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thoseguiltyeyes

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HARUNA & MAMI experience Sony's wireless headphones - An item that bring artists and listeners one step closer

Music Natalie - HARUNA and MAMI Try Out Wireless Headphones CkJASaV





SCANDAL held a solo concert at Osaka-Jo Hall on the day of their 15th anniversary this past August. These ladies who have taken on challenges of writing music of all genres have interest in the global-hit genre K-Pop. Music Natalie has asked HARUNA and MAMI from SCANDAL to try out Sony's WF-1000XM4 wireless headphones and interviewed them to see what the think about the headphones.


[*Mod note: I have tried to make this interview as non-ad-like as possible and cut out parts that sounded too PR-ish.

Also, these are technically earbuds, but Sony officially refers to them as "headphones" and so I went with that.]













Having more ways to get into something



──You two are wearing outfits today that incorporate your apparel brand FEEDBACK that the band produces. How did you start this brand?

HARUNA: At first it was an extension of our merch. Because we like fashion, we started thinking that it would be great if our fans could come to our concerts wearing even cooler clothing.

MAMI: We thought it'd be nice if there was another way that people could discover SCANDAL aside from our music or music videos, and that an apparel brand could be that way. We've recently been  wanting people to enjoy our works in different ways, such as releasing CDs with t-shirts or merch.

HARUNA: It's become pretty common as of lately for music to be released with merch. It's also good to buy a CD because you're drawn to its merch, just like you'd be drawn to buying a CD based on its cover. In the past, we had a complex about people prioritizing our apperances and not learning about our music. Now, however, we're trying out different methods because we want people to know about us and listen to our music—the "how" doesn't matter. FEEDBACK is part of that.


Music Natalie - HARUNA and MAMI Try Out Wireless Headphones E36hhVw



──Your stage outfits are always on point, and the fashion you have on in your music videos are also always wonderful. I'm sure you guys have a stylist, but do you come up with your own ideas as well?

HARUNA: Yes. We always convey the idea or theme of our work to our stylist who then selects outfits for us. Our stylist Kyohei Ogawa has been with us for many years, so recently we've gotten to be pretty brief [with what we tell him].

MAMI: We just tell him the tone and vibe we want and leave it to his intuition. He'll suggest outfits that make you go, "What? How do you even wear this?" if you view it on its own. But when you put it together with other pieces, it'll then make you go, "This is it!" because it's so perfect. We're always excited before each shoot to see what outfits we'll be wearing.



──What are you particular about when it comes to your personal fashion?

MAMI: In the past I used to like clothes that were vividly colored, but recently I've been going for mainly monotone clothes. Ones that are easy to mix and match, and easy to wear anywhere... I might be playing it a little safe (laughs).

HARUNA: Doesn't it mean that you've grown up? (laughs)

MAMI: That may be so. Also, I've been obsessed with making beaded accessories recently—wearing accessories that I've made might now be one of [those particularities]. I add pops of color with beaded mask chains and bracelets to my monotone clothing.

HARUNA: I like wearing hoodies and comfy clothes, but recently I've started to wear tighter clothes that hug my figure. One thing I'm particular about is my shoes. Since I'm not that tall, I add volume to my feet to keep an overall balance.


Music Natalie - HARUNA and MAMI Try Out Wireless Headphones CGpiNnu
Music Natalie - HARUNA and MAMI Try Out Wireless Headphones 9nL6Csk



Like you're at the movies alone and have the music and screen all to yourself



──What was it like using the headphones?

HARUNA: The noise-canceling function is amazing!

MAMI: It is! Neither of us have ever used headphones with a noise-canceling function before, so this was our first time doing so. It felt comfy, like I was in my own little world. I was immersed in the gorgeous feeling of it feeling like I was at the movies alone and had the music and screen all to myself.



──Are there any songs you've made new discoveries with by listening to them with these headphones?

MAMI: I was listening to The Chemical Brothers's song "Go" on the bullet train while on tour and got hyped up all by myself in my own little world (laughs). I was using the noise-canceling function, so I was embarrassed when I realized that I was bopping along hard when we got off the train (laughs). Music with pleasant beats felt even more pleasant with these headphones. I could feel the vibrations, which made me feel like I was in a live music club.





──We asked you two to create a playlist of five songs each that you've often been listening to recently. HARUNA, are there any songs that surprised you?

HARUNA: I tried out a bunch of K-Pop songs with not a lot of different sounds in them. NCT 127's song "Sticker" was particularly great. You can hear each and every sound in a grainy matter, but it feels like all of the sounds can be heard evenly... Like, you can hear every sound used if you concentrate.

MAMI: Right, right. Some devices make high tones strong and some make low tones weak, but these headphones seem to raise the level of all sounds. You notice all kinds of things that come from listening to songs properly. Like, you discover things that make you go, "Oh, I didn't know this sound was in here!" or, "It used to sound like this for me, but by listening to it closely I can tell it's this kind of melody!"

