Sitting Down with Mei (4TE and Former Oishii-Ichigo)

Mei
Main Vocalist
4TE
Fans of the group, 4TE may realize this just turning to their social media. It seems that that are working on new music and their next music video. Already, the group has been sharing teasers of the costumes and theme.

Trying to hold in my excitement, I instead tried diverting my attention to my interview with Mei. Not that it helped since hearing her voice gave me the urge to smile ridiculously. After this interview, I learned a new side from Mei. Her beauty isn't just skin deep, she is extremely mature and has the voice that probably spoke with the most experience in the group.

Mei, the angel-voiced fashionista of the group has been a favorite of mine since she first auditioned for Oishii!Project. She has a voice that oozed charisma and a style that I would kill for.

My artist's first reaction to her photo and videos were, "Wow! She is so pretty." No different from how I reacted as well.

Oh, and if you don't know yet, Mei is not just another coverist. I fell in love with her Clarity cover. She has also been known to share some of her original compositions. Even getting recognition for one of them  from Japanese program, J-Mello.



Mei, singing a Japanese/Englisj cover
of Zedd's Clarity

Music


  • Dear Cupid

This is my personal favorite. The video is simple but cute. Proof that you don't need a lot of after effects to make a good video. But I what I love most about it is really the song. It shows of Mei's range and singing style, which at times reminds me of the great Koda Kumi.

This song forces the romantic out of me enticing me with dark chocolate. I think it works considering how the song is basically about getting chocolates and flowers from the worst sort. I can't count how many times I have had this song on replay. I love that it is so feminine and has a gentleness to it, which makes unique from other RnB artists I know that are popular. 


  • For You

Mei, singing her original composition, "For You."
This is the song I mentioned earlier that was recognized by J-Mello. If Koda Kumi's style ever decided to have a love child with YUI's music. 

I have to be honest. I am not the biggest fan of RnB, but something about this song just has an elegance that I find beautiful. 

And what makes this video even more touching. is that is features shots from the wedding between her mother and her stepfather.So, if you think about it, it is a video that not only promotes love but also family and new beginnings.

In short, check her music out!

Lets get to know 4TE's baby-faced fashionista ...

... getting to know 4TE's Mei!



From her FB @mintstrawberries
Aidolizings: Did you always know that you wanted a career in music?

Mei: The short answer is yes. As a child growing up, people around you would say that they want to be astronauts, archaeologists, teachers, I wanted to be a singer. So it [music] has always been a dream I had since childhood.

As I grew older, it was only a matter of mapping out where I wanted to go with a career.

A: How did you get started?

M: I actually got started around second grade. We had school assembles back then and with those school assemblies, we had to sing patriotic songs or the National anthem. They gave you a list of songs you needed to memorize and learn. One of them was the National anthem. As a class we would all just sing together. My teacher would have us [the class] just stand up and just sing.

`I don't know if it was because I singing super loud and sounded different, but she noticed I could sing. After school she called my mom and told her that I could [sing].  She wanted me to sing for the school assembly. I don't have too much recollection of it, but I remember standing on top of a desk at school scared half to death and holding the microphone close to my chest. I was 7 years old and that was the first time I had ever sang in front of a crowd. I was terrified. I can remember my voice shaking.

Later, I went on to join a Hip Hop sing/dance group, pop sing/dance group and later went on solo to do my own thing.
#Selfie
From her instagram @candiesofcotton

A: How did you take interest in fashion?

M: Truth be told, I grew up not caring about my own personal appearance. I like cosplay. I was very much into that culture. I had been one of those people who took it to a daily level. My favorite anime at that time was Cardcaptor Sakura and I would try to re-create her look. I had a black jacket and made those little school girl skirts. So, it wasn't about fashion.

When I went to highschool, it had all been about baggy sweaters, jeans and sandals.I didn't wear make up. It was only when I went to college that I began taking care of my appearance. It was mainly because I wanted to live healthier. I ate healthier and worked out. I didn't use to work out even for PE because of my physical disability and my knees would hurt if I did strenuous activities for too long. Still, I wanted to change that. So, against my doctors' and parents' wishes I started working out.

