You made your debut in Japan as a singer of anime songs in November 2020 with “Blue Rose Knows,” featured as the ending theme of the anime show By the Grace of the Gods. How did you feel about becoming an actual J-pop anime singer?
MindaRyn: Being able to sing my own original anime song was one of my biggest dreams, so I honestly didn’t expect it to come true. It really took me by surprise and made me happy, but at the same time, it scared me a bit and I also felt nervous. I felt a lot of things, actually.
Since then, you’ve released three songs on digital platforms every other month. Could you give us a bit of background on these releases?
My debut number was an anime ending theme, but the next three songs aren’t related to any anime works, so I was able to express original stories with them. The first two are love songs and all three are different in style, so I sang them in different ways. It was very challenging and fun, and I feel I was able to express my own style through them. I’d only sung anime songs before, so was happy to have my own original J-pop numbers. It turned out to be a great experience, a great challenge, and a wonderful opportunity.
Tell us about the story you expressed in “Kiss My Cheek.”
It’s a cute song, but the story is a bit sad and heartbreaking, about loving someone but not being able to be with them. I’m sure many people are currently experiencing something just like that, and I wanted listeners to know that this song was meant to stand by them.
What was your interpretation of the relationship between “you” and “me” in the song?
The reason isn’t clarified in it, but the lyrics describe a relationship where you’re in love but you can’t stay with that person. You miss them every day and you still love them, but you can’t be together. I’m sure everyone has experienced such emotions. Like, you want to be with someone, but maybe you’re better off not being together. It expresses the concept that sometimes it’s better to separate even though you both love each other.
The words “Oh my darling” that appear in the song rhymes with your name. [MindaRyn is pronounced “My-da-rin.”] Was that intentional?
I couldn’t ask the songwriter, Sachiko (FLiP), about it, but it’s probably a special coincidence. I originally chose this name because I liked the way it sounds like “my darling.” So maybe Sachiko put it there intentionally, but I don’t know for sure, so I’ll ask some time.
The accompanying music video is an animated spy-action story set in the near future. Could you tell us a bit more about it?
It’s a really artistic video, isn’t it? I couldn’t figure out the storyline when I first saw it, but as I watched it over and over again, I felt that it matched my song. My interpretation of the video is that the boy is an assassin who was hired to kill the singer, Mandarine. But he falls in love with her and helps her escape. He ends up being killed because he failed his mission.
So it’s about two people in love who can’t be together, like you said. Let’s move on to the second in the trilogy, “Be the One.” What’s your take on this rock-flavored number?
It also depicts a love story, but it’s more about someone who’s not very true to how they really feel. They’re in love with someone, but can’t tell that person yet.
The video features illustrations by Mari Koneko.
That character is so cute, isn’t she? Her hair is black on the outside and pink on the inside, just like me. It’s a cool video that fits the song’s rhythm and I think it’s really great.
Since we’re discussing love songs, could you share with your fans what your idea of an ideal relationship would be like?
My ideal relationship is one where the two become better people thanks to their partner. I guess this goes for all relationships and not just romantic ones, but I want to be able to support one another and share positive energy. Kind of like charging your smartphone. [Laughs] Being able to recharge one another, being able to support one another in tough situations is my ideal.
You recently dropped the final song in the trilogy, “Love My Friends.” What’s its theme?
This one isn’t about romantic love, and is more about wanting to become closer friends with everyone. I want to be friends with the people who listen to this song, and if I receive the same sentiment from them, it’ll be my source of power.
There’s a part in the lyrics where you sing that word “power” — “Your smile becomes my power to live,” for example — using Japanese pronunciation. Was there a specific reason for this?
I used both English and Japanese pronunciations for this song. For example, I sing the English phrase “I want to know a lot about you” using English pronunciation. That part you’re referencing, “the power to live,” mixes Japanese and English words to express a single sentiment, so I wanted the listener to take them in accordingly. I also thought that the phrase would carry more weight if I pronounced it as a single word, which is why I went with Japanese for the entire phrase.
As a singer, how do you wish to inspire listeners?
Like this song expresses as its theme, if someone is going through stuff at the moment, I hope that my song gives them power. I want to be a source of power for someone to overcome challenging and hard times. I hope people turn to my songs for inspiration. It’d be great if people who are feeling stressed or facing tough situations are healed by hearing my songs.
What’s your source of power, then?
The people who love me. When I encountered trouble as a YouTuber, my fans gave me their support. I never feel lonely because so many people have my back, and I always feel like someone will be there for me. My fans are my source of power.
Tell us a bit about the “Love My Friends” music video.
The most notable feature is that my actual movements were used in the animation. I sent some footage of myself shot in Thailand and they created the music video based on it. My face is in it, too, so it’s basically an animated version of me.
Do you have any other messages for your fans?
These three songs are all different in styles and stories, and I did my best to express each one with a lot of emotion. I hope you hear all three of them, and that my messages reach you all. Please listen to them, and listen to them a lot!
Lastly, could you share your future goals?
I want to sing all different kinds of anime songs. And not only anime songs, but also songs that I wrote myself. I’ve got a wonderful team of songwriters helping me out at the moment, but I’d love to try my hand at singing songs that I created on my own.
This story was originally published in Billboard Japan.