Know Your Youtube Idol (Oishii!Ichigo and REMOTE GIRL☆’s Lolichiidesu)
“I can’t believe I’m actually talking to Remote Girl
Just that basically sums up how this writer felt during the whole interview with the beautiful and talented brunette from the United States.
Most people are probably asking, “Who is this girl?”, “Who is Lolichiidesu?” and “Why all the excitement over a girl in the internet?”
She is 1/8 of the girls in Oishii!Ichigo and ½ of REMOTE GIRL☆ Her solo channel in Youtube (Lolichiidesu) has almost reached a half a million views and her works with REMOTE GIRL☆ almost reaching a hundred thousand views. Neither feat very easy to accomplish.
Oishii!Ichigo is a group of eight girls composed of Chii, Cherry, Popku, Jenny, Micchi, Yumi, Nyanko and Scarlett under the Oishii!Project banner. Recently, their Facebook page has reached a thousand LIKES. REMOTE GIRL☆ is a duo composed of Chii and her friend. Unlike Oishii!Ichigo, this duo’s genre leaned more towards Rock. Their most popular cover, “Ninjari Bang Bang” by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ, Kyari Pamyu Pamyu) has over 62K+ views, and I personally think they are a group worth looking into.
But who is Chii?
Who doesn’t love a girl with a lot of personality? And Chii certainly has a lot of it. Quite literally actually. Chii showed me she was a ball of surprises. I first saw her in Oishii!Ichigo’s first single, “GAMETIME.” She quickly caught my eye for her adorable antics in front of the camera and her cute outfits. Her character was consistent in their second single, “Ainano.” She was still very cute, but it seemed she toned down her silliness a bit in favor of a more lady-like flavor. However, in the debut of REMOTE GIRL☆ she yet again showcases a new type of character, the cute yet cool rocker chick.
This became the mystery to crack so during my interview with Chii and I sought to answer the question, “Who is Chii?”
Asgard Anime: Did you always want a career under the spotlight and being in the eyes of the media? Did you always want to do what you are doing now with REMOTE GIRL☆ and Oishii!Ichigo?
Chii: I didn’t always think I wanted to be a singer. I wasn’t confident that I could … but I always wanted something under the spotlight definitely. When I was a little girl, I wanted to be an artist but I didn’t just want to be ‘an artist’ but I wanted to be an artist world known. So, I’ve always wanted something that happens ‘big’ regardless of what it is. I just, in time, got more and more interested in singing.
A: How old were you when you started singing?
C: I’ve been singing my entire life but I didn’t start taking it seriously until I was like — maybe fourteen? Then I started to notice that I really liked it a lot. (Laughs) And it was quite a secret for a long time because — because when I would sing and people would make fun of me. I was not confident at all and people would tell me, “You’re such a good artist! You should draw! You should make a career out of that!”, so it made me kind of timid to admit that I wanted to be a singer.
A: But I am really glad that you didn’t listen because seriously! I’ve first heard about you from Oishii!Project. You stood out for me though there is a lot of you and you all had to share the spotlight. But it was only after seeing REMOTE GIRL☆ that I thought, “Wow! She can sing! And she made the song into her own!” (The first video I watched was their Ninja Bang Bang cover.) So I think you can grow as an artist (not just a singer), which is impressive because I don’t say that a lot.
After listening to her story, it made me realize how close we were to losing an artist like Chii. For me, an artist is different from a singer. A singer sings whatever is given to her and whatever is available. An artist sings but brings something else unto the table.
So, How did you get started?
C: I started by studying Jazz in school because it was there and available to me. The more I participated, the more confident I got and I started to believe in myself a little more and it pushed me to finally start pursuing it.
A: Who are your biggest inspirations? Where do you draw your inspirations from?
C: Hmmm … vocally, YUI has been an inspiration for me. Kyary (Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ) is also someone I really idolize because she was one of the first Jpop singers that I ever saw that really saw her silly side. And it made me feel like there was hope for me. (Laughs) Because I’m a little awkward and silly a lot of the times. Jpop singers are always perceived as very calm and beautiful and graceful and I am quite the opposite of that so to think Kyary prospered in the Jpop community made me feel a lot more confident about myself.
