Having graced the stage at AFA Indonesia 2014, the duo of Maria and Toku, better known as GARNiDELiA, set their sights towards the sunny little island of Singapore. Here to perform at AFA Singapore for the first time, alongside their peers from the Aniong industry, GARNiDELiA sits down to have another chat session with our team, talking about their music, their personal lives, and how they set to differentiate themselves from the rest of the Anisong groups.
It is your first time performing in Singapore. How do you feel?
MARiA: Since it is our first time here, I feel nervous. I am specially nervous at places where we have never performed before but I am really excited and looking forward to see all of the audience and their expressions during our concert. I am curious on how they think about our songs and how they would react to it.
For now, you already have 3 Singles. What kind of genre is GARNiDELiA’s music made of?
MARiA: GARNiDELiA genre. (laugh)
toku: I think there aren’t really any genre classifications for anime songs. The genre is Animation music itself.
MARiA: It consists of Rock, Electric, HipHop, R&B and also a bit of every artist’s styles. So it is not that there isn’t a genre classification but more like we do not follow it.
toku: If there is a chance to create a genre called GARNiDELiA, then that would be good.
You have sang theme songs for the anime “Gundam: G no Reconguista”. Is there any Gundam series which you like?
toku: I really like the original Gundam. It’s just nice that I am 36 years old this year , and Gundam is celebrating it’s 35th anniversary. Because there isn’t much difference between my age and their anniversary, I was really happy to be able to write this song.
Which part of Singapore have you been and is more to your liking?
MARiA: Because I haven’t really been to other places before, I really want to go visit Marina Bay Sands and see the pool. And also, when we passed by Orchard Road today I saw a pink unicorn. It is very cute.
Is there any artists that influence your fashion and the way you dress?
MARiA: For me, it is not artists or a specific artist that influence my fashion or the way I dress. Basically, I read a lot of fashion magazines, keep myself up to date on the fashion world from different fashion labels and also, I see a lot of fashion collections around the world, issues of spring and summer collections. From there I will look over the designs and study them use sketch out my design before consulting with my fashion consultants.
Is there any Gundam that you wish to ride on?
toku: A Gundam that I would pilot, hmm…
MARiA: Guess it has to be the G-Self. (laugh)
When you compose your songs, where do you get your inspiration from?
toku: For anime songs, usually we will get an ‘order’ (request from director of the anime) then I will read the script and start composing and producing. For my own songs, I get my inspiration when I am showering.
When you are composing, do you take Maria’s opinion and advice into consideration?
toku: Basically, when we are making songs, both me and Maria will go to the studio and discuss together. After completing a certain part of the song, we will discuss about it. For example, the parts where we would want to change the melody, tempo and so on. We also take into consideration on how it would be like when it is sung and other details as well.
How did It feel when you were given the chance to work on the theme song of G-Reco, and how was it working with director Tomino?
toku: It wasn’t in our plans to do it. The staff let us participate in a competition and Director Tomino took a liking to our music . Under normal circumstances, the animation theme song producer does not meet with the director at all. But Tomino-san said he wanted to work with us on the song. We were really nervous as in the Japanese animation industry, his existence is like a God.
MARiA: Director Tomino can be scary at times yet gentle. He is also a very dedicated man. For example, when I was writing the lyrics he would advise me on some parts should be written like this or this can be different. It took me a month just to write the chorus! The authors and creators also took about a month to discuss with Tomino for just a minor part.
Aside from working together as GARNiDELiA, both of you have personal activities as well. How do you manage your time to fit into all this?
MARiA: Basically we are not very well managed either. Most of the time, we are very frustrated and troubled. The situation is similar like those who are rushing their work in the eleventh hour. So usually, when this happens, it depends on the momentum.
toku: Like, the day before yesterday?
MARiA: Like, the day before yesterday, we just finished recording our music album. Upon completion, we got on the flight the very next day to Singapore for the concert.
