Utada Hikaru’s July 12 Meet and Greet in Hawaii: A Cheat Sheet

Utada Hikaru

CharlieBoy808 just posted an incredibly long, painfully awkward one hour clip of Utada‘s entire July 12 meet-and-greet experience in Hawaii hosted by DA RADIO 102.7. You can choose to watch the entire thing, or allow me to bullet-point some of the juiciest morsels of information (as a good blogger ought to do for his adoring audience.) Oh, and because the Master of Ceremonies is an intolerable douche.

Here we go:

+ Utada had to cancel her May meet-and-greet because she of a severe case of tonsillitis–she’s fine now, but her doctors warn that she may need surgery if she gets it one more time.
+ She’s doesn’t necessarily even want to make it big in America–“it’s just a new challenge, it’s interesting to me.”
+ Her favorite group is the Cocteau Twins.
+ She would like to become fluent in French.
+ Utada on being born in New York and moving to Japan: “Everyone feels a bit alone, a bit different. So, I came to see my “outsider”-ness as a strength…I don’t think it’s a bad thing to be foreign, it’s something you can feel comfortable with if you don’t want to be like everyone else.”
+ Utada on whether “Come Back to Me” was written about someone specifically: “I’ve written songs specifically about certain guys I’ve been involved with or friends, but for that song, it’s just in general, put together from different experiences and people I’ve been involved with.”
+ Utada’s first boyfriend was Hawaiian.

+ She’s not planning on singing English covers of her Japanese hits: “To me, the songs I’ve written in Japanese are completed the way they are. The melodies I write for Japanese lyrics, I can’t–it’s really difficult to envision the same melodies sung with English words.”
+ She hopes to have a concert in Hawaii before she retires.
+ She doesn’t mind if you download music, but she thinks paying for music is the one way to show your support for an artist.
+ On the state of the music industry: “I don’t see that many new artists that are really, really interesting coming out as much as I think there used to be at some point in the past. The record companies are being really insecure because they’re not making any money right now. They can’t invest in unknown artists…they’re try and make new money out of artists they think will make money with the kind of stuff that’s already been put out that’s done well…it’s kind of difficult to be adventurous right now.”
+ She has no desire to be in movies.
+ The grass is always greener: “I dream of things like getting a job at a local coffee shop taking orders, or working in a bookstore.” At school, she at one point wanted to go into neurology and biochemistry.
+ She would like to have children one day.
+ “I think it’s weird how people tend to think musicians, especially songwriter types, are good people…I don’t think musicians are meant to be role models.”

+ The last time Utada got drunk was last week. She played some drinking game where you stab plastic knives between your fingers.
+ She’s thinking of recording a covers album, potentially including her karaoke favorite, Burt Bacharach‘s “What the World Needs Now.”
+ Utada never actually wanted to be a musician–it just happened: “I don’t regret it all, but I wanted to make my parents happy.”
+ She’d be interesting in working with Kanye West for a collaboration, though she listens more to Snoop Dogg, Tupac, and Notorious B.I.G.
+ She performed an impromptu verse from Biggie’s “Hypnotize.” It was glorious.
+ In the last minute of the interview, she managed to squeeze in a mention of that fucking teddy bear, Kuma-Chan.

More than anything, this clip renewed my complete and utter love for Utada. It comes and goes in waves, but I always come back to remembering what a truly amazing artist she is–and why she’s my favorite Japanese artist of all time.

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