If there’s one way to best describe Japanese singer May’n, she is “somebody who calls up a storm,” both literally (typhoon "Karen" nearly caused her concert in the Philippines to be cancelled) and figuratively (her songs are mostly under the rock genre). With her commanding presence as she rocks out to all those high notes, fans are definitely treated to her intense energy every time she takes over the stage.
Starting her singing career at the age of three, May’n has long dreamed to be an all-around performer, with Japanese singer Namie Amuro as her inspiration. Amuro is best known for being the Japanese version of Janet Jackson and Madonna. May’n has joined several singing contests, but her role as the singing voice of Japanese anime Macross Frontier’s Sheryl Nome, was the one that brought her to fame.
A space drama anime, Macross Frontier tells a story of a human colony in search of a habitable planet. In the series, Sheryl Nome plays the role of a pop idol singer, who despite the multiple setbacks she has faced, managed to be a successful idol singer on her own in the end.
“I thought that it would be a challenge, but it opened up my popularity abroad, so it definitely changed my life,” May’n said through her translator. She added that she also credits music composer Yoko Kanno for making her realize her true potential as a singer. She explained that it is Kanno that encouraged her to do songs with high tones, a characteristic May'n is more known for these days.
Eight years since her pivotal role in Macross Frontier, May’n has a list of dreams that became a reality, such as her first solo concert, performing at Japan’s Budokan (a go-to place for most rock acts), and doing her first world tour. “I didn’t dream that I can do these things, and it was like one dream after another coming true,” May’n shared.
We got to know more about her in a group interview last October 16, hours before her first concert in the country at the Animax Carnival Philippines 2016, and here’s what we found out...
On the kind of anime show she wants to make music for: While she is known to make music for anime shows that involve fighting and being strong, May’n hopes to make music for anime shows that tackle success stories, similar to her role in Macross Frontier. “I would like to work on a show where the girls (or someone’s dream) comes true, like a Cinderella story,” she said.
On what she learned after being part of the industry for over 10 years: “There is not a big difference in terms of music and performances in and out of Japan.”
On how she would describe her live performances: “My performances are more like watching a colorful musical, as I show different sides of me.”
On the foreign artists she looks up tp: Aside from looking up to Madonna and Janet Jackson, May’n mentioned Adam Lambert and Jessie J as two other foreign performers she admires. What she likes about them? Lambert’s sexy performances, and Jessie J’s soulful singing.
On cosplaying: Even if May'n has sung for several anime shows, May’n has never cosplayed, but is open to trying it. “Since Sheryl (Nome) is very sexy, maybe one day,” she laughingly said.
On the best thing about her job: "Not just me singing but of course my fans are with me, so it becomes another thing entirely. I also get to make a lot of new friends every time I have a concert."
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Banner photograph by Norman Lleses for Animax Philippines.