Translation of the Beijing Sohu Interview. Thanks to Kerahna for the translation!
Wakana: I’m Wakana.
Keiko: I’m Keiko.
Hikaru: I’m Hikaru.
Kalafina: Hello friends at Sohu, we are Kalafina.
Sohu Interviewer: Welcome Kalafina to Sohu. Is this your first time in Beijing? What are your impressions so far?
Wakana: Hi everyone, my first impression of Beijing after getting off the plane is that it’s so big, so expansive.
Keiko: My deepest impression is that so many of the high-rises have Chinese characters written on them, that’s a new sight that we can’t find in Japan.
Hikaru: Mm, the roads are really wide, this is pretty impressive.
Sohu: China is celebrating new year right now in the traditional calendar, can you send your new year greetings to Sohu web friends? [Kerahna note: In China, new year is celebrated for 15 days after the official new year day]
Wakana: Happy new year everyone. Because in Japan our new year is on January 1, it’s really interesting to be immersed in this Chinese tradition on our first visit here, I’m really glad.
Keiko: Happy new year everyone. In Japan for new years, Japanese people will make mochi at home, and make ozoni soup. I wonder what Chinese people eat for new years?
Hikaru: Happy new year everyone. I passed the new year by myself relaxing at home. Did anyone here do some travelling? Today in Beijing we noticed there are many many travellers at the airport, so there must by many people who have gone to visit overseas. Did everyone have fun?
Sohu: The three of you have always been singers. What kind of music do you like? How did you form this group?
Wakana: First we’ll talk about the circumstances in which we formed this group. We gathered together at first to create the theme songs for the anime movie series “Kara no Kyoukai”. As for my favorite kind of music, I like the calming type of music. Not only Japanese pop, I also like to listen to good music from other countries.
Keiko: I like songs with elegant melodies, and it doesn’t matter if it’s J-pop or rock or hip-hop. I really like the Japanese singer Yutaka Ozaki. He was the one that inspired me to become a singer.
Hikaru: I like to listen to J-pop and R&B. My favorite Japanese group is “Dreams Come True”, and as for overseas artists I like Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez.
Sohu: Why are you called Kalafina?
Wakana: We often get asked this question. In actuality, the name Kalafina doesn’t have any meaning at all. It has a nice melodic feel to it, and that’s why producer Yuki Kajiura chose this name.
Sohu: In addition to Kara no Kyoukai, you’ve also performed songs for many other animes. Do you watch anime yourselves? What do you focus on when performing anime songs?
Wakana: I like to watch anime and do it often. About singing anime songs, for example when I’m singing a Kara no Kyoukai song, I will sing while thinking about the movie. It’s the same when I’m singing other anime songs; I keep the anime in mind while singing to generate the emotion I need.
Sohu: Did you come to Beijing to promote your new single? Can you give us a brief introduction?
Wakana: This song is the opening song of the anime, Sora no Woto, called Hikari no Senritsu. It’s hard to tell from the CD cover, but it’s actually a really cheerful song. The three of us dance and sing really energetically, so we hope everyone will listen.
Sohu: Wakana is so lively, are you the leader of the group?
Wakana: (Laughs) This is the first time someone said that! There is no leader in Kalafina, but I generally talk more than everyone so I tend to talk the most during interviews as well.
Sohu: To get a better understanding of each of you, can you introduce yourselves?
Wakana: Like I just mentioned, I really like to talk! The other two really understand me and let me talk as much as I want during the MC segments of concerts. I think with my personality, I will never stop talking unless someone stops me. I hope everyone will kindly accept me.
Keiko: It’s so embarrassing to introduce myself. I am responsible for the lower notes when singing in Kalafina, and complement Wakana and Hikaru’s high voices. In albums, I tend to do the rock-ish kind of songs, and sing the kind of songs in concerts that give you a high. As for my personality, I guess I’m not afraid of strangers. Although I’m not as talkative as Wakana, I like to talk as well and am pretty lively. I think my weakness is that I get annoyed easily.
Hikaru: I am mostly responsible for soprano parts, and alto when we’re doing a three-part harmony. As everyone’s probably noticed, I’m relatively introverted.
Sohu: What plans do you have for this year? Do you want to develop into other areas?
Wakana: On March 17 we will release our second album, and we will be doing another tour in Japan in May and June. We are all looking forward to it.
Sohu: You’re holding a concert in Shanghai really soon. Can you leak to us your set list? Will you be singing Chinese songs?
Wakana: We’re looking forward to performing in Shanghai. Although we can’t speak Chinese, we hope that we can communicate to fans through our music. We worked really hard to memorize some greeting lines in Chinese, and hope to get some sort of response during the performance. We’re all really looking forward to it.
Sohu: Finally, please say a few words to Sohu web friends. We wish you success at your Shanghai concert.
Wakana: Hi everyone. We are really happy to be able to perform in China. We are really looking forward to everyone’s responses and hope we will have more opportunities to come to China and perform in Shanghai and other places as well. Please take care of us.
Keiko: Ni hao. This is our first Asia tour, and I’m really happy to be able to come to Beijing and perform in Shanghai. We are anxiously awaiting the responses from our Asian audiences. We feel so lucky to be able to come to China and perform. We will continue to do our best in Kalafina and hope for more opportunities to perform in China. Please support us.
Hikaru: Hi everyone. For this Asia tour, we will be performing in Shanghai, Taipei, and Hong Kong. I’m a little nervous for our first Asian tour, but we are looking forward to meeting all our fans. We will try our best to enjoy these wonderful times with everyone. Please take care of us.