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Revealing the Revelations of a ‘Miserable Monster’: Sori Sawada’s Exploration with 11 Books




Singer-songwriter Kukairi Sawada has recently released a new track titled “己己巳己.” Formerly known as Sori Sawada, she transitioned to using her real name in 2021. Renowned for her lyricism that delves into personal narratives, often referred to as “a slice of my life,” Sawada crafts a distinctive style by vividly portraying emotional landscapes through precise sound design. Following her major label debut “Testament,” a response to a specific individual who served as a recurring motif in Sawada’s previous works, “Ikoi Miki” stands as a composition where she labels herself a “miserable monster.” In this song, she explores the thoughts and emotions beyond that persona, expressing a desire for a profound exchange of hearts and minds while acknowledging her own struggles.

The guiding principles of Sawada’s life philosophy stem more from novels and manga than from music. Having been a member of the baseball club from elementary school to university, he encountered works by female authors and manga artists like Kaori Ekuni in his twenties, leading to a significant update in his thinking. Describing this period as “finally starting life in my mid-twenties,” the impact has been immense. In this interview, Sawada brings novels and manga that have deeply impressed him throughout his life, allowing him to delve into the unique background of his authorship under the name Kukairi Sawada.

Songwriting without the Intention of Beautiful Words

Sori Sawada
Stimulates listeners’ senses by superimposing real emotions full of contradictions on everyday scenes. She is a singer-songwriter who also works as a professional writer. Her signature song, “If There Was Another Day,” has been covered by singers from a wide range of genres, from singer Mirei Touyama to virtual singer Hanafu. The total number of views of his cover videos exceeds 10 million.

I feel that your music is “music,” of course, but it also has a personal novel-like and visual appeal that doesn’t fit into the general category of “pop music. This is a strange question, but what do you yourself think you are creating?

Sawada: I call it “letters” to the outside world, but I think that’s a bit of a stretch, and in layman’s terms, it’s more like a “diary. It is not so much a “proof of my life” as it is a diary of the things that change over the course of my life and the things I have to leave behind as I live my life. …… I don’t think it is a collection of poems. I am aware that I am not trying to write beautiful words.

-How do you feel about calling it “art”?

Sawada: I would like to call it “art,” but I think what I am making is too childish to be called that, and it is definitely not cultural. If art is only possible when there is respect and understanding for the context, I don’t have that much of it. I don’t listen to a lot of music. So I guess it would be correct to say that I create within the limits of my own life.

-Sawada: Yes, that’s right.

Sawada: Yes, it is. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what the core of my creation is, and the more I look for it, the more I realize that I don’t have it, and I think this is a very dangerous thing. In other words, I feel that I can easily let go of music if I lose my enthusiasm for it somewhere. I’m surrounded by people who have a love of culture. I often go to houses where my friends are sharing a room, and they are all music lovers, and in their spare time they talk about “whose new album was good” and so on, but I can’t be a part of that. I feel that what I am doing is music production, not music culture.

-Are there many creators around you?

Sawada: I guess that’s a legacy of the Vocaloid era. I used to make compilations in my circle, so I still keep in touch with illustrators and other people I became friends with at that time. I think that if I try to acquire this knowledge now, it will be an “effort” rather than a “love”, and I would rather renew what I have cultivated than learn something new.



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NiEW Best Music is a playlist featuring artists leading the music scene and offering alternative styles in our rapidly evolving society. Hailing from Tokyo, the NiEW editorial team proudly curates outstanding music that transcends size, genre, and nationality.