Hakuzan’s Sister,” a substitute personality for Hakuzan Kanda, a storyteller who was absent from his show in Corona
The big event was a radio program of Hakuzan Kanda, a Japanese storyteller, last April on TBS Radio. Angelina 1/3, Hakusan’s younger sister, took over for Hakusan, who had been suspended due to a new type of coronavirus infection.
I am proud to call myself a ‘younger sister.
I am proud to call myself a “younger sister,” she says with a laugh.
A listener to a radio program on Radio Japan, where she was the main personality until last year, recommended Hakusan Kanda’s kodan (storytelling). After watching the video, “I couldn’t stop crying. I couldn’t believe such a wonderful world existed,” he recounted one day on the program. Hakusan finds out about it.
He said, “I can’t believe that a young girl with pink hair likes Kodan! and she seemed to find it interesting when she heard me on the radio as well.
After that, she told me on the show that she was my sister, so I asked her if I could call her my sister when I had the chance to perform with her in person. I asked her if I could call her my sister, and she replied, “Please use it a lot.
She has appeared as a guest commentator on “Sunday Japon” (TBS), “Ueda to Onna ga Barkaru Yoru” (Nippon TV), and “Odoru, Odoru, Sanma Goten! Sanma Goten! (Nippon TV), and other popular programs. With her trademark flamboyant pink hair as an icon, this 21-year-old is expanding her range of activities.
Her debut stage was at a large live house, LIQUIDROOM.
She is a “microphone performer” for the six-member girls’ band Gacharic Spin. The band was formed in 2009, but Angelina 1/3, a high school student, joined the band in February 2007.
The band’s bass player, F Chopper KOGA, saw her performing at a school festival and asked her if she would like to audition for a new member, which she did.
I was asked to join the band for a storytelling performance at a cultural festival, but I had no experience in music, so I had not mastered the basics at all (laughs). (Laughs.) I felt like I could just use my energy to get my voice out, so at first I was crushing my throat right away.”
However, he continued, “I had no foundation in music, and I was just grabbing at it,
“I came to think that I could express myself in a way that others did not have by acquiring the basics, such as vocalization, which I had acquired without any basics.
This positive attitude is one of her charms.
He said, “First of all, let’s stand up in front of people, and most recently we have a cultural festival! I’m going to sing in front of people first, then I’ll go out on the street.”
She is the daughter of a Japanese father and a half-Spanish, half-Filipino mother. That’s where the name 1/3 comes from.
My mom likes Enya, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, etc., and my dad likes Japanese bands like Unicorn, BOØWY, and PRINCESS PRINCESS. And my grandmother, who lives with us, is a huge Enka fan.
I have been surrounded by such music since I can remember. In a sense, I was raised with a gifted education in a wide range of music (laughs). Of course, I also liked popular idols, but I think my awareness of the music I liked was a little earlier than the other children around me.
My father passed away when I was in the first year of junior high school. He looked at the CD cabinet that had been left behind.
There was a lineup of music that my father had played for me and that I had grown up with. When he took me for a drive, he used to play this album, and I used to hum this song when we went for a walk. …… Just by looking at the CD jackets and song titles there, various memories came back to me, and I thought that was a very wonderful thing. It’s a beautiful thing.
(laugh)” His dream was set.
Music is a part of everyday life and will always be loved. I felt that music is something that will remain with us in our daily lives and will be loved for a long time, and that it will remain even after we die, which I thought was very romantic! That’s when I realized that I wanted to play music!
With the help of school aid and a part-time job, he was able to pay his tuition and enter an arts-related high school.
With the money from my first part-time job, I bought a used acoustic guitar for 8,000 yen. I wanted to play music. With an electric guitar, you need an amp to make it sound good, and you need an effector to make it sound cool…….I thought, “If it’s an acoustic guitar, I can use just one guitar, and I can even sing live! (laughs). So, first of all, let’s stand up in front of people, and there is a cultural festival coming up soon! I thought, “Let’s get some experience singing in front of people there, and then go out on the street.
It was at the festival that he happened to catch the attention of the Gachapin members.
