[Honey's Anime Interview] MINMI and Her New Tribute Song to Shiki no Uta

MINMI [Honey's Anime Interview] MINMI and Her New Tribute Song to Shiki no Uta

Hello and Welcome to Honey’s Anime! We are going to be showing you the exclusive interview we had with the wonderful and extremely talented, MINMI. MINMI is a vocalist who worked closely with Nujabes to produce the iconic and ear-pleasing single, Shiki no Uta, from acclaimed anime series Samurai Champloo. MINMI has come back to the anime music scene and what a wonderful way to return with not only a tribute song to Shiki no Uta honoring Nujabes, but also with English lyrics sung by herself.

MINMI performed live at Otakon 2019 in July as part of the event’s Tribute to Nujabes Concert. There, she presented a new version of the single at the concert and the new song has a different take from the hip-hop sound to a more reggae feel. We at Honey’s Anime love the new tribute version to Shiki no Uta and when we were approached to conduct an interview with her, we had a few questions on our mind that we really wanted to know, but first, let’s get to know more about MINMI for those who are just hearing about her for the first time.

MINMI is a singer, songwriter, and producer who first learned to play the piano and loving Soul and Jazz music at a very young age. She began her musical career in 1996 in Osaka where she was born and her first single was reggae song, “The Perfect Vision”, in 2002, and her second single in 2004 with more of a hip-hop approach, “T.T.T.”. Soon after, MINMI releases her soca-influenced single, “Summer Time”, which help gain her more popularity as a music artist and also becoming well-known in the reggae/hip-hop music scene. In 2015, she released her 17th single, “Hologram”, in 2015 and was also the theme song for the anime series Jitsu wa Watashi wa!

In 2016, she was appointed the ambassador for the Japanese Ministry of the Environment and conducted a theme song for it which was featured across many promotional campaigns in Japan. MINMI has still been working hard in the industry that she recently released her 9th album in 2018 called “Identity”, and continues to devote her support and time in the soca music beat and culture scene. She is married to another reggae music artist from Japan and has 2 wonderful children. Now, we hope this was a nice introduction into MINMI and her musical career that we can now move onto the interview!



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Honey's Anime Exclusive Interview with MINMI

From when you first started learning the piano to developing a liking for Soul and Jazz, Hip-Hop, and Reggae, is there a genre of music you ever wanted to work with but haven’t had the time yet?

I would say R&B. It’s very soulful and emotional and I love the arrangements.

Do you have a favorite reggae artist that inspires you?

Bob Marley. When I was younger, I didn’t realize how great he really was until I went to Jamaica for the first time when I was 19 years old. At the time it was also Bob Markey’s birthday week and I was surrounded by his music. His music spoke to me on an emotional level and also helped me relax. I also respect his spirituality and artistic and political beliefs.

Nujabes was an amazing producer and we can only imagine working with him is equally amazing. How did the discussion for a tribute to the theme of Samurai Champloo and Nujabes come into play?

I fell in love with the fake phrase I sang in ad-lib and was sung many times as an artist. I'm attracted to the track he was releasing and I make it if the same track. I told you. But he refused the concept of not using the same track twice. He convinced me with strong confidence that I would never regret it, and MINMI agreed to say that.

How long did the process take, from beginning to end, to finish the new tribute song for Shiki no Uta?

A few months. It was produced by Part 2 Style, who is a popular Japanese DJ and producer. He composed a new beat and ambiance. He is also my live DJ when I performed.

With the tribute song to Samurai Champloo and Nujabes, did you have more creative control of the production? The original has a hip-hop feel to it but the new version seems to have more of a reggae feel, which is delightful and fresh!

I had the vision to make a new, danceable version. I didn’t care so much about a specific genre, but I wanted to make the track danceable and fresh and something that would reflect where I am as an artist now.

What influences you when you write music? We understand that a huge influence on the Mother album was the birth of your 2nd child, but what about other albums? For example, the albums Miracle, imagine, and Natural.

Miracle was my first album. It was my debut so I wanted to present it as an introduction to listeners. Imagine was a record that contained my first ballad. It remains perhaps my most emotional record. Natural came about after I met a musician in Jamaica who gave me a new meaning to the word “natural.” I feel like my songs are a natural extension of myself and I could never imagine doing anything else.

For the anime Samurai Champloo, have you seen the anime and if so, do you have a favorite character?

Yes, and my favorite character is Fu (the hero in my eyes)!

We wanted to know if there is another album you are working on or another single for an anime?

I am working on new music right now and there may be a new anime opportunity coming up. I hope to be able to tell you about it when it happens!

We also wanted to know if there were any fond memories you had while making music for anime series like Samurai Champloo or Jitsu wa Watashi wa?

Often these songs were recorded before I saw the actual series. But with Samurai Champloo I wanted Shiki no Uta to depict the hero's feelings with respect to the times in which the show was set.

With this new tribute to Shiki no Uta, would you happen to know if a new anime is in the pipeline which is why a tribute is happening?

I don’t think there are any plans to make a new Samurai Champloo. But I hope fans still discover my new song and continue to enjoy this classic series.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it, Folks. Another interview is done, another exclusive for the record books here at Honey’s Anime. MINMI has been very influential to us all in the anime community, especially to those who hold Nujabes close to their heart, as well as being a huge fan of the unique and well-acclaimed anime series Samurai Champloo. Knowing that she had more control of the tribute version than originally anticipated when working with Nujabes, we now know that both Nujabes and MINMI’s versions are equally stellar. We honestly can’t choose which one we love more but for those who are purists, it is obvious but we also can’t ignore those who embrace the new.

The new tribute to Shiki no Uta is wonderful and breath of fresh air in the reggae/hip-hop music scene and we look forward to more from MINMI and her wonderful style of music. To know more about MINMi and her new projects, please visit her pages below:

Official Website: http://minmi.jp
Twitter: https://twitter.com/minmidesu
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/minmidesu/?hl=ja
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/minmidesu/

If you have concerning questions or thoughts about this interview, or maybe you just want to share your wonderful thoughts, make sure to sound off in the comment section below!

Ja ne!

MINMI [Honey's Anime Interview] MINMI and Her New Tribute Song to Shiki no Uta

Editor in Chief

Author: Alfonso "Fonzy" Ortiz

I'm a Geek, Nerd, Writer, and lover of all video games, anime, science, technology and the internet. I previously worked for STFUandPlay.com, a contributing writer as the Japanese Corespondent at TheKoalition.com and founded a website called Transcend-Gaming.com! I currently live in Japan as Editor in Chief of Honey's Anime and its very talented writers! I'm down for anything! What do you want to do?

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