Hiroaki Nakashima, singer of the Japanese rockband “I -ai-“, has dedicated the last years to his very own solo project: V.I.P. His fans loves him for his unique sound, humbleness and natural beauty as well for his loving and positive attitude. V.I.P will very soon take off to Europe for his very first solo tour and I got the opportunity to ask him some questions before that.
Let’s spend some minutes to get to know the man behind V.I.P better. ^^
V.I.P, you visited Paris in July and held a show at Abracadabar. You visited France already back in 2014, but with your band I-ai-. This time you were alone as a solo artist. How would you describe the difference between your Paris-visit 2014 and 2015?
V.I.P: I’ve always wanted to go to Paris, last year we didn’t get the chance to do any tourism due to our schedule but it was one of the best shows. This year’s visit to Paris was longer and I visited a lot of places to study the French culture, every day was happy.
According to Social Media, it seems like you made some sight-seeing during your stay in Paris. What tourist destination was your favorite and why?
V.I.P: All the places were great. I was impressed by the Eiffel tower and the fireworks on the French national day.
You released your very first full album SOMA ESSENTIAL in July. How long did it take to complete that album?
V.I.P: It took exactly one year.
What songs of SOMA ESSENTIAL would you recommend for following situations:
V.I.P: Miracle Carnival
V.I.P: Perfect Love
What meaning do you put in the words “SOMA ESSENTIAL”. What does it mean to you?
V.I.P: The meaning of the words is “Elements of the soul”. I think of it as the soul of people who live in this day and age but also the soul of the people who lived in the past and also the soul of the people in the future. It means the soul of all people.
You will soon kick off your tour titled “SOMA ESSENTIAL TOUR vol.1”. This is your first tour as a solo artist. Are you nervous?
V.I.P: Of course, but the feeling of being challenged is strong.
How do you cope with those feelings. What makes you feel better?
V.I.P: I think that I will keep up the challenge for the people who come to the lives.
This is also the first time that you perform in Russia and Ukraine. What do you know about these countries and what do you expect?
V.I.P: Actually, I don’t know much about either of those countries, but I want to study them. For Russia I have an image close to my hometown. When I talked to SHOTA about the tour of ADAMS, he said that Russia was one of their favorite countries. I’m looking forward to it.
After your shows in Russia and Ukraine, you will head back to Sweden where you once made your debut as a solo artist. Is there anything certain about Sweden that you’ve missed during your absence?
V.I.P: I want to meet my precious fans again. I also want to go back to the Viking restaurant from last time visit!
(visual ioner note: Last time V.I.P visited Sweden, he had a meal at the Viking restaurant “Aifur” in old city, Stockholm, a restaurant started by the Swedish euro dance artist E-Type.)
It will be some busy weeks for you. Directly after your show in Sweden, you will head straight to Romania for another concert. What are your expectations for that visit?
V.I.P: Since Romania is the country that became the model for Dracula, that I love, I would like to see the scenery if possible.
And finally you will make a tour final at the convention Eirtakon on Ireland. I understand it’s your first visit in that country. What do you know about Ireland and what do you expect of that visit.
V.I.P: I’ve loved the Irish artist Enya since I was a child and it’s a country that I’ve been longing to go to. Also, since both V.I.P tour final and I-ai- show will take place at the same event, I’m looking forward to it a lot.
The fact that your tour is titled “SOMA ESSENTIAL TOUR vol.1” kind of insinuate that there will be something following up. What can you tell us about that?
V.I.P: It’s meant to be a vol.2, where we go to countries that are not included this time.
And finally I will ask you some random questions that might help your fans to get to know you better.
If you could never work with music again, what would be your second choice of profession?
V.I.P: I would become a politician, I want to do something for the country.
Did you have any favorite stuffed animal as a child? In that case, what was it?
V.I.P: I only had note and pen, I was always drawing. So I can’t remember any stuffed animal toy. But, I did have many Saint Seiya toys.
Are you a good cook and what is your specialty?
V.I.P: I’m good at most cooking but my specialty is Japanese cuisine.
What is the best book you’ve ever read? What is it about?
V.I.P: 三国志 “Sangokushi” (Romance of the Three Kingdoms). It’s a Chinese historical novel.
Have you ever had any nickname you can reveal for us?
What is your best advice for lovers out there?
V.I.P: Make love last into the future.
What is your favorite western song?
V.I.P: “in the closet” by Michael Jackson.
What would you like to say to your fans that awaits your arrival in this upcoming tour?
V.I.P: Since it’s the first tour and album release, it will give a rich and deep view of the world. And I want to give all the fans that come to the lives a feeling of a special dream.
I want to end with a great thanks to V.I.P for taking time to answer these questions!
Also a big thanks to Jessica Öjermalm who helped out with translation!
Artist: Hiroaki Nakashima
Other bands: I -ai- (I -アイ-)
Birthday: Dec 29th 1978