Color-code’s Meaningful Music
J-pop group Color-code talks about the key to career longevity, the sense of purpose that drives them, and the power of music to connect with others!
Please introduce yourselves and share what special traits you bring to the group!
NANAMI: I'm NANAMI, nice to meet you! My strong point is rapping. I work the most on creating Color-code’s music, and I make the choreography for our performances, so I can say I'm like a producer for Color-code.
MAKO: I express myself [with] my singing, my drawing, and my fashion. I believe these three are the best ways to tell people "Who is MAKO"! I also love to help people and heal people's hearts with my expressions, singing, and lyrics. I bring a warm, gentle, and positive mood to Color-code, I think! Honestly, my nickname is “ANGEL.”
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?
Our songs are very colorful. We have many kinds of moods [in] our music and voices. What we mainly want to tell people through our songs is [to] live freely, because it’s wonderful. We believe if people listen to our songs, they can get positive energy, because of the mood of our music and our powerful, emotional lyrics.
What does your band name represent?
We can be anyone we want to be; we can live freely. We can express many moods and visuals that our fans can enjoy, because we like to surprise them!
Please describe your new single, “No One”!
"No One" [says] "We're no one, [and] that's why we can be any one we want to be." This song has a cheerful and fresh mood and is recommended for summer!
What is a random fun fact people would be surprised to learn about you?
NANAMI: I have another [role as a] teacher. I can teach yoga, dance choreography, and vocal training. I actually love to share my skills [with] people who want to learn. I think it's a wonderful thing that I can see people grow because of my lessons!
MAKO: I think I have kind of a spiritual power, haha. I can read a person’s real character and see their aura.
What are your strengths and weaknesses as a musician?
NANAMI: I experience some unusual things as a musician, so I can make special, meaningful relationships. I [can] grow up myself through these experiences, and I can say that's my strength as a musician. [Regarding a] weakness as a musician, I am sometimes very sensitive and think I hurt people by accident, because I express my feelings too strongly.
MAKO: I believe music has the power to bring strong positive energy. My strength as a musician is that I can create excitement by singing my real experiences. My weakness as a musician is that I'm a very sensitive person. Sometimes, I cannot control myself because of how strongly I feel, but I believe that's why I can create music, because I need some sources for writing lyrics, and my experiences [are] this source. So I can’t say it’s a weakness 100 percent, because this sensitive part of myself helps create my music.
How have you changed, both personally and as musicians, since Color-code debuted, and what about you has stayed the same?
NANAMI: I'm thirty years old now, and I think about the meaning of what I express and what I sing more deeply than I did when I was a teenager. I used to think I just liked to sing, [but that’s] only one of the reasons why I sing.
MAKO: I am still a very shy person, like before I debuted, but I [think I am now] better as a musician. I can express my real feelings when I sing more than usual, and I believe more that music has the power to gather people's feelings in one place. People can connect to people through music, even though they have different cultures.
What do you think is the reason for your group’s longevity in music?
NANAMI: I think the communication between members is the biggest reason. We don’t need to be best friends, but it's most important that we can truly believe in each other. We can’t make good performances if we don't have a relationship of mutual trust. Our fans can easily feel our moods, and I believe that our relationship deeply relates to our creations and expressions, so [having a] good relationship is necessary for our long career.
MAKO: At first, we simply loved singing and creating our songs because we [realized] we could make people excited. That’s why we believe our music has power, and we still [want to] share this power [with] the world. This big wish encourages us all the time. Also, the biggest reason for our long career is our supporters, including family, friends, [our] manager, and, of course, AMAZING FANS!
What is one of your most special memories since becoming a member of Color-code?
NANAMI: I can never forget about when we did [a] concert abroad. It moved me to see foreign people get excited for our performance, even though they didn't know much about us. I really [want to have concerts] in many foreign countries!
MAKO: The concert in Europe was one of our dreams. We could connect with fans through the music, even though we couldn't understand each other’s languages. We felt the strong power of our music.
Do you have a personal favorite song on the album Re∂l? And what does that album represent for you? Do you consider releasing Re∂l to have been a major milestone for Color-code?
NANAMI: "Sankaku" is one of my favorite songs from Re∂l, because I wrote it, and I [think the] small world that is Color-code is in the song's lyrics. I wrote about many real feelings from my twenties. Through Re∂l, I could grow as a musician.
MAKO: This is a difficult question for me, because my favorite song from Re∂l changes depending on my feelings at the moment. Now, my favorite song is "I Got Love." My favorite lyric in this song is "My life is blessing, this love is all I need,” and this lyric is what I have been feeling recently. Each song [on] this album has [a] different mood and meaning, so I believe the listener can choose [a favorite] depending on their feelings. I hope that people can feel comfortable listening to Re∂l in every situation, because then we can say releasing this album was a career milestone.
Who would you love to collaborate with in the future?
NANAMI: I'd love to collaborate with ONE OK ROCK, because they are my favorite band. Also, I dream about meeting [the designer] Nicola Formichetti, a big influence on me.
MAKO: I have many ideas for this question! Hmmm… If I collaborate with Beyoncé in the future, I [could] say that my biggest dream came true! She is always stunning and my muse forever. Also, if we could collaborate with Tomo Koizumi, the famous fashion designer, for our stage costumes again, [I’d] feel wonderful! I love his brand so much!
What are your short-term and long-term career goals?
NANAMI: My biggest dream is to perform on the Billboard Stage again. I can never forget that. Since I sang [there] when I was fifteen, that place is special to me. And I [want to] perform live in Europe again, and in the US!
MAKO: My short-term goal is to release a new album as a new Color-code. We just started to create our [new] songs. [My] long-term goal is to go to foreign countries for concerts and perform at the Billboard Japan Stage again. We love live performances, so we really hope we can get many offers globally.
Where can people follow you on social media to stay updated about your music?
Lastly, is there anything else you want to say about your music?
We are humans, we have feelings, [and] that's why it's very natural to have different faces on different days, so accept how you really feel and live freely. We believe this is the best way to shine. We [want to] tell people this with our music.
Answers have been edited and condensed for clarity.