Once I saw a change in my body, I started looking at make up tutorials and tried making my own. I fell in love with make up.


"Elloo~ hello~"
From her FB @mintstrawberries
A: Do you do anything particular to maintain your beautiful voice?

I actually took 4 years of classical voice when I was in college. Initially, I had been against taking any classical voice lessons. It was not what I had wanted to do. I didn't want to be a classical singer. I wanted to do pop, RnB, jazz. I came to realize later that if I really wanted to maintain my voice it would probably be best if I learned how to maintain it by singing classically. That way, I would know if I was doing something wrong with my voice.

 It is actually something I would recommend to singers who would want to take voice lessons for the first time. If you want to maintain your voice and sing the way you are supposed to sing, you can always use that as a base to branch outwards. Eventually, I learned how to sing in a way that didn't damage my vocal chords.

One time, I had suffered a change in my voice. It went downhill and it had gotten harder to control. After that, I made sure I was singing several days a week. I try to make it a habit.


“Because singers always record with their sunglasses on...
Haha kidding, sunglasses are fun though.” - Mei
A: Why did you decide to make your own youtube channel?

I honestly decided to make my own youtube channel to do make up videos. I didn't really think I would post music in there. It was supposed to be a beauty channel.

But I learned very quickly how to record vocals and after that I just went recording happy. I recorded a whole bunch of random stuff. I decided to use my youtube for my music.


A: What inspires you when you write your original songs?

 Inspiration comes from other music as well. A whole bunch of things [inspires me]. Parodies, comedies ...

I have a lot of concepts that I have written down ... a lot of concepts that I have started. None that I took too seriously. At least I managed to get "For You" and "Dear Cupid" out there. There is a lot more but they are just sitting around as concept for my own personal music.

That is what inspires me. Pretty much LIFE! Life inspires me. Life, other music, quotes --- a lot!


"Light the candles, dim the lights..~
#fotd #makeup #selca #asiangirl #glamour #selfie"

From her instagram @candiesofcotton
A: How did you feel when you got recognition from J-Melo for your song, "For You"?

M: Oh my God ... I was honored ... I was incredibly flattered when I heard about it. I didn't exactly know until Charlotte messaged me that she saw my song in J-Melo.

I was super surprised. I didn't think I would actually make it pass submission. It was a really nice surprise and like I said, very flattering that I was put on there.

A: How did 4TE began? When did you guys start talking about it?

4TE started right after Oishii!Project. We were all in the project together. Unfortunately, we had our own goals and these goals were only achievable if we started our own group.

We wanted to do US. We felt that 4TE gave us the opportunity to come together, create music and present us in a way we wanted to be presented without the limitations that come from making idol music. Me especially! I felt I never fit the bill.

(From L to R) Jenni, Micchi, Chii and Mei.
From her instagram @candiesofcotton  
A: What do you think makes 4TE different from other groups?

M: I think what makes us different from other groups is that we have a bunch of leaders in our group. We are all pretty strong, dedicated, motivated and hardworking. Most of all, we are all perfectionists. Of course, sometimes we fight, we butt heads but in the end we come out with really amazing productions. It is because we are all nitpicky and and that we are all leaders we are driven and motivated.

I am not saying that other groups don't have these qualities. But for me, I think it is the fact that we put in a lot of work into creating something with really good quality.

Not only that, I believe that it is also because we have a lot of experience in groups, in marketing ourselves and in music, It is probably why it helps that we're older and dabbled in the industry a little.

A: There has been comparison between 4TE and Japanese group, Perfume. What do you think about it?

(From L to R) Jenni, Chii Mei and Micchi.
From their FB @4TEOFFICIAL
M: Honestly, I didn't really know about Perfume until I jumped into doing 4TE because it wasn't something I listened to. I think it was Chii --- she is a very big fan of Perfume. Most of the members actually already knew who Perfume was.

