Kanako Ito is a singer who has contributed many songs to various video game and anime series soundtracks, including STEINS; GATE, School Days, STAR MINE GIRL/SUMAGA, CHAOS, Song of Saya and Deus Machina Demonbane.
She has done many live tours in Japan and performed multiple times at Animelo Sumer Live and Nitroplus’ Nitro Super Sonic event.
In addition, she has also made international appearances at the Sana 9 anime festival in Brazil, AnimagiC in Germany, Anime Boston and most recently, Sakura-con in Seattle.
Selective Hearing had the opportunity to chat with Kanako Ito about her music, live performances and memorable moments from her overseas trips.
Please introduce yourself to the readers of Selective Hearing.
Kanako Ito: I’m Kanako Ito. I sing my original songs, and I also sing theme songs for video games and anime.
Many of your songs are associated with anime and video games. What is your process for writing songs for these mediums? Are you given an overview of the story and a theme to work from?
Kanako Ito: Of course, they give me the theme or sometimes keywords, maybe even the whole story, if possible. I try to make the lyrics meaningful for people who don’t know the game or anime, but I want the lyrics to add an even deeper emotional connection for those who know the work.
Which songs do you enjoy performing live the most? Have you ever received a request to sing a song that you don’t perform live very often?
Kanako Ito: The song that gets everyone the most excited overseas is “Hacking to the Gate”, the opening song for the anime “STEINS; GATE”, so I sing this song every time. I don’t usually sing “Kanashimi no Mukou e” from “School Days,” but I recently got that request in Asia and Europe, so that made me happy.
For those not familiar with your work, what song would you recommend they listen to first?
Kanako Ito: I recommend “Topology”, the second ending song for the anime “ROBOTICS; NOTES”!
In an interview with Japana Radio you stated that singing was not on your life path chart when you were younger. What was your goal before you chose singing as a career?
Kanako Ito: I used to think, “I’m going to become a hair stylist!”
You were recently in Seattle for Sakura-Con and attended a baseball game at Safeco field. Was that your first time attending an American baseball game? How was the experience for you?
Kanako Ito: It was my first time! The seats were comfortable, and I was glad they used sound effects and images that were easy for baseball beginners to understand. Most of all, I was so happy to witness a home run for the first time in my life and to be there when Mariners won the game!
Do you have any other memorable moments from your travels so far?
Kanako Ito: During my first overseas job, we shot the PV for my original song, “Sunday Sunshine,” on our day off in Fortaleza, Brazil. This is still my favourite memory.
Are there any other countries or places you would like to perform in or visit in the future?
Kanako Ito: Canada! Many fans from Canada came to Sakura-Con in Seattle, and that made me think, “I gotta go to Canada, too.”
What type of music/which artists are you currently listening to?
Kanako Ito: I love Michelle Branch’s EP “Everything Comes and Goes.”
Thank you for your time. Do you have any closing comments for your overseas fans?
Kanako Ito: I’ll go anywhere to sing, and I love spreading the excitement of these great stories from anime and games, where we unite stories, visuals, and music together. So I’ll see you at a live show someday!
Kanako Ito’s latest album, Reactor, was released on May 27, 2015, featuring songs from CHAOS; CHILD, DRAMAtical Murder, and Hanasaku ManiMani.
We would like to thank RESONANCE MEDIA and Kanako Ito for this interview.