Dream Collaboration: Grand-Prix Cosplayer asameaco and a Vocaloid Pioneer
I never thought I had such an encounter
You may remember asameaco from a previous article in which we introduced her as the winner of the general category in the 2020 Cosplayer of the Year Contest. In addition to being a stellar cosplayer, she’s also embarking on the path to becoming a singer! She recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund her new endeavors, which she calls an “experience”.
Rather than just listening to the music, she wants you to feel it, like a punch to the solar plexus or a blast to your eardrums. She wants to make music with lots of vibrations that you can sense with your whole body.
In fact, the music she featured in her crowdfunding campaign is actually a collaboration she did with the pioneer of vocaloud music, Utsu-P!
Utsu-P began his career in June of 2008. He’s an expert at making rock music with screams and growls–which is typically hard to do with vocaloids–and using low-tuned guitars to complement catchy lyrics and melodies.
We had the opportunity to interview both asameaco and Usu-P together. Vocaloid fans and cosplay fans will definitely want to tune in!
Anxious interview begins
To start with, Utsu-P, what did you think about asameaco, a cosplayer, making music?
Utsu-P: “Cosplay is just one facet of a person’s talents. For example, they can sing, and they can cosplay. I don’t think they’re fixed to one genre of self-expression.”
I see. On the other hand, asameaco, did you know about Usu-P, having sung vocaloid songs before?
asameaco: “Of course! I was raised on Nico Nico videos as a kid. At one time there was this trend of turning the Heart Sutra into a song, and lots of different artists had it on their home page. I found Usu-P because of his ‘Hard Core Heart Sutra’.”
As expected of two people at the top of their respective hobbies. After this, though, the conversation turned a bit unusual.
Utsu-P: “Idols and cosplayers are people, right? But if I only feature people in my music, it’ll get boring. So I try to use cicadas and stuff too.”
What an artist…
Utsu-P’s Impression of asameaco as a Singer
Two people who came together through acquaintances to make the dream team–it’s like a miracle meeting! So when Usu-P heard asameaco’s music for the first time, what did he think?
Utsu-P: “I thought she was really good. She has a clear and strong voice, which I thought really suited her image.
Huh? You thought this gentle-looking girl would have such a strong and thick voice?
Utsu-P: “I see her as more of a cool girl than a cute girl. For the crowdfunding song, I wanted something with more power than cuteness, since it’s a such a dynamic song. I think it’s a cool song because it puts out so much power.”
That’s true. Usu-P’s rough arrangement is the perfect accompaniment to asameaco’s clear voice.
First Impressions of the Song
The song was made with the highly popular vocaloid software known as Vocalo-P, but it’s also a song made by Usu-P, who’s established himself as a creator of loud, heavy, rough, and emotional music. What did asameco think when she heard the song?
asameaco: “Immediately I thought, ‘This song is hard…’ The lyrics are arranged in such a way that they don’t sound like Japanese, even if they are.”
Utsu-P: “I could see that. The lyrics in heavy rock are supposed to be rhythmic and focus on the sense of language. To be honest, it’s easier to apply English lyrics to them instead of Japanese. But I also want to make songs with meaning in Japanese, so I wanted to make it so that the singer didn’t get trapped in pronouncing each word, and instead broke it up into rhythms that felt right.”
asameaco: “Exactly! It’s such a difficult song. I also noticed the vocaloid elements in it.”
So then you moved on to recording the song. Was there anything you had in mind for the song as the vocalist?
asameaco: “This is actually only my second time in a recording studio. I don’t like to break songs into little bits as I record them. I’d rather sing the whole thing…but this one was really hard. I used a lot of physical strength, so the director took pity on me and gave me breaks. (laughs)”
Yes, this was nothing like a YouTube cover. This was a true “song” for asameaco. Originality was required in every aspect, including the way she sang, her interpretation of the song, and how she conveyed it. And on top of that, it’s a song by Usu-P. She probably thought she needed to put her all into it!
Thoughts on Crowdfunding
The song was finished, and you launched into crowdfunding. How do you feel now?
asameaco: “Crowdfunding is, to me, a tool of my dreams. All of the wonderful people who are gracious enough to like me come together and support me. That’s why I really want to make it happen.”
Utsu-P: “I think the key to success is setting up a sense of excitement. While the final result might be to raise money, but I think a lot of people support it because of that sense of being a part of a celebration, because of the excitement of it.”
Striving to Live as a Singer
Though asameaco has already risen to the top of the cosplay world, she’s only just taken her first steps as a singer.
Utsu-P: “This is my personal opinion, but I think cosplayers and singers look at themselves differently. I don’t know about cosplayers, but for singers, it’s important to be able to convey themselves through the music. So I would love to see her do her best to conduct herself in way that brings out her inner richness.”
asameaco: “Got it! Singing is something I always wanted to do. I want to really come face to face with the music, and show a side of myself that’s different from my cosplayer side!!”
Having participated in this conversation, we felt deeply touched to have the chance to watch the future of these two artists blossom. We’re fans waiting for the next song that will shake us to our very souls!
Definitely check out asameaco’s crowdfunding campaign!
Nico Nico Videos: goo.gl/oocln
Having started an advertising production company in 2010 whose main business partner is a mail order company, he specialises in direct response advertising