Last Saturday, we were fortunate enough to receive an invitation to attend the SACRA MUSIC FES. 2024 IN MALAYSIA concert, where we heard and witnessed the wonderful performances of FLOW, ASCA, spira spica, Who-ya extended and Akase Akari. In addition, we also participated in backstage activities after the event and interviewed SACRA MUSIC Artists together with other local media and KOLs.
- How did you feel after the performance?
Returning to Malaysia for the second time, I was truly moved by the overwhelming energy and support from Malaysian fans, both before stepping onto the stage and after the performance.
- What's your favorite Malaysian dish?
I've always been fond of laksa. (Crowd: Penang or KL laksa?) I've only tried one so far... (Translator elaborated on the differences) I believe it's the KL style. I'll definitely try Penang laksa next time!
- You performed at Comic Fiesta previously. How does today’s energy compare to that time?
At Comic Fiesta, many attendees came in cosplay, and I thought it was very interesting. This time, it's all about the music, so there's a greater sense of uniformity among the fans.
- Do you enjoy spicy food?
As spicy food isn't the best for singers' throats, I see it more as a treat after performing. Last night I had delicious mala hotpot though.
- How much Malay have you learned for this performance?
Even before arriving, I made an effort to learn some Malay during the previous Comic Fiesta. This time, I picked up phrases like "saya datang lagi" (I'll come back). I wrote it on my bottle—it might seem like cheating, but I promise to learn more for my next visit!
- Out of all the music videos you've released, which concept resonated with you the most?
I particularly loved the concept of the music video for the song "Kimi ga Mita Yume no Monogatari" produced by Yuki Kajiura. Its magical fantasy visuals captivated me.
- After performing twice in Malaysia, can we anticipate a solo concert in the future?
Absolutely, it's definitely in the cards for the near future!
- How did you choose the songs for this performance?
Firstly, I selected songs featured in anime series. Then, I picked tunes that I believed would resonate most with the audience and fans, aiming for an engaging performance that everyone could enjoy.
- What part of your performance do you think the audience enjoyed the most?
The shouting segment during "Howling" was a blast, and I extended the "lalala" part of "Real Dawn" to encourage everyone to sing along. It was a lot of fun!
- You're adorable, and your performance was amazing. Have you ever felt tired while performing, and how do you maintain such high energy levels?
I'm a big fan of running, and I often sing while I jog! It helps boost my muscles and lung capacity. Through training, I've built up plenty of energy to unleash on stage.
- What's the difference between performing here at Sacra Music Fes. 2024 and at Comic Fiesta last year?
Last year was incredibly enjoyable, and I absorbed so much energy from the fans. This time, I've prepared even more to soak up the fans' energy once again!
- Did any unexpected or surprising moments happen during the show?
There was a delightful surprise. I was quite taken aback when everyone posed with us during our performance, but it filled me with joy!
- Your style is very unique. What's your ideal concert costume?
I prefer something cute and easy to move around in. This outfit I'm wearing keeps tripping me up!
- You sang "Rasa Sayang" earlier. How long did it take you to memorize the lyrics, given that they're in a foreign language?
Last year at Comic Fiesta, a translator introduced me to this well-known Malaysian song. She sent me a YouTube link, and I learned the song from there. It took me about an hour to memorize it.
- With your positive and cheerful demeanor, do you enjoy spending time with kids?
Yes, I absolutely love kids!
- As an amateur singer struggling with stamina, could you share your exercise routine for building endurance?
I recommend incorporating running into your routine, just like I do! Depending on your schedule, aim for sessions ranging from 10 minutes to 2 hours during your free time.
- Having visited Malaysia a few times, what's your favorite Malaysian dish?
I thoroughly enjoyed yesterday's hotpot, and satay is always a delight! (Crowd: What about durian?) Is it good? Well, I'll give it a try then!
- Who is your biggest inspiration as a singer?
LiSA and Hiroko Moriguchi, the singer for the Gundam series, have been huge inspirations for me.
- Are there any anime characters you'd like to cosplay as?
Absolutely! I'd love to cosplay as Maruko from Chibi Maruko-chan and also as Doraemon.
- Why did you choose to perform "Blue Bird" from Naruto?
"Blue Bird" is a song I've cherished for a long time, even before my debut. It's widely known in Japan, even among those who haven't watched the anime.
- Apart from running and singing, do you have any other hobbies?
I'm quite the chatterbox! I also enjoy watching comedians, particularly Kinjo-san, a Japanese comedian based in Malaysia. It's my dream to collaborate with him on Malaysian TV someday!
- It's been 9 years since your last visit to Malaysia. How does it feel to perform for your Malaysian fans again?
We're thrilled to be back in Malaysia and to perform alongside other artists under Sacra Music. 9 years ago there wasn’t any fan lights, but this time we saw a lot, so it was pretty interesting. We’re also happy to be able to experience more energy from our fans this time.
- What's your favorite Malaysian dish?
We had a delicious spicy hotpot last night, but we're open to trying more Malaysian cuisine. Any recommendations? (Crowd: Nasi Lemak and Bak Kut Teh!)
- How’s Kuala Lumpur after 9 years?
Kuala Lumpur has changed a lot in the past 9 years – there are many more tall buildings now compared to before.
- Any interesting experiences during this trip to Malaysia?
We had the pleasure of meeting our former manager, who now lives in Malaysia with her Malaysian husband.
- You've been together for over 20 years. How has your friendship evolved over time?
Our bond has grown stronger over the years. We call it "Uncle Love" (jokingly).
