“GIANT KILLING” Billboard Japan Interview

MADKID, composed of 3 vocalists and 2 rappers, as a dance and vocal unit, they have continued to release music with a very uncommon sound to them. On November 7th, they released a digital single, “GIANT KILLING.” We had them talk about this very song, named after their tour title, and of course about their excitement for the tour. 

—What kind of feelings were put into this song and the tour title, GIANT KILLING? 

▲YOU-TA

YOU-TA: I was the one who suggested this title to the members. The direct translation of the term “GIANT KILLING” refers to inferiors overthrowing someone superior to them, and bringing unexpected results. MADKID has gone through a long period of tough times, but we overcame that and now we are here, having had our major debut, and now our very first tour. Therefore, for this title, rather than the feeling of surpassing someone, it very strongly contains our wish to break down our own walls.

YUKI: Our one man live from last year, “NO LIMIT” also had that same kind of meaning, so in the end, our only walls are within ourselves. That’s why, on the surface, it’s about surpassing ourselves. However, on the other side of that, each member has someone that they look up to and aim for as their goal, and perhaps they want to surpass that person and aim even higher. People often tell us this, apparently we’re intimidating, so in order to overthrow that label, we thought it would be a suiting title and decided on it. 

—How did you guys go about with creating GIANT KILLING? 

▲YUKI

YUKI: Normally, when it comes to composing, it’s usually LIN-chan, me, and YOU-TA who are the center of it all, but for “GIANT KILLING,” all of the members created it together. We also wanted to make it something different from what we’ve had up until now, but we usually would record each individual member’s voice with the sample melody (as the image that we had for it), but it was turning out different from what we wanted, so we put all of our voices into it together after we were done with composing. Normally, we would be done perfectly with two takes, but we ended up taking a lot of time this time. Usually it takes just about 4 days? It’s the first time we’ve taken so long on a song (laughs) 

KAZUKI: Yeah, it really took a long time (laughs)

YUKI: We’ve changed the way we arranged it after recording it, and then decided we wanted to change it back over and over, so when we listened to the finished version, I thought we were finally able to make it coherent. As we were creating this song, we didn’t think about how we would show ourselves at live performances at all, and we just thought about “making something good,” and we’ve had our major debut, so I think we were able to incorporate as much of what we’ve done as possible, including our indies pieces. That’s why we would be happy if this song can convey to people “This is where MADKID is now.” 

—Did you guys make the song GIANT KILLING for the tour? 

▲SHIN

YOU-TA: Yes, it’s a song that we thought of making right after the tour was decided. We created the song as a way to aim for the tour. We were really conscious about keeping it very MADKID style, something that would give off an intense impact, and when we thought about that, I think we were able to really show off our own colors with the lyrics and the soundtrack. For my singing parts, I was conscious of keeping a nice melody, but also exerting my voice a little stronger as I sang. 

SHIN: Yeah, it’s the same for me too. I wanted to bring out more of an edge, and there were also a lot of English lyrics, so I used my throat a lot and sang it kind of like a rock style. 

YUKI: We had our tour title, and we were going to make this song, but we didn’t have any concrete ideas of what kind of song to make it, so it started out as a blur. But we thought, we do want it to be a really badass song, just something that people would be mesmerized by and think “Ah, this is so cool!” And when it came down to that, we thought that if we just simply made a song that was similar to our major debut song, “Never going back” it wouldn’t be very interesting. 

—Just from the title, it seems to be a very positive image on the surface, but when it comes to it being very much MADKID, theres also some negative emotions in the melody and track, and its fun to listen to the lyrics of the song too. 

YUKI: It depends on the genre of the song, but I think negative emotions are easier to empathize with. That’s why, besides using words that say “Let’s do this!” to make the impact, we thought it would be more interesting to have that change in emotion within the song. The song itself has a lot of English lyrics, but we’ve scattered a bit of Japanese in the important areas, and I think it’s a song that resonates deep into people’s hearts more than ever before. 

