NSK interviews: SHiNTA

SHiNTA

New School Kaidan recently had the pleasure of interviewing Japanese music producer SHiNTA. We asked him a variety of questions on a number of subjects including his musical influences and what it’s like producing music for idol groups like Fukuoka’s LinQ.

Check out the full interview below.
 

NSK: What is your musical background?
SHiNTAさんの音楽経歴は?(ミュージシャンとしての歩みは?)

SHiNTA: I think it’s been about 11 years since I started doing this job professionally? I started getting small jobs when I was around 20. It is thanks to those experiences I had over the years that I’m able to do what I’m doing now.
「実際仕事として頂けるようになっては11年ぐらいでしょうか?20歳ぐらいから
小さな仕事は頂いています。その積み重ねで今があると僕は思います。」

NSK: What are you musical influences?
SHiNTAさんが影響を受けたアーティスト・ジャンル等は何だったんですか?

SHiNTA: My mother liked Western music and my father liked Japanese music and I think that was a big influence on me when I was young. The music I was exposed to ranged from YMO to Kaguya-hime. But the first record during that time that I really liked was Ai no Corrida by Quincy Jones. Since then, during my middle school days, I loved songs that used the synthesizer like in songs by Komuro Tetsuya or Access (Asakura Daisuke). After that, when I got older, I remember the time when I was so happy that I was able to buy a KX-5 haha.

Visual Kei bands were also popular so there were a lot of times where I added guitar parts into my songs. (I guess I like Visual Kei bands too)
When I was attending vocational school, I mostly listened to Western music. I remember there was a time when I was into House music for awhile.
「母親が洋楽好きで父親が邦楽を好きだったので、かなり小さな頃の影響は大きいと思います。
(YMO)だったり(かぐや姫)だったり(カーペンターズ)だったりごっちゃです。
でもその頃のLPでいいなと思ったのは(クインシ・ジョーンズの愛のコリーダ)でしたね。
それから、中学の頃は小室哲哉さんやaccess(浅倉大介さん)のようにシンセサイザーを使った楽曲が大好きでした。(その後、大人になってKX-5が欲しくてかえた時には嬉しかったの覚えてます(笑)

まわりは、ビジュアル系バンドがはやってたのですが
その影響なのか僕の楽曲にはギターを入れてもらう事が多いです。
(多分ビジュアル系バンドも好きなんですね)
専門学校ぐらいからは洋楽中心に聞きました。
その中でHouseにはまっていってしばらくはまっていた時期がありました。」

NSK: How did you get into producing music?
音楽プロデュースするきっかけは何だったんですか?

SHiNTA: There isn’t any one particular reason on how I got into producing. I’ve never called myself a producer and I’m okay with that as long as I can keep on creating music. I think it might have been when I began writing music for a band that I was in.

I think a lot about things like, “If I made a song a certain way, would people who like that genre like it?”
「きっかけは特にないです。自らプロデュースと名乗った事もないので
音楽を作れればそれでいいのですが、最初は自分のやってきたユニットの楽曲を
作ってる時がそうだったかもしれません。

こんな風にしたらこのジャンル好きな人につたわるとか
発表する場所を考え作ってました。」

NSK: What is the typical process for producing a song arrangement? Do you provide them with a number of samples to choose from or do they give you full control?
楽曲のアレンジをするときは、どんなプロセスが多いのでしょうか。 いくつかサンプルを作って選んでもらうのか、それとも完成したものを渡すのですか?

SHiNTA: It depends on the time and situation. Basically, we talk with the people in charge of production and work from there…but being able to hear the kind of direction and ideas that the composer wants to take would make my job much easier. In jobs where I work with those who are not very familiar with music, I sometimes prepare arrangement patterns for them.
「時と場合によります。基本はその制作に携わってる方のお話を聞きすすめてます。が、僕は作った方(作者)の
方のお話や意向をきけるとより一層ありがたいです。音楽をあまり良く分からない方などの仕事の場合は、いくつか
アレンジパターンを少しだけ用意する事もあります。」

NSK: How do you work with the lyricist? Do you communicate with them in any way or is it a very separate process?
作詞者とどういう形でお仕事をするのですか? なんらかの形で連絡をとり合いながら進めますか?それとも全くに別々に作り上げていきますか?

SHiNTA: First, I tell the lyricist what I imagine the song to be like and have him/her create the lyrics. When they finish, we start to elaborate on it, which happens a lot. Also, if I am familiar with the lyricist, especially one whose style fits the song, the process of creating lyrics that fits exactly with what I had in mind goes much faster.
「作詞家の方には、まず僕のイメージをお伝えして作って頂きます。出来上がってきたらやり取りをやっていく事が多いです。あとは、その作詞家さんを知ってる場合はもっと早くてその方のイメージが楽曲にあってたらバッチリな作品を作って頂けるのでありがたいです。」

NSK: What is the best part about working with LinQ?
LinQとお仕事することの醍醐味はどういったものですか?