I really think I was blessed with good luck. Gachapin, Mr. Hakusan, the staff, and everyone else involved …… are all wonderful people that I have met so far. I have been blessed with those encounters and have been able to make my dreams come true. I don’t know if I should say this myself, but I feel that I am very lucky in these encounters and encounters.
I said, “Wouldn’t it be fun if the new member was a high school girl, but with pink hair? (laugh).
She said she had black hair when she auditioned, but under the liberal school culture, she has had flashy hair several times. When I showed the members a picture of that time,
When I showed them a picture of my hair, they said, “Wouldn’t it be interesting if the new member is a high school girl, but she has pink hair? Where did you bring her in from? (laugh). (Laughs.) We wanted the new member to be an icon of the band, so we decided on this conspicuous pink color.
About a year after his debut, he became a COVID-19 crisis. For about three years, they had partly become accustomed to the environment of performing live without cheering. In February of this year, at a live concert held at LINE CUBE SHIBUYA (Shibuya Public Hall), the ban on cheering was finally lifted.
When I ran out on stage, I could hear the audience’s voices through my mask, and I felt that this was the most powerful thing I could do, so I cried a lot (laughs). (Laughs.) Since joining Gacharic Spin, I have performed far fewer live shows with my voice, so I was able to remember how important it is to do so.
In Gacharic Spin, “Hana” is the vocalist. What is her role as a “microphone performer”?
The microphone performer is in a position where she can do whatever she wants as long as it is voice-based. When I was in the role of “vocalist,” I was probably too caught up in the idea that I had to sing the whole song or that I had to sing beautifully, and I might not have been able to get into it properly.
Nowadays, Hana (vocalist), Oreo Leona (keyboardist), and I often sing together, and I am in a position where I am free to run around the stage and play freely rather than standing in the center and singing well.
I consider radio and media work to be microphone performances that are not singing. I consider it my role to use my voice as the band’s calling card in a way that is not limited to singing.
She is just an ordinary girl who talks about everything, but she stands on stage as an artist.”
Because of her ability to communicate on the radio and her honest mannerisms, she is sometimes asked to represent her generation.
I want people to think I’m cool standing on stage, but I also want to be empathetic enough to be able to relate to ordinary girls in a life-size way.
When I thought about what was most important to achieve this, I realized that I had to be honest.
Of course, there are many artists who gain charisma by not revealing their true faces or what they have hidden inside, but I am not like that. But when I go on stage, I become an artist. I would be happy if people think they can be like me. So I always try to be my true self.
Is there anything you think about as you gain more exposure as an individual Angelina 1/3?
I think there will inevitably be times when people will wonder if I really want to do things as a solo artist, or if I am just one person who stands out.
The reason why I am allowed to do various things as an individual is because I want people to know Gacharic Spin more and more. I believe that if people are interested in me as an icon, they will come to like Gachapin, so I always try to do my best in each of my individual jobs and connect everything I gain and encounter through them to Gachapin, and I always want to be a bridge between the two.
Gacharic Spin’s latest album “W” was released on July 5. It is the first album to mark the band’s fresh start with a new record company.
The last album was so full of feelings that I thought I would never be able to make anything better than this. After moving to a new company, we wondered what we could do to surpass the previous work. We tried to bring out each member’s own words, melodies, and production style, so that we could all discover something new together, like “I had this kind of feeling”.
I believe that by doing so, we were able to create songs that are not only light and pop songs that make you look forward to the future, but also serious and dark songs that make you face your inner world and bring out your more human side. I am proud to say that when the 10 songs are all together, we have created an album that surpasses the previous one.
The band has had many twists and turns over the past 14 years, but we have declared that the current six members are the final form of the band. As a microphone performer, I will convey the meaning of the final form to the audience.
Angelina1/3 Born in ’01, Tokyo.’ Joined the girls’ band “Gacharic Spin” as a microphone performer in 1919. Regular radio program “Angelina 1/3: Dreams come true if you say it out loud! (TBS Radio), “Angelina 1/3 A Generation! Radio” (Bunka Hoso). I also love art! I respect Tadanori Yokoo and Kazuo Umezu.”
Interview & Text： Satoru Ota
Writer, editor, interviewer. She started her writing career as a student, and currently writes mainly entertainment articles and interviews for websites and magazines.
PHOTO： Hinano Toshima, Yuto. (Live)