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QUEEN OF POP!! I will continue to sing

Being an artiste is not about responding, but about designing one’s own life. During the production of album 「Party Queen」, ayu predicted her own future, rediscovered the meaning of the “love” and “pain” within herself, and promised only one thing: to continue to sing. This is ayu as modern pop art.




No matter who turns up, search for a place to call your own. That’s my party!

Ayu’s lives have always been tightly linked to the current times and era. For example, last year’s 「POWER of MUSIC」 tour. On a round centrestage, with the usual band members, strings orchestra and brass ensemble, a simple organic set was established. On that stage, ayu sent out “prayers” with her songs. And with the 3days of Countdown Live last year, the original 「~HOTEL Love songs~」 from before the disaster was revisited. The hotel created by ayu beckoned to everyone, with a vivid gorgeous show that invited all to let loose and have fun. With these 2 totally different lives, ayu has proven beyond doubt her prowess as a live artiste, all while she was going through a major break-up in her personal private life. Changing times, unpredictable fate. ayu overcomes all these and releases her 13th concept album, titled 「Party Queen」. From rock, electro, pop, jazz to ballads, the album is filled with songs of many genres. However, the lyrics talk of “love”, “tears”, “pain” and “beauty”, at a level deeper than she’s ever done before.

“This is the first time I’ve written lyrics for an entire album all at one go. Normally, I would be bogged down by the process of songwriting, but this time, I just felt that I wanted to make more. We even had a discussion about making the album into a 2-CD affair. So songwriting wasn’t a problem this time, but it was tough trying to get all the songs to link together well.”

After the 「POWER of MUSIC」 tour, ayu started working on producing the new songs. Everything was still in the early stage of production when Countdown Live came about, and the title song 「Party queen」 was first revealed, giving a hint of the concept of 2012’s 「~HOTEL Love songs~」 tour. It seems as if the tour would have an entirely different feel altogether, with emphasis on a hotel of amusement.

“I wanted to create a hotel which everyone could enjoy, regardless of your age or whichever era you come from. You can come with your family, your friends, your lover, or even alone. You’ll be able to find your own room, a place to call your own, and everyone can join in the party. You may not know the person sitting next to you, or anyone else in the audience for that matter, but everyone staying over at the hotel are comrades, feeling the same emotions. That’s the kind of space I want to create.”

Majestic choruses, call & response, dimly-heard children’s chorus in the background; the new songs this time are especially thick and complicated in terms of song arrangement and composition. Even the production process is different from the usual, with the melodies, lyrics and arrangement all being done at the same time.

“Usually, I lose myself to the melody and arrangement, and the lyrics would then come to me. This time, however, I wanted to start writing the lyrics first. It was only after I had them out, did I start requesting for specific melodies and arrangements. I played a large part in deciding the direction of the songs this time.”

Listening to the album, several phrases jump out and pierce deep into one’s heart. No matter how old we get, we are always troubled by love. We need to accept pain, no matter how hard it may be, and continue to progress. The meaning of love has probably changed for ayu herself too. Listening to the new songs seems to give one a natural insight into her personal thoughts and opinions regarding the recent changes in her private life.

“When I was immersed in the production process, it never really registered in my mind. However, when it’s all done and I gave it a listen, I think I realized what the future held for me. At that time, I didn’t have the courage to make the final decision, and was troubled by questions like “Should I live this way?” and “What should I choose?”. But the answers to all these questions have always been inside me. So I myself was a little frightened when listening to these songs I made. (bitter laugh) The same thing for the PVs. Watching them now, I realized that I had already made my decision long ago.”

With that, the album was created, and a strong wish to “continue singing from now till forever” was formed…

“Listening to this album and watching the upcoming live, I’m sure that everyone will understand my need to continue singing and performing.”

Life, as transcient, busy and dazzling as a party, playing as music. For ayu, this way of living may just be an art in itself.




Ayu’s Deji Deji Diary Vol. 139 April

PAGE 26:

Cheers ♪ Cheers~♪ How is everyone doing~? Of course, as the days get warmer, does everyone feel like making merry this season? Just basking in the sunlight gives me a power-up charge, and my heart feels all happy too~ So, for this issue of Deji Deji, we have off-shots from the photoshoot for the new LANDS of Eden advertisement. I’ve also changed my hair color to a spring pink, and everything felt so fresh and it was all really fun ♪ The photos we took also reflected the happy aura we had on location, as I’m sure it will turn out wonderful, so do look forward to seeing it~ ♡

Top Right: I love this coordination ♡ I made alterations to the T-shirt and denim shorts myself ♪ Everyone, have fun altering your clothes to fit your own style. By the way, the thing holding my hair back is actually a belt ♡

Middle Right: I love this coordination too! I like the texture of the skirt and shirt~ (sparkle) Makes me want to go to Greece. (laugh)

Bottom: It’s photographer Leslie. This year has been full of Leslie and Ryan. XOXO ♡

PAGE 27:

Top Right: Suke-san and Gori are fixing my hair so that it flows nicely. I think they’re trying to make the scarf flutter as well. (laugh)

Middle Right: Oh, I love this coordination too. Guess I love everything ♡♡ My hair and scarf are fluttering perfectly and beautifully here ♪

Bottom right: Happy ♡ Happy ♡ LANDS OF Eden ♡ Ayu ♡