Congratulations on your first album! How do you feel about it?
This year we released 3 singles. For me, I think that releasing 3 singles after debuting for a year is a very fast progress. We were able to release the main album because we are really anticipating to meet everyone. We want to meet with animation fans, fans around the world, and Singapore fans. It is a year full of anticipation and excitement to meet everyone. I wanted to put all these feelings together and make it into a big wheel and hence our album, ‘Linkage Ring’.
What do you think is special about GARNiDELiA compared to other Japanese animation song singers?
toku: I think hair colour? (laugh)
MARiA: Our music includes visual effects and our fashion, and how we heavily incorporate it with the music itself. For certain music, specific type of clothing is vitally needed. Because I personally think that clothing and music are one and they need each other to bring out the best performance.
toku: Maria is in charge of the fashion, while I am in charge of the music. If there is anything special or different about us compared to others, I think it would be our originality. Our music are allcomposed, lyrics, performed together and sung purely by us.
This year on Animax Music, you collaborated with Haruna Luna and sang “Only My Railgun”. Do you have any plans in the future collaborating with other artistes ?
MARiA: Flow !! Also, I would love to work with angela and fripSide who are male-female duos like us.
Is there anything about GARNiDELiA to look forward to next year?
MARiA: I think it would be our first album that we are offering. For song artistes, releasing an album is really a big step in their career and that is also for us as well. We add in our thoughts and efforts in all the 13 songs in this album so those who known us through animation songs will be able to enjoy it happily. Please look forward to our album.
What does anisong mean to the both of you?
MARiA: I think it something that can convey dreams and hope.
toku: Or it is just a symbol for the animation itself.
When you are active on NicoNico, what are your favourite works?
MARiA: I personally like all of it. Amongst all my covers, my deepest impression and memory would be “ARiA”. It is one of my first works and also one of the opportunities that led to the formation of GARNiDELiA. It is also where I got my stage name.
MARiA-San, write your own songs and design your own clothes. Do you have any plans in future in doing creative work such as writing songs for other artistes or creating your own brand?
MARiA: Actually, I am currently collaborating with a fashion label called “galaxxxy” which sells clothes I co-design with them. From today onwards, I want to continue making music and designing clothes. I have also plans in writing music for other artistes as well. (http://galaxxxy.joe-inter.co.jp/)
Where does your inspiration to design clothes come from?
MARiA: When I walk on the streets, I tend to observe people who dress well and then I would use colours and styles that I like and match them together. My body frame is a bit small so I would do research and find ways to dress up and make my clothes look good on small-sized people. I am sure in the fashion industry there are many small-sized people who are always troubled on how to look good and what kind of clothes would be suitable so, I want to be able to design clothes that are suitable for small size people. I also take inspirations from the character designs of various anime.
Have you held any domestic concerts in your country?
MARiA: Actually, even though GARNiDELiA is based in Japan, the Singapore concert is actually our first solo live. For this performance, we made our costumes by ourselves. We used pure white color and also special materials for our clothes. This is so that when we are standing on the big stage, everyone including audience from afar can see our movements.
Is there any artist whom you consider as your source of inspiration?
toku: If it is for GARNiDELiA, then it is a bit different. I often listen to songs by my favourite artists but when I write songs for GARNiDELiA, I want to write songs that MARiA can sing and so my source of inspiration for that is Maria herself.
Next time, would you make a CD collection of the songs you had before your debut?
MARiA: All those songs are very important to GARNiDELiA so of course, if we have a chance someday, I would like to put them all together in a CD.
Before your concert, what kind of preparation will you do?
MARiA: Usually before my concert, I will go for a run to exercise my muscles and rise my body temperature until I sweat. This will make it easier to sing and move around on the stage. Of course, I would also do that today before the concert.
toku: Well, I don’t prepare, I will just go on stage when its time.
That’s all we have for GARNiDELiA stay tuned for more from Ani-Culture.net !