Yu Hayami reveals how she became independent from her agency and secret stories from her idol days
Special Interview: On the 40th Anniversary of Her Debut, Eminent Showbiz Synchronizers Include Akina Nakamori, Kyoko Koizumi, Iyo Matsumoto, Hidemi Ishikawa, and Many More Secret Stories That Can Only Be Told Now
Universal Music was located in Harajuku (Shibuya Ward), which was bustling with young people. Singer and TV personality Masaru Hayami (56) appeared in a scheduled interview room with staff members.
Raised abroad as a child, she graduated from Sophia University and was a pioneer bilingual idol and active in the world of English education. When she took off her mask, a mouth full of spilling white teeth, often seen on TV, appeared.
As of this past August, Hayami became independent from the agency to which she had belonged for more than 20 years.
She said, “My manager, who had been in charge of me for 40 years since my debut, even after I moved to another agency, passed away last year from cancer. I thought about it a lot and decided it was the right time to go independent.
Today, music from the 1980s is enjoying a boom among young people. Hayami’s songs are also being sung by young artists.
I saw a member of Nogizaka46 singing my song “Nancy in Summer Colors” on a late-night TV show. It was kind of strange, but for them, it’s not a nostalgic song or anything. It must be a nice song to listen to in a normal way. Maybe it’s the catchy melodies and the thickness of the live sound represented by Mr. Kyohei Tsutsumi that is fresh. It’s like young artists are inspired by the essence of ’80s music, or new songs are sampled from that era, and even though they are hearing the music for the first time, they seem to have a nostalgic impression.”
The “Flower ’82s” are still good friends…
Hayami debuted as an idol singer in April 1982 with the single “Hurry! Hayami made her debut as an idol singer in April 1982 with the single “Hurry Up! Her classmates included Akina Nakamori (57), Iyo Matsumoto (57), Kyoko Koizumi (56), Hiroko Mita (56), Hidemi Ishikawa (56), and Chiemi Hori (55). They are known to be good friends even today.
They were called the “Hana no ’82 group,” and they are still known as good friends today. We saw each other many times a day, from morning to night, so we naturally became good friends. Even now, I often go out to eat with everyone. The other night, I had dinner with Iyo-chan and others at an Italian restaurant in Aoyama. What did we talk about? I am often asked, but I don’t really remember what we talked about. Before I know it, four hours have passed (laughs).
I asked him to tell me a secret story from his idol days that he can talk about now.
I asked her, “Well, I don’t have much to tell you that will meet your expectations. ……. One day, a boy who was a singer of my generation secretly handed me an album backstage and said, ‘Listen to my new album. When I went home and listened to it, I found a phone number written in the corner of the lyric card that said, “Please call me. And of course, there was more than one letter, etc. ……”
Those were the days when all we had were landlines and so-called “appliances”. So did he try to call?
He said, “Well, I didn’t. ……. Oh, but I might have (laughs). The name of the person on the other end? There’s no way I can tell you that (laughs).”
On October 12, he will release a three-disc album, “Affection,” to commemorate the 40th anniversary of his debut.
The first two discs are a collection of singles from the past. Disc three is a collection of songs from NHK’s “Minna no Uta” (Everyone’s Song) and in response to requests from fans on SNS. The third disc contains rare songs from NHK’s “Minna no Uta” and anime inserts, as well as three new songs in response to requests from fans on social networking sites. Our two daughters are currently in college in the U.S., but they have joined us for one of the songs, and the three of us wrote the lyrics and sang together.
In November, she is scheduled to appear on stage in a musical, but the NHK Kohaku Uta Gassen (Red and White Singing Contest) at the end of the year is of more interest to her. There are rumors that Hayami and the other members of the “1982 group” will perform at the year-end “NHK Kohaku Uta Gassen” (Red and White Singing Contest).
I’d rather hear about it myself (laughs). Well, they don’t announce it until right before the event. I’ll be happy if it happens.
With that, she gave us the smile of yesteryear.
FRIDAY” October 14, 2022 issue
PHOTO： Takehiko Kohiyama