HARUNA: "Sticker" starts with the sound of a flute, but the high sound of the flute is quite strong. However, when I listened to it with these headphones, they made the flute sound extremely smooth and pleasant. It was pleasant on the ears and felt balanced overall.





──BTS's song "Blue & Grey" that HARUNA chose has an impressive acoustic sound to it. You can even hear the subtle breathing of the seven members.

HARUNA: "Blue & Grey" was so awesome to listen to. Though I was impressed when I had listened to it previously with different headphones, these Sony ones make me feel as if I'm even closer to their voices. I was very impressed that it felt like they were singing directly into my brain rather than my ears. I thought it was amazing to be able to enjoy all sorts of songs in high quality. Like previously mentioned, all sounds in a peaceful song like "Blue & Grey" sound even, and you can even hear the singers' breathing. Everything sounds clear. There's no loss in the things that you want to hear.

MAMI: Speaking of discovering new sounds in a song, I was surprised when I listened to ATEEZ's song "WONDERLAND" with these headphones. It's a song that I've been listening a lot to lately, and I had been wondering why there was so much sound pressure despite the song not having many different sounds in it. When I listened to it with these headphones, I somehow understood the reason. There were a lot of parts that made me go, "It sounds like this because this sound is included here," and it clarified things that I had been wondering about. I'll be using it as a reference for writing songs.



Using headphones to get motivated to create



──You played a joint concert with indigo la End, whom you both selected for your playlists.

MAMI: That's right. "Musubizama" (Tied) is the theme song for the drama Boku wa Mada Kimi wo Aisanai Koto ga Dekiru (I Don't Love You Yet) that I really like, so it's something that I've listened to a lot. I thought it'd be nice if they would play it at our joint-band concert, but they didn't play it. Now, I feel disappointed when I listen to it (laughs). The headphones make the song's soft atmosphere even more smooth and sweet.



──HARUNA, you chose the recently released "Love feat. pH-1." This song features South Korean rapper pH-1 and is still very indigo la End-ish while also sounding fresh.

HARUNA: This song is really cool. I personally thought that many songs featuring rappers had rapping in the second chorus, but this song has a mix of vocals and rap from the start. I thought it was really amazing that Enon (Kawatani) was able to do it naturally, and I also thought that listening to it in high-def would be a great listening experience.



──You also listened to a song from popular girl group aespa. What was it like listening to their hit song "Next Level" with these headphones?

HARUNA: I wanted to see why "Next Level" is so popular. This song switches to a completely different tone in the middle, which makes the buildup interesting. I had the impression that "Next Level" had a hard sound to it, but listening to it with these headphones I found it to be a relatively simple work, sound-wise. A synth bass is playing the entire time with a few beats here and there. The buildup is unusual with fairly simple sounds, and the vocals sound quite striking.


Music Natalie - HARUNA and MAMI Try Out Wireless Headphones UPHUIqM



──MAMI, you chose TOMORROW X TOGETHER's "0X1=LOVESONG (I Know I Love You) feat. Seori." It's a hybrid pop-rock song that renovated TOMORROW X TOGETHER's strong "pop" image. How did you feel listening to it?

MAMI: They didn't look the type to be singing hard songs or performances, so I was shocked when I first heard this. I thought that songs like this fit them perfectly. When I listened to the music, it made me think that it sounded very band-like and that it'd be super cool if a band cover this song. I simply just want to have a band cover this song. We as SCANDAL have a limit as to what we can do because we're only four people, but as I listened to this song, it made me wonder what would happen if we made a song like "0X1=LOVESONG" using our four members' sounds.



──Did you discover anything from listening to music on these headphones?

MAMI: I realized that chorus work is super important. I can understand the reason why it suddenly rises and suddenly drops. It made me think that stuff like that is important. I often listen to K-Pop these days, and the more I listen to it, the deeper and more interesting I find it. Listening to K-Pop on these headphones is a bit dangerous because it motivates me to try and reproduce the things I hear (laughs).



──You also selected the Couch song "Still Feeling You," which also has a nice raw sound to it.

MAMI: This song's had a big influence on our recent music production, and it was perfect for the mode SCANDAL is currently in where we want to incorporate sounds that are usually played in sequence by a band. I also used this singing style and the band's vibe as a big reference.



──Also, HARUNA chose the new ENHYPEN song "Go Big or Go Home" that was released the other day.

HARUNA: This song has a strong beat and has a gradually increasing pre-chorus that makes you think that it's going to get even more exciting during the chorus. However, the amount of sounds during the chorus is reduced considerably and the vocals are highlighted—that was all very fresh. There are a lot of parts that made me think that we as SCANDAL would be scared of doing, and made me wonder if this kind of thing is a big thing in K-Pop right now. The climax in the middle of the chorus is really nice to listen to with these headphones. The feeling of the beat suddenly dropping was awesome.



