Since their debut in 2019, YOASOBI, consisting of Ayase and Ikura, has been making big moves in the J-pop scene. Their debut single, “夜に駆ける (Yoru ni Kakeru),” went viral on social media and remains one of their most popular tracks to date. From then on, the duo continued to create “music from novels” as their subsequent hits dominated the charts. Their latest single “Idol” broke the record for the most consecutive weeks at #1 on the Billboard Japan Hot 100 (currently at 18 weeks and still counting).
The duo’s list of accomplishments just keeps on getting longer as they’ve recently completed their first arena tour, appropriately titled 電光石火 (DENKOSEKKA) meaning “lightning speed,” to sold-out audiences in seven cities across Japan. They stepped foot into the international market when they participated in 88rising’s Head in the Clouds Music & Arts Festival in Jakarta and Manila before making their way over to LA for their first U.S. performance on August 6th. Their set generated a fervent response, with the crowd cheering and dancing along.
Before their scheduled appearance, Melodic Magazine had to chance to talk to YOASOBI about their U.S. festival debut, new music, and their work dynamics.
MM: You’ve been a part of HITC Jakarta, Manila, and now LA. How do you feel about having your first U.S. performance? How do you feel about meeting your U.S. fans?
Ayase: We’re really excited about it! It’s our first time in the States and we’re very happy to see everyone who’s been waiting for us.
MM: What was it like preparing for this performance? Do you have any pre-show rituals that you do?
Ayase: I did a lot of preparations before coming here. For instance, I would imagine myself on stage surrounded by fans and that would be my pre-show ritual.
Ikura: I generally do vocal warmups and, like Ayase, I would also imagine myself in front of the crowd.
MM: Your latest hit single “Idol” is sweeping up the charts like a storm! What was your reaction upon seeing its reception?
Ikura: I’m hyped about seeing all the positive reactions the song has been getting, not just in Japan but globally as well.
MM: How do you feel about the “Idol” dance challenge that’s been going viral on TikTok?
Ayase: I’m happy to see that a lot of people are enjoying our song! It was a pleasure watching all those dance challenges.
MM: Do you know the “Idol” dance moves?
Ayase and Ikura: We do!
MM: Your music draws inspiration from various novellas and short stories. What is something you want listeners to get out of when they listen to your songs?
Ayase: As you’ve mentioned, I wrote these songs based on stories. I would like listeners to enjoy the music itself but also read the stories and dive deep into the messages I wanted to convey.
MM: What is it like working together as a duo? How do you two collaborate and bring your ideas to life?
Ayase: It’s great working as a duo as we could share our ideas with one another and turn them into a productive song creation process. First, I write the lyrics and produce the melodies. Then, I entrust Ikura with bringing emotions into these songs with her vocals.
MM: Congratulations on completing your first arena tour in Japan! Do you ever plan on having a world tour one day?
Ayase and Ikura: Of course, we would love to one day! *nods in unison*
MM: What are some things you would like to accomplish for the rest of this year?
Ayase: We have several shows left in Japan so we want to focus on delivering those. There’s also new music that’s planning to be released soon so we hope fans could look forward to that. We want to finish this year off on a high note!
MM: Any last messages you would like to share with your U.S. fans?
Ikura: Thank you so much for listening to YOASOBI! We would like to work hard and deliver a bold year. We will continue expressing ourselves in our music so please keep supporting us!
This interview has been edited for clarity and conciseness.
Photos and words by Angela Leung