anibee Features: T.M. Revolution!
He has single-handedly breathed life, excitement, and a whole ton of audio-epicness into countless numbers of classic anime. With his rich, powerful vocals and catchy beats, he has turned already great shows into immortal and memorable power houses that command hundreds of thousands of fans more than 10 years after their debut.
He is the man, the legend and the revolutionary! He is none other than Takanori Nishiwaka, better known by his stage name; "Takanori Makes Revolution" - T.M. Revolution!
Arriving in Singapore for his concert at the Anime Festival Asia 2012, as well as celebrating his 15th anniversary and his first ever trip to Southeast Asia, we got to sit down with the singer himself for a quick chat!
anibee: Hello Takanori-san! First of, a big warm welcome to Singapore!
T.M.R.: Hello, and thank you so much for inviting me here! I have always wanted to visit Singapore for the longest time as I've heard so much about it.
anibee: You seem to be having a lot of fun, especially with your pictures on Facebook at the Merlion... doing a Hadouken?
T.M.R.: *beams proudly* Oh you saw that, hahaha!
But yes, Singapore is such a lovely place, with so much to see and do here. I am especially looking forward to trying your food here, especially this noodle dish. What do you call it again, Raksha?
anibee: I believe it's Laksa!
T.M.R.: Ahh yes, yes, yes, Laksa! I got to eat it when I was in Malaysia, Penang Laksa I think, and I heard Singapore's version is different - I want to try it for myself! What would you recommend?
anibee: We have our Katong Laksa, and I'm sure you'll find it to be just as good! It's got a great flavour, and unique characteristics like short noodles that let you eat it with just a spoon!
T.M.R.: I will remember it! I must try Katong Laksa, yeah!
anibee: You're very well known as a prominent anisong artiste in the industry and the world. Has anime always been a part of what you do?
T.M.R.: Yes, I can easily say it has. From young up till now, I have always been a big fan of anime and just animation in general. I've watched many anime as a child, and having such shows grow up with me played a huge influence on the scope of my work and the direction I like to take.
anibee: Imagine if there was NO anisong industry - what do you see yourself doing in such a case?
T.M.R.: Eh! I can't possibly imagine that! In fact, I probably wouldn't want to hahaha! Anime is such a big part of my life, I'd do anything to make sure that anisong as a genre and industry would always be around.
If I wasn't a singer though, I have always been interested in other things like voice acting and presenting. When I was approached by the staff of Gundam SEED to voice a character, Miguel Aiman, it was probably one of the happiest moments of my life. Voicing a character and being part of the Gundam Universe has been one of my life long dreams - and it was absolutely terrific!
anibee: You've done songs for so many anime; Rurouni Kenshin, the Gundam SEED series, Sengoku Basara; just how DO you go about writing a song for each and every anime you've graced? Is it important for you to like and get into an anime first before writing a song for it?
T.M.R.: Yes, as much as I possible, I always try to do my research, and get attached to each and every anime I am requested to do a song for. When I write my songs, I always aim to convey the feelings and message that the anime is trying to get across to its audience, whether if it is of intensity, fun or excitement.
Thus, I do everything I can to know more about an anime I am assigned to. From asking the production crew on why they feel my sound is appropriate to the anime, to the kind of tune they want (Opening, Ending, etc), and sometimes whether if it is a TV series, OVA or movie.
The music of an anime to me plays a huge importance, as it embodies and represents the very essence and theme of the show it belongs to. One listen to the song, and the audience should be instantly able to know what the anime is about. As both an artiste and a fan myself, that's extremely important!
anibee: What's in store for you with regards to future projects?
T.M.R.: I recently released an album to commemorate my 15th anniversary in the industry. It basically has me covering my own songs, giving a new spin to them, based on selections from fans' votes! I hope it can see a release in other regions outside of Japan soon!
anibee: Please give a few words to your fans!
T.M.R.: Thank you so much for inviting me down everyone! I am extremely happy to know I have so many people who enjoy my music here.
Music and Anime are both wonderful things that should be purely for our happiness and entertainment, as well as letting us connect with one another from all over the world. Let's share the magic of anisong together, okay!
- Compiled, translated, transcribed and edited by Q