When people think about a song of hopefulness, what do other people think? Mellow and slow? A lot of thrills and orchestral vibes? What if we told you that a hopeful message in a song is not limited to one genre?
Enter indie VTuber Kuwanano, who recently released her first original song of the year titled Follow My Voice. Interestingly, MusicDrop's features this year, including Rita Kamishiro and Miya have shared a similar message about being hopeful for this year and anticipating great changes ahead.
Without furtherado, MusicDrop features this thoughtful interview with Kuwanano on the song's release, and the message she wants fans to learn from it.
How "Follow My Voice" Links To Her Old Songs
Q: You have quite the original discography for an indie VTuber. What would you say are the similarities and uniqueness of "Follow my Voice" in contrast to your other original songs?
Kuwanano: “Follow my Voice” is, after a long time, one of my VTuber lore songs. My first three songs that I released as a VTuber ("Delete," "Melanchomaniac" and "silent NOISE") were my original lore trilogy, telling the story of how my character tried to escape from reality into a world where no one could hurt them."
"Originally, I was going to move away from lore-songs and instead make songs that are not about my character, which I did with the release of my EP “Cinder” and the Single “Taboo”. But things have changed for me as a person and streamer, so I wanted to make that clear with a new song."
"The overall electronic rock sound of the song is very similar to both “Delete” and “silent NOISE” as it uses a lot of the same instruments. All of these songs were produced in collaboration with the amazingly talented kawaiipastel. The lyrics were completely written by me in English, and then partly translated to Japanese by datenkou."
The Creative Process
Q: Could you tell us sort of a brief explanation and/or storytelling behind the song's overall message?
Kuwanano: "While the first three lore songs were rather dark, this new one is hopeful. It’s a message from me to my fans. I am no longer trying to escape from my problems, or reality. I will face it all head-on. Things have changed for me both privately and as a streamer."
"My VTuber character’s story was always a metaphor for my real-life struggles. I do suffer from severe anxiety which reflects in most of my songs. But things can get better. I believe it’s not about getting rid of your problems sometimes. It’s more about learning to live with them."
Q: For this track, who would you say would be your main musical inspirations and why?
Kuwanano: "My biggest inspirations are both REOL, who’s very well known in the VTuber and Utaite community, but also Hizumi, the former lead singer of a no longer active J-Rock band known as D’espairsRay. Of course, Ado is a big inspiration as well! I love to try different things with my music."
"I’m most comfortable with Rock songs, but I’ve tried to go into EDM with “Cinder”, or Electroswing with “Taboo”. Who will inspire me next, and what genres will I end up giving a try? I can’t tell of course, but that’s the fun part."
One Word to Describe
Q: If there is one word that best describes 'Follow Your Voice', what would it be and why?
Kuwanano: "Hopeful. As I already said, it’s the first of my lore songs that isn’t dark and depressing. As the lyrics say, “The world is still cold but I found a hand to hold”.
"Follow My Voice" and the 3.0 Debut
Q: It's interesting to note that this track is released as part of your 3.0 debut. What would you say are the characteristics of your redebut that's also reflected in your new song?
Kuwanano: "I think the funniest part is that I released an original song for all of my debuts, and those three songs are now the ones that have the most similar traits to each other! And yes, the message of the song definitely reflects the changes that my VTuber model went through."
"They look much more cool and mature now, less cute and idol-like. I feel like I’ve grown a lot, both as a person and as a VTuber. My debut was on February 3rd, but I’m still running a Subathon for the rest of the month and am streaming once every day."
The Message to Fans
Q: What's the one message you'd want fans to learn from this song?
Kuwanano: "I think this line from the beginning of the second verse sums it up pretty well: “Jealousy won’t get us far. You gotta keep in mind just who the hell you are; you’re not a shadow of the past.” Stop looking too much at what others do. Do your own thing. There’s people out there who will love you for simply being yourself, and those are the people who will be the strongest foundation of your community."
We thank Kuwanano for her invaluable time to allow us to interview her for MusicDrop. "Follow My Voice" is currently on her official YouTube channel, as well as on her Spotify page. As of this writing, she is currently doing a subathon, and you can follow her on her official Twitch account, as well as on X (Twitter) for official updates from her.