Artists and listeners get one step closer



Music Natalie - HARUNA and MAMI Try Out Wireless Headphones VwMwWqZ


──As a musician, what do you think is the appeal of having people enjoy music in high-definition?

HARUNA: We add in little things we're particular about that people might not hear, and I would be very happy as a musician if people could notice those things.

MAMI: With the world being what it is right now, there are still situations when you want to go to a live music club but can't, when we want to play a concert but can't. Only after you've managed to follow all these rules can you play a concert. In these times, if you listen to music with these headphones, you'll feel as if you're at a concert in person. That's why I think this is an item that bring artists and listeners one step closer.



Great for anything



──Are there any SCANDAL songs that you'd like people to listen to with these headphones to see if they might hear sounds they haven't before?

HARUNA: I'm sure they'll notice that there are all sorts of sounds on "Saishuuheiki, Kimi."

MAMI: Since this song was made with a music sequencer, there are quite a lot of sounds in addition to the sounds we're playing. I think we'll even discover things if we listen to it again with these headphones (laughs).

HARUNA: That's likely (laughs).



──It seems that you can hear the raw acoustic guitar sound in "Ivory."

MAMI: It's a good way to listen to simple songs, and you might also enjoy raw sounds. SCANDAL has songs that span across many genres because we make them based on what we like at the time. So, every time we were asked what kind of music we play, we couldn't really give a straight answer... There were times when we wondered if being like that wasn't good, but as we talked to the different artists we played with on our joint-band tour in October, it made it seem like that way of making music wasn't the wrong thing to do. I'm sure there are people who want to write all kinds of songs but are unable to do so well. We're fine the way we are. We don't need to create a genre called SCANDAL.

HARUNA: Rather, we've come to view being able to write various kinds of songs as one of our strengths.



──Who would you like to recommend these headphones to?

HARUNA: I especially recommend them to anyone who wants to write their own music. Now that we're in an era where it's easy to create and publish songs on our smartphones, understanding the composition of sounds gives you a hint for making the songs you want to make.



──On the contrary, would you recommend them to casual users, such as those who listen to music on YouTube?

MAMI: I think anyone will be satisfied with these. They're great for anything.

HARUNA: Yeah. I recommend them to anyone who listens to music.

Music Natalie - HARUNA and MAMI Try Out Wireless Headphones Ds0Ebd7



Music Natalie - HARUNA and MAMI Try Out Wireless Headphones 39iLxaW

2011.7.3 AM2 2012.3.28 SCANDAL vs BUDOKAN 11.3+4 QAT Tour @名古屋 11.10 Happy MUSIC Live 2012 2013.3.3 SCANDAL OSAKA-JO HALL 2013 2014.6.1 HNL Ekiden & Music 2014 6.2 Fan Meeting 2015 HELLO WORLD @ Paris - London - Essen - Chicago - MEX - LA - Anaheim 2016.1.12+13 PERFECT WORLD 5.21 Welcome Fan Meeting 5.22 HNL Ekiden & Music 2016 5.23 Farewell Fan Meeting 8.21 SCAFes 2017.7.14 47 Prefecture Tour @茨城 7.15 水戸 7.17 東京 2018 Special Thanks @NY - SF - Anaheim - MTY - MEX - Dallas 2022 MIRROR @Toronto - NY - Boston - Atlanta
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Tomomi's brother/
Posted Wed Dec 01, 2021 4:42 pm

3mania

3mania

Shiroten Performer
Shiroten Performer
Is there stylist Kyohei Ogawa related to Tomomi?  or is that just a coincidence ?

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thoseguiltyeyes

thoseguiltyeyes

Administrator
Administrator
3mania wrote:Is there stylist Kyohei Ogawa related to Tomomi?  or is that just a coincidence ?

Coincidence. Ogawa is a very common last name--the 30th most common in Japan, according to Wiki. For comparison's sake, it's basically as common as the last name Robinson, the 30th most common last name in the US.



Music Natalie - HARUNA and MAMI Try Out Wireless Headphones 39iLxaW

2011.7.3 AM2 2012.3.28 SCANDAL vs BUDOKAN 11.3+4 QAT Tour @名古屋 11.10 Happy MUSIC Live 2012 2013.3.3 SCANDAL OSAKA-JO HALL 2013 2014.6.1 HNL Ekiden & Music 2014 6.2 Fan Meeting 2015 HELLO WORLD @ Paris - London - Essen - Chicago - MEX - LA - Anaheim 2016.1.12+13 PERFECT WORLD 5.21 Welcome Fan Meeting 5.22 HNL Ekiden & Music 2016 5.23 Farewell Fan Meeting 8.21 SCAFes 2017.7.14 47 Prefecture Tour @茨城 7.15 水戸 7.17 東京 2018 Special Thanks @NY - SF - Anaheim - MTY - MEX - Dallas 2022 MIRROR @Toronto - NY - Boston - Atlanta
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