Interview by DJ Greg Hignight (Tune in Tokyo)
November 5, 2015
FAKY has electrified global audiences with their fierce, unapologetic blend of Asian and Western pop. Their 2014 single “Better Without You” landed at No. 3 on Billboard’s Breakout for Hot Dance Club Play chart, and also ranked at No.49 on the Dance Club Play chart. The four-member J-Pop unit based in Tokyo is back with a fresh new look and sound with “Afterglow”, ”You” and ”Candy”. We had the opportunity to talk with members Anna, Lil’ Fang, Mikako and Akina as their new digital singles drop worldwide.
FAKY, welcome back! You’re releasing a new EP this fall. What can you tell us about the new songs?
Anna: Thank you all so much for the warm welcome. We’ve released three new songs so far that are all quite different from each other. “Candy” being a cute and playful pop song, “You”, which has a more grown up vibe and makes you wanna dance, and “Afterglow” which has a nice R&B groove with touching lyrics. You can listen to them on streaming systems like Apple Music, Line Music, and AWA in Japan so make sure you check them out!
You are known for strong choreography and high-energy dance moves. What can fans expect from your new performances?
Akina: The fans can expect a more aggressive hip-hop feel from the new choreography. There is more technique from urban hip-hop incorporated in our dances.
Does FAKY have a new identity? How would you describe FAKY in 2015?
Anna: To be honest, I feel like we used to try to appear edgy and strong. But now, we’re a little more relaxed and natural… more confident just being us.
Anna, what are your responsibilities in being the leader of the group? Has that changed since FAKY began as a group?
Anna: I’ve never really been the “leader “type of person. So with FAKY, instead of making decisions by myself, I like to talk it out with the members and make sure we’re all happy with what we’re doing.
This one’s for Lil’ Fang. You’ve been described as a “born entertainer”. What influenced you to explore your passion for performing, and what inspires you now?
Lil’ Fang: As I can’t tell someone what I really think honestly, I think I’d been looking for a way to do so. Then, I met music, especially, Japanese Hip Hop. I was so shocked by the lyrics that express what the artist thinks directly, and I still remember thinking this is music I can express myself with.
From there, I learned that singing a song is the way to express who I am, and it’s so natural. So I think music is the only way to express who I am and what I feel. I’m so happy if I can express to everyone what inspires me through singing.
Mikako, you’re known for your love of J-Pop, and of music from both Japan and the United States. FAKY is a part of both of these worlds. What are your hopes for FAKY in the international music scene?
Mikako: All of us in FAKY respect each other’s character, which are all quite different. I’m always excited when I listen to our new songs because of the ways our singing, feelings and vocals for each song are so unique. I’m eager to pursue music that only we, FAKY, can do. And I definitely dream about having our own world tour and want to see the overseas fans who always support us.
Akina, what are the challenges in being the newest member of FAKY? How did it feel when you first learned that you’d be joining the group?
Akina: The biggest challenge of joining the new FAKY was the pressure I had to overcome within myself. When I found out I was in the group, I was excited and nervous. I was excited because it was a new experience and I’ve always wanted to take my passion for dancing and singing to another level. But moving to Japan from America was a difficult transition. Luckily, the FAKY members and staff welcomed me and made me feel like a part of the family.
You have a lot of fans outside of Japan, and a strong following through social media. What message do you have for your English-speaking fans, and everyone around the world?
Akina: I want to thank everyone who has continued to support FAKY through its transition. We ask that you continue to support us, spread our name and music throughout the world. To our non-Japanese speaking fans, thank you for listening to our music and for supporting our specific genre that is different from the typical J-pop groups. We will work our hardest to give our fans what they deserve!
FAKY’s new singles will be available soon through iTunes in the United States.