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Yummy Ayumi Hamasaki

With the explosive A-Nation concert opening here this weekend, Weekender attended the press conference with hot Japanese pop icon Ayumi Hamasaki. Dressed in a glittering black-and-gold dress that looked fresh off a Givenchy runway, Ayumi talks to us about her line-up, competition from K-Pop idols, and her school days.

Ayumi started off the conference on a high note (not literally) with her friendly shout-out to the media: “I’m so glad to be here! Actually this is not the first time for me (being in Singapore). It was 12 years ago… A lot of places have changed, and I’m really enjoying my stay (so far)!”

Ayumi Hamasaki at an a-nation concert in Japan
Ayumi Hamasaki at an a-nation concert in Japan

What can fans look forward to at your a-nation performance?

I will sing new songs from my latest album, Colours, and of course I will sing older songs as well. I hope everyone will enjoy… I hope they will make great memories at a-nation!

You have very strong sense and control over your artistic style. How do you balance staying true to your own style, and keeping up with the evolving J-Pop and K-Pop scene?

I always get inspiration about how I want to be in my lyrics and my image. So I don’t really care if it’s trendy or not. That’s my style.

What was Ayumi Hamasaki like in her school days? Can you share tidbits from your school life?

I wasn’t a girly girl. I was – I am! – a tomboy. Also, I kind of liked to be alone. I don’t know if you guys know this, but I quit high school early, and that is really one of the regrets of mine. I want to say to all students out there to just enjoy and to not give up.

Do you have a message to tell your adoring fans in Singapore?

Thank you for waiting for me (for) so long! I really want (you all) to enjoy my show in a-nation Singapore.

Have you ever thought of quitting the music industry?

Quit? Well… If I really wanted to quit, then I would have already done it! That’s my character… I just can’t picture the life without the music!

a-nation is a hugely successful music festival held annually in Japan

 Can fans look forward to a solo concert in Singapore soon?

Of course, I would love to (have one)! I hope we can make it happen!

Which Western artists would you love to collaborate with?

This question was initially skipped, but Ayumi happily piped up: I would like to try new things… Whatever, if it’s fun or interesting, I’ll do it!

Any future plans for you?

I will release a winter ballad in December, and I just announced my live countdown, which we will do (for) three days as usual. It’ll be fantastic! After that, we’ll see! Watch the a-nation Singapore teaser here:

By Pamela Chow