FAKY is a Tokyo based J-pop girl group, comprising of four talented women – Akina, Anna, Mikako and Lil’ Fang. The group debuted in the year 2013 under Avex’s Rhythm Zone record label. Originally, a 5-member group, FAKY went through a major change when Akina joined and the former members Diane and Tina left the band to pursue their own endeavors. But the strong fan base, through its support and love, made sure that the girls overcame this tough phase, coming out stronger.
5 years down, the group has signed a major record deal with a UK based record label, expanding their reach and influence in the western world. Their journey shows the wonders perseverance and hard work can do for one. Also, their journey has made them explore their sound in a way that helps them connect with their audience.
Drawing inspiration from both western and Japanese music, the group tries to offer the best of both worlds through their songs to the audience. Recently, FAKY released their album “Unwrapped” which to the fans’ amazement came with an English version of “Someday We’ll Know”. The single has received a positive response from international fans.
CelebMix got a chance to interact with the group members and discuss their music, style, influences and their plans for 2018. Check out the complete interview below:
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
We’re a J-pop girl group consisting of 4 girls that have very different personalities, and grew up in different circumstances, but share the same love in music.
The name “FAKY” is quite unique and so is its meaning. You are often described as a group that is trying to bring something fresh to Japanese music industry. Can you please talk a bit about your music and how do you strive to be different?
We just put out music that we think sounds good. There’s not one genre that we stick to, nor one image that we try to project. I think a lot of people struggle to fit a certain image in society, but we want to keep it real and share all our ups and downs. We want people to know that it’s okay to just be you.
There is a lot of competition within the J-Pop industry and for a long time, a lot of K-Pop artists have been trying to break into the market to expand their fan base so, for a limited fan base, there are quite a lot of options in terms of music. How do you then, situate yourself amidst so much competition? That is, what kind of challenges do you have to overcome to carve a niche for yourself in the industry?
It’s true that there is a lot of competition, but we don’t really think about competing with others. We don’t find meaning in making music just because it will sell. We want to make music that we like, and as long as our fans can resonate to it, that’s all that matters. I think it’s important to always know what you want, and not let the hard times affect you.
FAKY debuted in the year 2013 and a lot has changed in the last 5 years. How has the journey been so far and what kind of major changes and transformations have you seen as a group and as individuals?
We’ve definitely become more aware of what we want as a group. 5 years ago, we were only starting off and thought we had to portray a “strong” image, but now we never try to be something we’re not. If we feel weak, we know it’s okay to show that. Individually, our characters are much more defined and we understand what each member is bringing to the group.
A group gets its character from the members and each of you brings something unique to FAKY as a whole. We would like to know:
Each member’s perception of art and their influences
I was strongly influenced by 2NE1. They were the ones that made me want to be in a girl group.
I feel that art is one of the most commonly shared similarity between humans. Especially now, in a world where so much hate and discrimination exists, I think it’s so important to assure one another that we have more in common than we think we do. Even in the slightest way, art and music bonds and connects us into one. One of my main musical influence is Jhene Aiko for spreading the message of positivity and to love one another.
I think art is such a special thing that people can share because there’s no rule, no language, and anyone of any age can appreciate it. I personally love art that hints a bit of sadness because it’s an emotion that people can strongly relate to. I grew up listening to artists like the Carpenters and the Beatles under my parents’ influence.
Art is my way of expression. Anything from their emotion can become an art when they express to people. I have been influenced by Japanese hip-hop. It taught me music and lyric can deliver our emotion directly. This experience motivated me to start my music career.
Each member’s distinguishing trait and role in the group
I think I have the most relatable appearance for Japanese people, so I try to incorporate that Japanese quality in our music videos and live performances as well.
I am the youngest member so I am always getting picked on like the little sister haha. Growing up in America, I feel that I am able to teach the girls about American culture and style.
I’m the eldest but I feel like I’m one of the younger ones in the group because I’m always fooling around with Akina. Haha. Since I’m the leader of the group, I find it’s my job to incorporate each member’s opinions when deciding certain things. I don’t want to be the kind of person that just tells someone what to do without hearing what they have to say.
I think I take a role of leading the group in terms of singing and talking on stage.
Fans look up to you for fashion inspiration. We would like to know each member’s definition of style.
Mikako is the fashion leader of the group. She tends to go for the simple items and loves to stick to black and white. Lil Fang would be considered the most genderless in terms of fashion. She can work any crazy item and make it her own. Akina has the young American teenager style. She likes it casual but manages to always make it super stylish.
I (Anna) like it simple too but lean towards more feminine fashion. But I’m pretty active so I’ll always consider comfort for any outfit.
Who do you guys look up to when it comes to fashion and why?
We all use Instagram for fashion influence. There’s not a specific group of person that we follow, but Lil and Mikako share a mutual interest in Tokyo originated fashion, while Akina and I share the same likings in western originated fashion.
Congratulations on the release of “Unwrapped”. Please tell our readers a bit about the album.
Thank you! “Unwrapped” is the major debut EP we’ve ever released so it has a very special place in our hearts. We are able to confidently say that we are proud of this EP we’ve created, which I think is very important as artists. You’ll hear different genres of music listening to this album as we wanted to show our versatility and stay true to our own individual music roots.
Both the Japanese and the English version of “Someday We’ll Know” sound really good. FAKY has a really strong base of international audience and the English version is definitely a treat for them. So, how has the response been so far for the single?
The response from the release of “Someday We’ll Know” English version has been very overwhelming! We wanted to release something specifically for our international fans who do not have as much of an easy access to our music. We have such a strong fan base abroad and we wanted to make sure they know how much we appreciate their support!
What prompted you to release an English version of the track in the first place?
Like I said before, we wanted to thank our international fans for supporting us despite the distance between us. We truly believe we would not be in the position we are in without them!
Will we get a chance to listen to more such English versions of your songs?
Yes, you will! We have a couple other songs that we’ve recorded in English that haven’t been released yet. We plan on recording more English versions of our songs in the future as well!
You have worked with some of the well-known producers in the music industry including DJ Fresh and Commands. How has been your experience of working with them?
We absolutely love DJ Fresh and Commands! I remember the first time we heard the demo tracks to their songs. We completely lost our minds jamming out so hard! We are very fortunate and lucky to work with such talented people that differentiates our music from the J-pop scene.
2018 has just started. What are your goals for the year? Did you guys make a New Year resolution?
We have very big plans for 2018! The four of us had a dinner before the New Years talking about the upcoming year and how we wanted to take our music to the next level. It is very important to us that we constantly improve ourselves individually and as a group to prove our position as artists. We just want to continue inspiring as many people as we possibly can.
Even though the fan base of J-pop and its sub-genres are quite huge, there are still a lot of people who don’t know much about the genre and about the music scene in the country. Even today, there is a selective focus on the music produced in the Asian countries. BTS were able to draw attention towards their countries’ music but there seems to be a long road ahead. What’s your take on it?
We understand there is a lot of work ahead to increase popularity in our genre of music. We think it’s important to welcome this challenge with open arms rather than to feel discouraged of all the hardships that come with it. We believe in our music and can only hope everyone else does too. We also believe it is crucial to stay true to ourselves as we believe our individuality plays a huge part in our success.
Lastly, do you have any message you’d like to give to your fans?
We just want to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts! We go through tough times just as everyone else, but find light in the continuous support from our fans! We owe everything to you all. We hope we can make 2018 a memorable year for FAKY and meet as many of you guys as possible! I can’t wait for you all to see what’s in store for this year. Thank you for everything!
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