▲LIN

LIN: I usually write my raps in my own style, but this is the first time that I really got stuck writing it for a song as part of MADKID. Recently, I’ve been trying to actually rhyme my raps, which was something I hadn’t been really conscious about doing in the past. It’s got nothing to do with how rap is in the Japanese music scene, I’ve just been simply bored with how I’ve been doing my rap, so I tried to change it up from usual to make it rhyme. I’ve been trying to make raps like that during the second half of this year. 

In terms of the way I think, I have this immature way of thinking that for music or any kind of art, I’m like a ronin 1, even if you try really hard, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be rewarded, and you won’t know until you’ve passed the exam, you won’t know unless you actually sell well, except that there’s no meaning to all this effort if you don’t sell. I have always had that way of thinking, so it wasn’t like I wrote the rap part in order to be refreshed. It wasn’t so much my mind that I had changed, just my style.

—The emotions felt in that song did give off those vibes of your efforts

YUKI: We’re really happy if you do feel that way. I also felt that way when I listened to the completed version, and it made me think that in the end, you won’t really know until you create the track. We took a lot of time making the song, and changed things over and over to make it the way it is, and we pondered over it so much, but in the end we were able to make a piece that we truly felt that we were proud of…We really broke down many times.

▲KAZUKI

KAZUKI: We also recorded different versions for the vocal parts, and we decided on which ones to use at first, but then we thought “Let’s change it after all,” and we did, but after listening to it, we would think, “Actually, it was better before.” and we ended up mixing up many different arrangements of it in the completed version. We pieced and mixed together different versions and that was really interesting too. When we listened to the completed version, we were also really surprised and we thought, “Wow, so this is how it turned out!” (laughs)

—Im very curious to find out what kind of performance it would be at a live

YOU-TA: In terms of performance, (at the time of the interview) we haven’t completed the choreography yet, so I can’t really say much, but it’s a song kind of with a story, so we kind of have an image of how we want it to be. Also, in my singing parts, I sing with a lot of fakes, and there’s also the harmony with KAZUKI, and personally I think there’s no doubt that it will be a performance that will be a good challenge. Rather than making the dance a catchy one, we want to make it “The MADKID” type of dance, so that’s what we’re looking at right now. 

—We cant wait until MADKIDs first tour starts on December 15th. How are you guys feeling about it right now?

SHIN: I’d like the 5 of us to get really hyped up and have it be an accumulation of what we’ve done for this entire year! 

LIN: It will be our last live before we reach a year since our major debut, but it’s not to just show that we’ve become a major artist, among that, I hope that it will be a live that shows how we have grown. Also, since it’s the end of the year, we hope to welcome the end of the year by having fun with everyone in this tour. 

KAZUKI: What I want people to feel from this tour is really simple. I want them to watch our live and think “MADKID is different from everyone else, they’re awesome.”

YUKI: I think MADKID has changed since our major debut. I think our resolve to do music, and our pride has become stronger, and I’d like everyone to first of all enjoy watching our performance. I want them to have fun at MADKID’s lives. I think it will be fun to watch how we will continue to grow in the future, and we would love to have a lot of people come to see us. 

YOU-TA: I also feel the same way, and they’ve pretty much covered all of it. We will make it a live that will make you think that you want to keep following MADKID, so those who are still debating about it, we will take any claims that you’ll have, but for now, please just come and watch us. 

—Im interested to know what MADKIDs aspirations will be after that.

YOU-TA: Right now, we appear in a lot of events where many other dance and vocal units gather, but we’d like to get to appear in many events that we have never been invited to before. It’s fun to perform in front of a discerning audience, and it’s quite a thrill to us, so we’d like to appear in a much more wider range of events in that sense, and get approached by more people who plan these events. And then those who become aware of us in those events, it would be nice if MADKID’s performance was able to convey something to those people.

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