18 March 2021

Akimoto Yasushi explains how he got the idea for Keyakizaka46's debut single "Silent Majority"

report from Yahoo Japan News, 18 March 2021 

Music producer Akimoto Yasushi (62) appeared live on NHK’s Gogonama. He spoke about the idol group Keyakizaka46 (now Sakurazaka46), which he produces, and revealed that he used their un-idol-like appeal to create their debut single Silent Majority

Normally, the image of an idol is to be cheerful and communicative. But when members came together for the Keyakizaka46 auditions “you wouldn’t think it was an idol audition. They didn’t smile and didn’t make up to people. They were strange girls.”

This unpredictable charm gave him the idea that when parents and teachers told them things they did not believe themselves, modern young people may wonder if they might not be able to express their own ideas. That was the beginning of the group’s debut song Silent Majority.

“Although there were people at the time who criticized the paradox that it was an adult who had them sing ‘Don’t let adults tell you what to do’,” he explained, “I thought that was the way of doing it which would be most effective.”

He said that unlike a singer-songwriter, he wasn’t putting his own ideas into the lyrics, but making lyrics from the point of view of the singers.

17 March 2021

Nagahama Neru interview: how her friends helped her move forward

 Interview in with magazine, March 2021.

Nagahama Neru: “It was myself the words I spoke hurt most.” And how her friends’ words led her to change her way of thinking.

TV personality Nagahama Neru – One step at a time on the road to her ideal

As much as possible, I didn’t want anyone to hate me. I chose work that involved standing in front of other people, so I became someone who took direction from what I saw in other people’s faces.

But after I turned 20, bit by bit I gave up on the ideal me I had drawn for myself. “Oh, well,” I said, I’ll just accept my failings. And from then I have found a solid way to move forward.