Asuka Kuramochi, a member of 'Team K' from AKB48 announced her solo debut on April 6th at the '29th Single ‘Eien Pressure' Theater Edition Release Handshaking event' held at Makuhari Messe. We were able to hear her determination for going solo and for running for the next upcoming general election.
Kuramochi earned her solo debut as a reward for becoming the 2nd champion (1st being Tomomi Kawanishi) at the 'AKB no Gachi Uma 2 Revenge'. She was able to predict the winner of Arima Kinen for the last battle. Her solo debut single will be released on May 29th, and will be inserted in JRA's (Japan Racing Association) commercial. The coupling track will feature lyrics written by Kuramochi.
'I didn't imagine in my wildest dreams that my horse would win, but more than that, I never thought I'd make my solo debut. Just imagining having a song with my name on it on an iPod or some other music player is just unreal. It still hasn't sunk in, but I'm really happy about it,' commented Kuramochi at the time of the announcement. Below is the interview from the press conference.
-How is writing lyrics going?
'I'm slowly writing my lyrics, but I understand how Mr. Akimoto feels now. With AKB songs, they often change at the last minute. When I'm writing the lyrics, I'm having to make changes everyday. It's been 5 years since I joined AKB, but I finally understand why Mr. Akimoto always changes the lyrics.'
-What do you imagine when writing the lyrics?
'I like to fantasize, so I come up with hypothetical situations and try to put myself in that situation. It may be romance or something else, but regardless, I try to think and write about the message that I want to convey.'
-How is Jake 1 Gran Prix?
'It's a fun and unique project. I'm looking forward to it. I imagine that it's very tough on the magazine staff, but I'm really happy about it. I'm going to give it my all.'
-Are you confident with your singing?
'Not really. I actually don't like my speaking voice. But, I've had solo parts in some songs, and the fans seem to enjoy listening to my voice and tell me that I have a nice voice. Also, Mr. Akimoto told me that he likes my voice and cheered me on. Because of that, I feel like I can do it, and I'd like to try my best.'
-Is there a horse that you've got your eyes on for the Oka Sho coming up on the 7th?
'I've got my eyes on Crown Zero. The name includes 'Kura', and furthermore, the mother of that horse was named 'Hishi Asuka', which includes my name, 'Asuka'.'
-What's your goal for the near future?
-I hope that this song will be the first of many things to come. I'd like to study some more about horseracing too, because it's what brought in all this luck to me. Hopefully, it'd lead to more luck in the future.'
-Will you be running in the general election?
'Yes! I'll be running.'
-Following the win at Gachi Uma, do you plan to win the election too?
'I'd like to be the dark horse. I want to place high in an upset. I wasn't able to be selected in the last general election, so just like the upset at Gachi Uma, I'm going for a second upset.'
-What does the general election mean to you?
'It wasn't much of a festival for me the first 2 years, but since this year's election is after our concert, it feels like a festival. Also, alumni can run in this year's election, so I look forward to seeing them.'
-Please give us a message to the fans.
'Since my solo single will be coming out during the general election period, it will be a burden on my fans, and I really worried about that. But I don't plan to graduate any time soon, and as long as there's AKB, I think it's an event that I should participate in. I'm going to try my best as long as I'm running.'
'Congratulations on your comeback at this time's Gachi Uma. I think it's a result that came about from trying hard without giving up. You can work at your own pace, one by one. Don't give up on your dreams, try hard, and stay healthy. We all (the family) thank you for giving us this precious reward. Thank you.' –Akira Kuramochi (Ex-professional baseball player, Asuka Kuramochi's father)