May J. is a multi-lingual Japanese pop and r&b singer, songwriter, and host of the internationally known TV show J-Melo. This super talented lady was destined to become a star; developing a strong interest in music at a young age, and even balancing her education and career in order to achieve both. It takes drive and determination to succeed, and this artist certainly possesses the will power and ability needed for the journey. May’s set to release her 5th studio album, “SECRET DIARY,” which she described as "expressing what was hidden" from her music before. One can definitely agree that this album will be her most personal to date, as she’s revealing her “real experiences” through the songs. It’s evident that the singer is working hard on getting her music to the world, and with her undeniable talent and captivating charms, I’m certain the rest of the world will be shouting her name in no time. And now, while we’re anticipating the release of her upcoming work of art, watch May J.’s latest music video “yozora no yuki (the night sky's snow)” below and read the exclusive interview to learn more:
EY: Tell us a little about your life and what it was like growing up.
MJ: I was born in Tokyo, grew up in Yokohama. My dad is Japanese and my mom was born in Iran, but she’s also mixed (Persian/Russian mom and Persian/Turkish/British/Spanish dad)
Went to a Japanese school until Junior High, but they had really strict rules that they didn’t let me work as a singer. So I decided to attend an American high school called “ASIJ”.
EY: When did you develop a love for music?
MJ: I started taking piano and ballet lessons when I was 3, then started taking opera lessons when I was 8. I knew that I was going to be a singer and I had to make this dream come true. So I took more lessons with different vocal coaches.
I was always a big fan of Disney music, and fell in love with Christina Aguilera’s “Reflection” from the Disney movie “Mulan“. Since then, she has been my role model.
EY: You once said that you’d like to debut in Iran. Do you still have hopes of doing that?
MJ: I know that music live shows are prohibited in Iran, but I really wish that someday we could do a concert there. I listen to some Persian artists like Googoosh, Ebi, ARASH, and I’d like to do a collaboration with them someday.
“I don’t like to categorize my music…”
EY: I heard you were pursuing music while attending school. It must have been tough juggling both?
MJ: It was VERY tough. I sometimes got only a few hours to sleep. Had to finish writing lyrics while doing home work, and didn’t hang out with my school friends because I had to hit the studio after school. But music is my everything, it’s what I love to do, and I live for it. As long as I could do music, I didn’t mind all that.
EY: How did you get the opportunity to debut in the industry?
MJ: I took an audition that was held by a music company when I was 14. Lots of different labels were interested in making music with me, and I chose to work with a certain label. Took more singing and dancing lessons and 4 years later, I finally made my debut with my mini album “All My Girls.”
EY: Who are some of your musical influences?
MJ: Christina Aguilera is one of my favorite singers. I love her strong voice. Alicia Keys is my other favorite. I wish I could play the piano and sing emotionally like her.
EY: Describe your style.
MJ: I don’t like to categorize my music, but I would say something between R&B & JPOP. I can sing anything from Japanese standard ballads, to danceable Electros. I write my own lyrics, compose, and sometimes play the piano. And I dance too.
EY: What’s the concept behind your upcoming 5th studio album “Secret Diary?”
MJ: The title speaks for itself. In this album, I’m expressing the innerside of me that I couldn’t show to other people. Such as, my worst relationship with my boyfriend, or like a broken friendship with my best friend. I have also put lots of positive messages to this album.
EY: What inspires the songs on the album?
MJ: All songs come from my real experiences. I want to share them with people who are going through the same things and tell them that they are not the only ones feeling that way.
EY: Have you ever considered making an English language album and promoting in the U.S.?
MJ: I have always wanted to do that! It’s one of my dreams. If I were able to make an English album, I would mix some different languages and rhythms to express my backgrounds, which come from different parts of the world. I’d like to collaborate with some artists from different countries too!
“I hope I can introduce how diverse Japanese music is to the world.”
EY: What do you want people to take from your music?
MJ: I want to share my feelings with my listeners, and I wish I could give some positive messages through my music.
EY: Besides being a singer, you’re hosting the popular “J-Melo.” How do you feel about the impact of the show?
MJ: I’ve been hosting the show for almost 3years, and I’m always amazed by how much people from other countries know about Japanese music. There are still lots more great musicians and artists from different genres. I hope I can introduce how diverse Japanese music is to the world.
EY: Thank you for taking the time. Please leave a message for your fans.
MJ: I’ve put all my effort in my new album “SECRET DIARY.” I hope that you like it! And I wish I could do a live show in your part of the world!
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