big incidents and unpleasant news around me, and I want to make a simple and gentle work! The concept of the album was decided here.
Specifically, how did the production start? Irino: It all started with me making a list of artists and creators that I wanted to write lyrics and compose. There are various members who have made music together so far, and people who are nice to meet you, but this time there was no song selected in the competition, and all of them were produced while communicating with the creator. It became a luxurious album. All new songs are newly written.
Now, in no particular order, I would like to ask you about the songs. First “Datte Ai Wa Hanpa Nai Janai”, is a bright party tune. Irino: I made it with the goal of showing it at last year’s live tour “TEN”. It’s one song that decorates the album’s last, but it’s the first song that was completed. Shimizu Kohei-kun, who previously made the song “High Five”, wrote, composed, and arranged this song.
The sound with brass and chorus is fun, and the lyrics are full of playfulness. Irino: It’s not about meaning or reason! “It’s kind of fun!” is the theme. The part where “Africa and Agartha are within reach” came about when Shimizu-san asked, “Irino-san, where do you want to go now?
I know Africa, but where is Agartha? Irino: It is a fictional underground kingdom. It’s an old legend, but it also appears in Makoto Shinkai-san’s “Children Who Chase Lost Voices”. The lead song “Jitsu ni soso” is a return to basics.
There are three new songs written by Irino-san. One of them is the album’s lead track, “Tashikini soda desu.” Irino: This song was written by Saeki youthK, who I’ve known for a long time. I talked about going back to the starting point of the first song I made with him, “Mi hatenu sekai, tsunagaru omoi”, and going beyond that to create an emotional song. I wrote down the themes and ideas for the song, asked them to make it based on that, and after that we had many discussions about the details.
It’s a song about the positive feelings of growing up through experience, and it’s the theme of the album itself. The chorus that sings “Bokura kawatta yo”, anyway, it’s catchy and stays in your ears. Irino: I thought again that Saeki-kun is a wonderful melody maker. There are times when people around me says various things, but he wants to live by expressing what he finds fun and what he believes in, so I made this song while talking with him. In the end, we added a part that everyone could sing together, and it became a song that could be enjoyed live.
There’s also a lyric that says, “Tashika ni keshiki wa kawatta nda”. Irino: That’s right. I wasn’t conscious of it, not just this song, but strangely enough, it sounds like I’m singing about the current situation.
That’s why it’s a song with universality. What kind of song was the second lyric song “Doshiyo mo naku tsurai yoru wa”? Irino: I asked Sho Wada-san of Triceratops to compose the music, but I tried to be pulled by the demo that conveys the direct emotions that only a singer-songwriter can do, and to be straightforward and honest. I wrote the lyrics while facing this song and myself.
What about the 3rd ballad song “Yasashi-sa wa dare no tame ni aru ndarou”? Irino: First, I wrote the lyrics, and based on that, singer-songwriter Nikii wrote the melody. I asked them to make adjustments to fit the finished melody, and from there I added some more details to the nuances… and so on. It may sound like a love song, but that’s not what I chose as my theme. I really want to do this, but I can’t do it, so I’d like you to interpret it freely and listen to it.
Other songs are really diverse and attractive writers are lined up. “Yuransen” was written and composed by Mega Shinnosuke-san, an artist born in 2000. Irino: Mega-kun has a song that I really like, so I asked him to do something similar to that. It’s funk-like and the guitar cutting makes it a pleasant song.
According to him, the lyrics were reconstructed from what he wrote in high school. Irino: “Tokyo” by Kai Takahashi (Lucky Tapes) is an urban number with a feeling of floating. Kai-san was a newcomer to me, and I gave him a list of words I had written and asked him to compose and write the lyrics using that as a hint.
What kind of words did you wrote specifically? Irino: Sometimes someone said something that made you feel bad, and you don’t want to be that kind of person and don’t want to be deceived. I wrote things like I don’t want to live in a world where people who do things get better.
When I listened to it, I felt that it started with negative emotions and was purified. Irino: It’s a song with a gentle and sophisticated world view that only Kai-san can put out. I intentionally tried to make the vocals loose, but it was difficult because I had never done it before.
“Alive” was written and composed by Taichi Mukai (composed jointly with Celsior Coupe). Irino: This is the second time with Taichi-kun, following “Freedom”. I also told Taichi-kun what I was thinking and asked him to make it into a song. It’s a slow and emotional song.
In “M-9/10”, which became an album that sang life through one piece, you also challenged rap. Irino: I like rap, but when I was worried about whether I could do it, the staff suggested it. I imitated the provisional song by Rache and Mamiko, who wrote the lyrics, and sang it.
The lyrics were also heart-warming about a date at movie theatre. And the characteristic sound was the electric dance number “Sunny Sid Story.” Irino: I asked Yonesaki Tsuno-san of the rock band Akai Kouen, and she came up with an unexpected song. It has a piercing brightness, and it has become one of the most unique and impressive songs in this album.
“S.H.E.” written and composed by Deco*27 was also a happy tune as the title suggest. Irino: He made this song with the theme of “Everything is good if the end is good.” While it has an 80’s feels to it, it’s a song filled with the goodness of Deco*27. It’s an album that fully demonstrates the individuality of the writers, including additional recorded songs.
Lastly, please tell us your thoughts on the title “Life is…” Irino: This album was made while thinking about what would make me happy. When I thought that everyone who listens to this album would have their own way of life, the title “Life is…” came to mind so that I could freely continue the words afterward. It’s an album that I really want many people to listen to, so I can’t wait for its release.