“Mashiro Ayano” made her major debutant with her single album, “ideal white” in 2014. Brought up in Toyako-cho, Hokkaido abundant in nature, she as a singer has got a powerful but clear and pure voice. She has sung many of TV-anime (animation) theme songs, having garnered innumerable fans both domestically and internationally. In October last year, she frayed into her 5th year since her debutant, with her leap anticipated into this year. Meanwhile, on 19th February this year, she decided to release her new single album, “Alive”, the song chosen for the ending theme of a popular TV anime now on air, “Darwin’s Game”, boosting the image of the work with its rock-like ballad sounds. Thus, Passport Magazine has just met Mashio Ayano to let her talk about her “Alive”, 5th anniversary, and aspiration toward year 2020.
I’ll be aggressive this year as I want to see new landscapes.
Q: Before talking about your new single album, “Alive”, please tell me about your 5th anniversary as a singer. What year has it been for you? Among all, what have you felt or how have your grown up especially through your album “Arch Angel” released on your 5th anniversary and live concert featuring the release held in November (at Kanda Myojin Hall)?
My activities in the previous year which marked the 5th anniversary were so tightly scheduled and rewarding. I’ve embraced gratitude anew for having sung for 5 years and being connected, “at heart”, to many of my fans through Ani-song (anime song). My live concert, “Arch” in Kanda Myojin Hall held upon the release of the album is one based on the album but where I also offered many of songs I had sung, with such different tastes mixed and which I hope fans have fully enjoyed. In addition, I was surprised at my fans in Taiwan fervently welcoming me in my first overseas one-man live concert, “Whiteness”. I do aspire to expand my activities for the future.
Q: Then, about your first single album in 2020, “Alive”, which is a rock ballad with much of heat. What was your impression when you first heard the song composed?
I felt the depth of its sound as it has hectic ups and downs and momentums despite being a ballad; I remember I was excited with how to approach / sing it.
Q: “Alive” is also famous as the ending theme for “Darwin’s Game”; as it is anime that contains battles scenes, I think it is fitted for the melody / ambience of “Alive”. In what do you think “Darwin’s Game” is so interesting yourself?
I’ve felt it is an enjoyable anime work which not only has battle scenes but also “survival games” where its characters are forced to participate in one, with doubts over people around them, mental and physical pains, stemming from complex human mentalities; it has a wide variety of characters, with tensions that can’t be missed for each of its stories!
Q: In “Alive”, I feel your transparent voice as more powerful; what did you have in mind when recording it?
A: In its parts where you are supposed not to sing in an accented way, there have been many choices over how to sing it and thus it was difficult; but I sang it objectively with my “passion inspired into it”, while constructing it together with A-Note (who composed and wrote the lyrics for it) and recording staff, which I thinks was good for “Alice”.
Q: “Kodo” (meaning “heartbeat”) coupled with it is hard-rock-tuned, finely balanced with “Alive”. How have you empathized with this? I’ve felt that its lyrics show a sense of despair, but your powerful voice gives me even a positive impression.
I’ve found “emptiness” that suddenly shows up in its powerful up-tempo rhythm interesting. I think every one of us sometimes feels despair one won’t talk of, an emotion that I wouldn’t deny. Such a sense of despair is shown in its lyrics; a mindset not to give up on your wishes / hopes that seems contrary to it is also described, which I want you to look at. Words around “giving up” show up; such words uttered contrarily will lead to a mindset to “softly touch someone’s love”…, which I myself do understand, much moved by them. I am very interested in what listeners would feel about it.
Q: The single album also contains the live version of “Ray of Light”; why have you included it? “Ray of Light” has been long popular; what particularly do you yourself love about it?
This song repeatedly expresses a relationship between “You (female)” and “I (male)”. I’ve included it as a live version because it is one everyone in a live concert can enjoy, and I’ve wanted to leave one that I actually sing live and the very moment with fans important for supporting my concerts, indispensable in creating such a live concert. As it is implanted in my heart like a wonderful picture, I’d be more than glad if it becomes an indeed memorable one for my fans.
Q: Next, please tell me your goals and missions in 2020. Do you have anything you want to do or personally challenge this year?
It is my 6th year after the 5th anniversary or a time period so busy and exciting; I want to move forward still with everything I see and feel to be ingrained onto my heart. I’ll be aggressive this year as I want to see new landscapes! I want to hold as many live concerts, meet as many fans and take as many steps; I won’t stop for this year. Then, as I am not good at waking up early (honestly…), I should go to bed earlier and wake up as early.
Q: As you extensively engage in live-concert activities internationally, do you have any country (city) you want to go to (for the first time) or visit again? Tell me what you felt has been interesting and / or moving or such episodes in countries you’ve visited, if any.
I hope to visit England and France once (I haven’t been there yet). For countries I’ve already visited, I want to give live concerts there again telling my overseas fans, “I’m back”; as there are so many things I can’t experience for just visiting once, I hope to go offer one-man live concerts there again. I’d personally recommend German and Portugal with superb sceneries, though a bit faraway.
Q: Lastly, if you have any information you want to notify, tell me.
The memorial event for releasing my new single album containing “Alive”, the ending theme for TC anime, “Darwin’s Game”, will be held in Kawasaki La Cittadella Fountain Venue on 22nd February (Sat). I am looking forward to seeing you as this will be the best opportunity to see you for the first time this year! And I will attend “Lis Ani!, Live Special Edition Haruyasumi (spring vacation) at Hokkaido” to be held in Kanamoto Hall in Sapporo Hokkaido, my birthplace, on 7th March (Sat). I am looking forward to this, too, as it is “Lis Ani! Live” that gathers artists connected to Hokkaido. Let us create a most passionate space and time together in Hokkaido awaiting spring!
【Interview & Text by Atsushi Kaie】
Single album, “Alive”
Sung by Mashiro Ayano
Published by Sony Music Labels Inc. / SACRA MUSIC
Standard version, with CD only
1,200 yen (+ tax)