Known for her cute sass and healthy image, Kiwako Ashimine was first introduced to western music via the foreign radio channels broadcasted from the American military base. In 2015, she participated in The 8th Music Revolution Japan Final, one of the largest music competition in the country organised by the Yamaha Group, and was presented both the Grand Prix and Audience-Favourite Awards. Soon after, Kiwako embarked on regular appearances in local news and quickly became an Okinawan media darling. Here for the Japan Park Singapore event, we speak to her about the journey so far and what she was looking forward to in Singapore.
It has been 3 years since you took part in the “The 8th Music Revolution Japan Final”, how has the journey been so far?
I was still a high school student back then, and I came out with the album, TROPICAL GREEN. Right now I am in university and trying to show a new side of myself. I tried a lot of different genres of music back then, but now I have a better idea of my musical direction and would want to pursue it further.
Who were your early musical influences and why?
It’s Bruno Mars and he’s the reason why I joined the contest.
If there one artist or band you would like to collaborate with, who would it be and why?
Bruno Mars definitely someday. There’s also a dance group called Ameno Parade, because I like their songs, lyrics and how they present themselves. I would also like to collaborate with Flume, I really like how he produces his music, and hopes one day he will use my voice for his music.
What’s next for you after your mini album TROPICAL GREEN?
I am working towards my major debut and then on get more people to recognise my voice and know me as an artist.
Is there anything you are looking forward to for your trip to Singapore for Japan Park SG?
I am very interested in Singaporeans’ perception of Japan and I will walk around to see how Japan is being presented overseas. I am also looking forward to taking a lot of great photos and eating good food, especially Chicken Rice.
Kiwako Ashimine also performed a few songs at the Omakase Stage on Saturday evening and not only was her command of English good, her rendition of Maroon 5’s Map was spot on. Thank you for your time and performance, we hope to see you again in Singapore and perhaps the organisers can also bring to you try Durian and Chili Crab.
Photos courtesy of Japan Park Singapore
By Kenneth Wong
© POPCulture Online 2018