I feel like it is only natural because I know that our producers take a lot from Perfume and from Capsule. They are our producers' main inspirations and influences. I think it is normal to take influences. You learn from that and learn to create your own work. I feel like it is not only Perfume. Chii and Richard are in charge of a bulk of the music. You can actually hear their influences in their music and it is not just Perfume.

I am alright being compared to Perfume. They are a brilliant and polished group.


#Selfie
From her instagram @candiesofcotton
A: What do you think you bring to 4TE? What is the most interesting about you?

I feel like I bring the soul aspect of 4TE. In terms of vocally. Physically, I feel like I bring something a little more diverse to the group. Well --- our group is pretty diverse already. We don't have actual Japanese members. We all have different ethnicity, cultural backgrounds and I feel like the most interesting thing about me is that I am a dwarf! I am a little person. I stand at a height of 3'11."

Actually, the first time I met Jenni she told me she was like, "Oh my god! I thought you were a fairy."  That stuck with me ever since. I love being called a fairy. That was amazing and it made my life.

A: What kind of preparation do you do in 4TE?  What do you do in between releases?

Because we are an indie group, we do everything. We do marketing, production, brainstorming for music and content.  We even research on trends in Japanese media and what's popular in Japanese music. It is a lot more than writing songs and creating content. It also means a lot of studying behind the scenes.

"On the set of our next music video."
From their FB @4TEOFFICIAL
In fact, in the latest video that we recently filmed there was a lot of dancing. That was our preparation for a good ... 2 weeks. That is pretty much we do between releases. Between releases and sometimes even during releases, we juggle a lot because we really are a small group.

A: What is the hardest and best part of being a 'Net Idol'?

I kind of hate categorizing us in the category of being a net idol. It may just be me. Putting yourself under the title of "Net Idol," you kind of put a lot of limitations on yourself. I feel like we already have a lot of limitations just because we are not really from Japan or Japanese, We are learning the language, but we don't know it completely

However, if you are talking about the hardest part of being in an indie Jpop group then I'd probably say that the hardest part is that we aren't Japanese. We don't completely know the language. It is even harder because we are an indie group. I feel that Jpop indie group doesn't have a very big audience. Though this could work as both an advantage and disadvantage for us because it is a small niche. We have a bigger chance of being known to them.

#Selfie
From their FB @4TEOFFICIAL
A: What 'motto' do you live by?

M: The only person stopping yourself is you. That is just about the stand I live by --- for myself. It is probably because I often feel that I don;t have the chops for it. That I can't do it. This especially regarding my decision for a fitness life. I've come to realize that I can do whatever I want to do just as long I set my mind on it. Just as long as I keep working hard towards it. I think that it a pretty good motto to live by ... not just for myself but for everyone. You're the only person who puts limitations on yourself.

A: What are your strengths and weaknesses?

M: Because I dabble on a lot of artistic things, I often spread myself thin. It is because I do that that I have trouble with time management and trying to juggle things at one time when I probably shouldn't.

My strengths? My perseverance and stubbornness? It sounds a lot more like my weakness, but I really am a stubborn person. Being a stubborn person, especially in this kind of business, will actually help you out.

"We have finally united as our full 4 members!"
From their FB @4TEOFFICIAL
A: What is next for 4TE?

M: I actually just came back from Texas where I met the other girls from 4TE. We were there because we were filming our music video for for our next single.

We did a Q & A and a few photoshoots. There is definitely going to be a lot in store in the next few months.

A: For those people who want to join the fandom, what are the things you think they should know?

We are fun! We are awesome! We love you! Come and join the fandom!

"Expect an edgier style in this new song!"
From 4TE! Autumn News!
A: What tips would you give them?

M: Tip #1: Listen to our music, Tip #2: Watch our music videos, Tip #3: Share our content; and Tip #4 Looovvvee us. 

A: Before we end this interview, do you have a message for your fans?

M: Thank you so much for your continued support. I know sometimes we don't seem like we are very active but we are working really hard behind the scenes to put content out or you that is high in quality and entertaining. We really appreciate the support that you guys are all showing us. All the love... and it is just amazing. It drives us to work even harder when we see you guys supporting us, so in short --- thanks!

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