The stars shined bright at this years 2015 J-Pop Summit but none shimmered as brilliantly as Faint★Star.
Faint★Star, a Japanese girl-duo consisting of HINA (Photo: White Dress) and YURIA (Photo: Green Dress) produced by music agency agehasprings, have been burning their way up the charts and into fans hearts. The duo was ranked NO.1 in a poll conducted by Japanese cultural online magazine and friend of the site Tokyo Girls’ Update in May of 2014 proving the girls’ popularity around the world.
The Tokyo-based pop duo, formed in December 2013, released their first single koboreteshimattamizunoyouni in July of 2014 to critical acclaim. Their second single Film! Film! Film! [フィルム！フィルム！フィルム！] was featured as the ending theme song for the music television show Premium MelodiX! [プレミアMelodiX!] which airs on TV Tokyo.
In the months following Faint★Star joined various large music festivals including TOKYO IDOL FESTIVAL 2014, @JAMEXPO2014, Synapples2.0 ~ no border between sounds ~ Produced by agehasprings, and Little Tokyo Blok-M ENNICHISAI 2015 touted as the biggest Japanese cultural festival in Indonesia.
Faint★Star also dipped their feet into event hosting with the Faint Star*2.5D :’Tokyo Sound Collection‘ held at the Shibuya 2.5D, which featured a veritable whose who of Japanese pop acts. Fans also have the opportunity to catch up with the lively duo on their radio show Faint Star Yuugenjikkou ~Yaranakya Nanimo Hajimaranai~ (Faint⋆Star 有言実行！～やらなきゃ何も始まらない～) on Sora×Niwa (ソラトニワFM) which has been on the air since August 2014.
We caught up with the dynamic duo at this years 2015 J-Pop Summit held in beautiful downtown San Francisco.
For both old fans and new, please introduce yourself and tell us one unique fact about yourself that people may not know.
Hina: I first started as a member of the girls unit, Tomato n’ Pine. After the group disbanded, I met Yuria at the audition for Faint★Star.
Yuria: Hina was having an audition for a partner, so that’s how we met.
Hina: I like hard rock and heavy metal. I like bands like Aerosmith, Iron Maiden, Megadeath, Slipknot, etc
Yuria: Some of my favorite artists are Juicy J, Cher Lloyd, and Chris Brown
What inspired you to get into show business?
Hina: I’ve always liked American idols like Avril Lavigne and Britney Spears. They inspired me to be a performer like them and I think it’s unreal that I can do something similar to what they do.
Yuria: When I was young, I went to art, song, and dance classes in my local community. I liked how I could express myself that way, therefore I continued practicing song and dance so I am happy that Hina and I do this for a living.
Describe each other’s personalities.
Hina: [Yuria] is a big eater.
Yuria: Hina is somewhat calm and airheaded.
Manager: She’s capable of observation, like a slow thinker. And kind of down to earth.
Your second single Film Film Film served as the ending theme for Premium MelodiX, what was it like to hear your single on TV for the first time?
Yuria: We were really surprised. We were watching TV together at the time.
Hina: I took pictures of it on my phone.
Yuria: It was the first time our music video had appeared on TV so it was very exciting.
You’ve now spent a little bit of time in San Francisco, what do you miss most about Japan?
Yuria: I really like Japan, but this is my first time in San Francisco and it’s a lovely city. Yesterday we went to the Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park, and we saw the gathering for Outside Lands, but we didn’t go inside. We did listen to the music though and experienced the atmosphere. We also went thrifting in Mission District and had delicious chocolate at Dandelion Chocolate. Everything has been so awesome here, it’s almost the opposite. I don’t want to go home!
Hina: Do you know about the TV show, Full House? Being here, I get to see the houses and the city for real so that makes me happy.
What else stands out or surprises you about San Francisco compared to Tokyo?
Yuria: The houses are really colorful, there’s a lot of nature and it’s beautiful. The roads are wide.
Hina: Everyone is really friendly! They’ll talk to you on the sidewalk even if they don’t know you.
Yuria: The city itself looks like an artwork. I’ve seen The Princess Diaries and it takes place here in San Francisco, so being able to see that setting in real life makes me happy.
You’ve now had appearances in Indonesia and America, what country would you like to visit next?
Yuria: We have an American, Indonesian, Taiwanese, and Japanese version of our CD, so since we haven’t been to Taiwan yet, we would like to go to Taiwan!
While on tour and between shows have you ever played pranks on each other?
Hina: When Yuria is in the bathroom, I’ll intentionally knock on her door to annoy her or I’ll poke her while she’s sleeping.
Yuria: I don’t do pranks, haha.
Hina: She’ll take revenge on me from time to time though, haha.
If you weren’t in Faint★Star what do you think you would be doing instead?
Hina: I can’t really imagine what I would be doing. After Tomato n’ Pine ended, I tried my best and ended up here in Faint★Star because I still wanted to perform.
Yuria: I can’t imagine what else I would be doing either, so I’ll do my best here in Faint★Star.
Do you have any parting message for fans? What can we look forward to next from Faint★Star?
Yuria: We don’t know when we’ll be back in America again, but when we do we want to try hard and have a great time with everyone!
Hina: There are things that are popular in Tokyo like EDM, Shibuya style, and voguing. Through Faint★Star, we want to introduce Japanese girls pop culture to America!
Photography by Wilfredo Ramos.
This was a joint production with Nihongogo.com