Today, we have the privilege of sitting down with Maaya Sakamoto, a renowned artist who has captivated audiences with her mesmerizing voice and stunning performances. Maaya’s illustrious career spans across various mediums, from music to voice acting, making her a multifaceted talent in the entertainment industry. With enchanting songs like “Platinum” (from Card Captor Sakura) and “Mameshiba” (from the anime film The Girl Who Leapt Through Time), Maaya has left an indelible mark on the music scene. Beyond her musical achievements, Maaya has also been praised for her contributions to anime series, lending her voice to beloved characters and bringing them to life. Join us as we delve into the world of Maaya Sakamoto, exploring her artistic journey, her inspirations, and her profound impact on the industry.
Interview with Maaya Sakamoto
This is the first time we have interviewed Maaya-san for Honey’s Anime. So we are very excited.
First of all, congratulations on the release of your 11th album! The album title “Kioku no Toshokan” (Library of Memory) is a beautiful title that is very impressive and at the same time makes us imagine many things. Please tell us about your thoughts behind this album title.
We all live closely with memories every day. I imagined that these memories are stored in a kind of storage unit in our minds, like a quiet space where different memories are neatly arranged on shelves in boxes. I created this album with this kind of place in mind.
I heard that the 8 newly recorded songs on this album were written based on an original story shared by Maaya. I had a chance to look at the concept story, and I was intrigued by “a memory repository that manages the memories of all the people in the world” and “a boy who recovers ‘discarded memories.'” How did you come up with this concept?
I think human memory is really amazing. Sometimes we can’t forget things we want to forget, and sometimes we forget really important things. Maybe there’s a limit to how many memories we can store in our heads, so we unconsciously choose what to keep and what to let go. I’ve just reached the midpoint of my life, and I was thinking about what memories I will carry with me and what I will forget as I go on living.
Maaya-san, you are not only a singer but also a lyricist, and you always create wonderful lyrics. You have written lyrics for 8 songs for this year’s “Kioku no Toshokan (Library of Memory).” What do you keep in mind when writing lyrics and what is important to you?
Also, if you have any lyrics or words that are particularly special to you among the 8 songs you wrote this time, we would be very happy to hear them.
I have enjoyed putting something in words since I was a child . That’s why I also love writing lyrics, which is an important place where I can express myself. For my latest work, I wanted to write bright and light-hearted lyrics that captured a small scene of everyday life without being too complicated. But when I finished, all the songs had heavy themes and were not at all light-hearted…I was surprised to see that this is what reflected who I am right now. But I think maybe I unconsciously wanted to sing words that deeply explore my inner self like this.
You also included four anime tie-up songs in this edition of “Kioku no Toshokan”. (“Sumire,” the opening theme of the TV anime Deaimon; “Kotoba ni Dekinai,” the ED theme of the third season of the popular anime Ascendance of a Bookworm; “Mada Tooku ni Iru,” the ED theme of the WOWOW original anime Hikari no Oh; and “un_mute,” the theme song for the TV anime REVENGER.)
When you are in charge of writing lyrics for anime tie-up songs, do you take inspiration from the anime? Please let us know if there is any difference between writing lyrics for tie-up songs and songs that are not tie-up songs.
In the case of tie-up songs, I read the original work or script of the project, and listen to the director’s requests to figure out what kind of lyrics would be appropriate. I always try to find a theme that resonates with my own feelings, which allows me to expand on it and write the lyrics regardless of the project.
What did Maaya-san think when she took another look at the completed album as a whole? Please tell us your honest impression of the album after its completion!
There were many musicians that I collaborated with for the first time on this album, making it an album full of new encounters and inspiration. I have been a singer for over 25 years. While I feel that sticking to familiar people and methods might be easier, it would make it difficult to discover new things or be surprised. Continuously embarking on adventures and challenges is difficult, but I believe it is very important. I want to use the discoveries and challenges I gained from making this album as nourishment for my next work and keep working hard.
You had a child in April 2022. Sincere congratulations!
When this wonderful news was announced, there was a lot of joy and congratulations among your international fans.
Is there anything new you have noticed as a creator before and after the birth of your child? Or has anything changed in the way you express your work? If you have made any wonderful discoveries, please let us know.
There hasn’t been a sudden change in my expression. However, now that I have a child, I am more aware of the many miracles that surround us. I think this will continue to inspire me.
Please let us know what you enjoy doing in your free time, and if there is something you have been into recently.
I love spending time with my family more than anything else. Besides that, I’ve been really into Pilates for the past few years. I feel refreshed and energized when I move my body.
Have you already started planning any future activities? Please let us know if there is anything you can share with us! Or, if there is something you are not planning to do now but would like to try in the future, please let us know!
I have a concert tour (in Japan) scheduled for June. I plan to sing a lot of songs from my newest album.
We are very much looking forward to Maaya-san’s future activities. Finally, I would appreciate it if you could give a message to the many Maaya fans overseas!
Thank you always for your support. I feel truly fortunate that there are people waiting to hear my songs from various parts of this planet. It’s been disappointing that I haven’t been able to travel abroad in the past few years due to the pandemic, but since I love traveling, I hope to visit many different countries again in the future!
Thank you, Maaya-san, for your time. It has been an absolute pleasure to interview such an icon, and we are sure that our readers have also enjoyed this talk! We genuinely urge all music enthusiasts to explore Maaya Sakamoto’s music, and please, look forward to the release of “Kioku no Toshokan” on May 31st!
Connect with Maaya Sakamoto
Memory Library special site