SHiNTA: I think the best part about working with LinQ is being able to talk with many people. For example, when I’m not satisfied with my own work, I can talk with the many people involved with Team LinQ. Things like which song the members like the most, the staff in charge of acoustics, the management and their business plans, or the lighting staff. To me, that I think is the best part. Also, when I’m watching their lives, I find pleasure in being able to think about things like what kind of songs they should do for their setlist.
「LinQに関しての今のスタイルは、とにかく色々な人と話をする事ですね。
自分一人の作品だと面白くないと思いメンバーに「どんな曲がいいと思う?」や
運営さんが描くイメージだったり、PAさん照明さんだったり
Team LinQとしてお話が出来る事が、どこにもない醍醐味かと思います。
あと、現場を出来る限り見て次このセトリでこんな楽曲があったらなど
しっかりと見れる所がありがたいと思います。」

NSK: What are LinQ’s strengths as an idol group?
アイドルグループとしてのLinQ、強みは何ですか?

SHiNTA: I think their strength is assembling people from different occupations and trying to accomplish something no one has done before in Fukuoka. I’ve been invited many times to come to Tokyo but I prefer Fukuoka better. There are many unheard of artists here, so rather than trying to create a hit song for a popular artist, I am comfortable with being able to try new things with all the artists in Fukuoka and help them achieve their dreams.
At first, LinQ started from nothing and seeing all the members and people who’ve worked so hard coming such a long way, I think that is their biggest strength. I am honored to have participated as part of Team LinQ.
「色んな職種の方々が集まってやった事ないことを福岡で叶えようとしてる所だと思います。
僕も何度か東京にこないかと誘われた事があったのですが、やはり福岡が好きでした。
無名なアーティスト、たくさんいるんです。
僕は有名な人の曲を売れるようにつくるより、
福岡でがんばってるアーティストと なかった物(作品)を一緒にやれる事、夢を叶える事を手伝う方が人生で損しないと思っています。
LinQも最初なにも形がありませんでした。それを色んな方々が一生懸命メンバーと共に
歩んできた事が強みだと思います。Team LinQとして今参加させて頂いてる事をありがたく思います。」

NSK: Are there any misconceptions you would like to clear up about producing idol music?
アイドルの楽曲を作る上で、なくしていきたい誤ったイメージや思い込みはありますか?

SHiNTA:I don’t think there are any misconceptions to begin with but a group’s management has their own agenda and strategies so I can’t say anything about the kind of music they want. I don’t really mind as long as I’m able to create something good.
「誤ったイメージはそもそもなくて、そのグループの運営さんの方向性も考え方もあると思いますので、
どんな音楽が欲しいのかは僕には何とも言えません。ただ、自分でいい物を作れたらいいと思います。

NSK: Do you pay attention to other idol groups?
他のアイドルグループに注目しますか? (他のアイドルグループも気になりますか?)

SHiNTA: I can’t really say I do but I think that new groups – ones that are less developed and don’t have any particular identity to them yet are interesting.
「特にありませんが、これから始まる新たなグループ(まだ色のない)が
僕としては面白いかと思います。」

NSK: Who would you like to work with in the future, idol or non-idols?
この先、どのアイドルかアイドルではないグループとアーティストとお仕事したいですか?

SHiNTA: I’m happy with anything as long as I can continue writing music. I don’t particularly focus on working with only idols. (For example, I worked on enka last year)
「特にアイドルにこだわったりしてません。音楽を書けるのならどんな仕事も嬉しいです。」
(去年は演歌もさせて頂きました。)

NSK: Composers often seem like the unsung heroes of the idol industry, with the focus being on the idol group itself. Is that your perception as well, or do you feel that there is enough satisfaction in that your work is recognized by those in the same line of work as you?
アイドル業界では、グループばかり世間から注目が集まって、作曲家はいわば影のヒーローのような存在ですよね。SHiNTAさんは作曲家たちも注目されるべきだと思いますか?それとも、業界関係者の間できちんと評価されているので満足していますか?

SHiNTA: Haha, I’m fine with that. They are the main act and we are their support. We should be happy to see them succeed.
「僕は影のままがいいですね(笑)メインは彼女達な訳で僕らはサポートなんです。
彼女達が輝けたらありがたいです。」

We’d like to thank SHiNTA for taking part in this interview and giving us a glimpse into an often under appreciated side of the music industry. For more information and updates on SHiNTA’s future projects, be sure to check out his website SHiNTA PLANET and follow him on Twitter @shintaplanet. You can also check out some of his work on SoundCloud.

Translation: Anthony Hagiwara and Kenneth Uy

Who would you like to see NSK interview next? Leave a comment and let us know!

About NSK

New School Kaidan is a community-focused website for the Japanese idol industry international fan base. Between podcasts, broadcasts, events, and analytic articles, New School Kaidan aims to bring an understanding of idol culture to the masses.

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One comment

  1. Thank you to Shinta for sharing his thoughts with NSK. And ggs to NSK for getting someone from the music side of things to explain some of the processes! I’d love to know the thought process behind the making of an AKB song, from the making right up to the choreography!

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