- How do you feel about fans attending the concert in cosplay?
It's heartwarming to see our fans express their love for us and the anime through cosplay.
- What's your favorite anime?
Naruto, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Dragon Ball, Captain Tsubasa, Spy×Family, Hajime no Ippo, etc.
- We've heard that FLOW will be releasing a 20th-anniversary version of the song "GO!!!". How will it differ from the original?
Well, over the years, our voices have naturally changed, so you can expect some differences. Interestingly, "GO!!!" is one of the songs we've performed the most.
- When can we expect the release?
Unfortunately, we don't anticipate a physical release here, but you can definitely find it on YouTube!
- When might we see you visiting Malaysia again?
Hopefully, it won't be too long before we're back!
- Which of your songs are personal favorites?
Karasu, Rekka, Re:member, Sign, and of course, GO!!!
- Are there any upcoming overseas events?
We're planning a trip to Korea, but we're also looking forward to returning to Malaysia soon.
- How do Malaysian fans compare to fans from other countries?
It's hard to make comparisons, but we do feel a special energy from Malaysian fans, especially compared to 9 years ago.
- How did you feel when you learned you'd be performing at the Sacra Music Fes. 2024 in Malaysia, and what were your emotions after the performance?
Performing overseas for the first time made me quite nervous initially. Despite not being able to speak English, I was incredibly grateful to see Malaysian fans cheering for me. Some even tried cheering in Japanese, which was really touching.
- Was it challenging to perform in cosplay?
I love cosplay, but yes, performing in costume can be challenging at times.
- Are there any other cosplays you'd like to try for future shows?
If I'm singing a song from another anime next time, perhaps I'll cosplay as one of the characters from that series.
- What has been your favorite cosplay before this?
It's tough to choose just one, as I've enjoyed all my previous cosplays. However, if I had to pick, it would be Yor Forger from Spy×Family. Cosplaying as Yor required me to show my arms, so I underwent some physical training beforehand. I was really pleased with the results—I could even do over 100 push-ups!
- Do you have any upcoming cosplay plans?
There's a popular anime series in Japan called Yes! PreCure 5, which I watched a lot as a child. I used to buy costumes from the show, but now that I'm older, I can make my own. I'm really excited to cosplay a character from that series.
- Will we see you cosplaying as Ai Hoshino from Oshi no Ko and performing the anime’s theme song “Idol” again?
I can't promise another performance of the song, but I'm definitely considering cosplaying as Ai Hoshino, so stay tuned!
- Why did you choose “Idol” as your final song for the performance?
I wanted to end the performance on a high note with a popular song that everyone would enjoy. Plus, I'm a big fan of the manga series Oshi no Ko.
- Any advice for those interested in starting cosplay?
For beginners, it's common to have doubts, but my advice is to just go for it. Start by making your own costume and have fun with it!
- Is there anything specific you'd like to experience in Malaysia while you're here?
I'm excited to visit the Twin Towers and admire the night views of Kuala Lumpur—I love heights!
- You bear a striking resemblance to Marin Kitagawa from My Dress-Up Darling. If there were a live-action adaptation of the manga, would you be interested in starring in it and performing the theme song again?
If the opportunity arises, I would definitely be interested in giving it a try.
- Do you have any upcoming overseas events planned? Are there any specific locations you'd like to perform at?
Not at the moment, but I'd love to perform in places with a vibrant cosplay culture, such as comic markets in Japan or perhaps even Comic Fiesta in Malaysia.
- How do you feel about performing in Malaysia for the first time in front of your fans?
This is my debut show in Malaysia, and honestly, I didn't know much about the country before I arrived. Initially, I was unsure how to engage the audience and create excitement. When I stepped onto the stage and saw the fans' reactions, I felt reassured that I was doing it right.
- What impressed you the most in Malaysia?
Prior to my trip here, I hadn't had the opportunity to explore Southeast Asia in general. However, I had received numerous requests on social media urging me to visit and perform in Malaysia. This motivated me to arrange this overseas trip through Sacra Music.
- What inspired the name "Who-ya Extended"?
"Who-ya" is my stage name, and "Extended" reflects my desire to collaborate with other artists and creators.
- Is there a specific artist or creator you'd like to collaborate with?
I've always wanted to collaborate with Linkin Park, as their music has been a significant part of my upbringing. Hopefully, I'll have the chance to collaborate with Mike Shinoda someday.
- What genre of music do you enjoy the most?
While I'm still exploring rap, I love rock music and often find myself listening to various bands.
- Was there a standout moment for you during the Sacra Music Fes. 2024 in Malaysia?
I was fully engaged throughout the entire event, not just during my performance, and found immense enjoyment in every aspect of it.
- As it's your first visit to Malaysia, are there any local dishes you're eager to try?
I'm passionate about cooking, so I'm excited to explore Malaysian markets and discover the unique ingredients used here. I had the opportunity to dine at Madam Kwan's, and among the various Malaysian dishes we tried, I enjoyed satay the most. It was my first taste of Malaysian cuisine, as there aren't many Malaysian restaurants in Japan, and I found it delightful.
- Have you had a chance to explore the city yet?
Not yet, but I'm looking forward to it. Although, I might skip visiting the Twin Towers as I have a fear of heights.
- Can you share some of the projects that you’re currently working on?
Apart from live performances, I’m currently working on a new song and hope that fans in Malaysia will enjoy it too when it is released.
- You mentioned your passion for cooking. Is there a chance we might see you cooking in your future music videos?
Probably not, hahahaha!