A: Yeah, I think in the Oishii Project the first thing I noticed about you was your silly side, which I really really admired. Though that wasn’t the only thing I admired.
I noticed that there are always things that made everyone in the Oishii!Project different from each other but I noticed that the most attractive feature about you was your eyes — yeah, I really love your eyes and of course your silliness. They really made me remember you.
C: That’s nice to know!
A: Well, one of the big problems in the idol industry is telling the girls apart, seeing the personality and I had no problem telling you apart from the other girls. This is a very good thing for me because of course I’d want to tell the girls apart, otherwise I wouldn’t know who to cheer for.
What inspired your REMOTE GIRL☆ persona? How is she different from her Oishii!Ichigo Persona? Are they different?
C: I’d like to think they are because … I have a lot of Rock influence and I can’t really express it very much through Oishii!Project. It is more ‘idoly’ and has a Morning Musume (モーニング娘。 Moningu Musume) type feel to it. Alexander (½ of REMOTE GIRL☆) is actually the producer of the first album and he makes electronic music, so we wrote that together for the first album but both of us are very ‘band’ and ‘rock’ influenced off-screen. He’s very comfortable playing bass guitar it was kind of an outlet for both of us to express that part of our music taste.
He is in a band in Austin and we both went up to record. I do session vocals unrelated to everything. On the way back, we were kind of like, “Well, we kind of do a lot of electronic stuff (music) and you like Japanese Pop and I like this and that, so why don’t we make a band?” So from the drive back which was about three to four hours, we just came up with the name and what we were going to do and then we started writing from there.
REMOTE GIRL☆ is supposed to be like “We’re appealing to Japan but we’re not there,” so it is ‘remote’ and it also makes subtle hints of mechanical or controlled (Electronic). It was just a little bit abstract. It was just an idea from both of us, not really just me.
A: But it was really a good idea to set yourself apart. Like I said earlier, that is always a good thing for me.
You were the writer of ‘GAMETIME’, right? It is actually my favorite in the album.
C: That is awesome! Thank you. Gametime was written by me and Alexander (½ of REMOTE GIRL☆). Not just me and it was arranged by Matthew Pablo. A three-person team?
A: So you are like an actress? You have all these different personalities. You can be whoever you want or need to be?
C: I’d like to think that it is all me. Like what I said before, I have different facets of my personality. You’re only seeing one, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see other parts of me too.
A: Who is Chii outside Oishii!Ichigo and REMOTE GIRL☆? Who are you?
C: I’m that ‘Small Town Girl’ that everyone looks at that has a weird taste in music and fashion. When I meet people for the first time and people I only hear from word of mouth would call me ‘Lady Gaga’ or something like that. I have definitely toned down my fashion over the years but for the longest time I had pink hair. And I still dress kind of funny once in a while. I don’t really follow the fashion here. It’s very Mexican influenced. We’re right next to the border, so most of the people here are Hispanic. With the Hispanic, comes a lot of conservativeness so people here are either very conservative and try not to stand out or lean towards the baggy jeans and rap kind of thing. I don’t really fit into either of those categories, so even if I try not to stick out I do. I guess I’m just the oddball in a small town that is what I would say.
A: What is the hardest part about being a ‘Net Idol’?
C: The pressures of being a likeable person to the audience. You know, if you open up and say things freely and show more of your weird and awkward side people are quick to criticize and dislike you but if you don’t say much of anything and very careful with your words, people kind of make assumptions of what kind of person you are so it’s challenging to find a balance between those two things. A balance of where you can be yourself and careful not to offend anyone, so it’s … hard.
A: We heard from Micchi that girls in the fandom receive a lot of wank, you implied it yourself. Do you get them? And if you do, how do you cope with it?
C: I try my best not to acknowledge it. It’s as simple as stepping away from your computer and just breathing for a little bit because I think adding fuel into fire will just make things worse. I try to remind myself that anonymity gives people power, so they say things they wouldn’t dare in person. I try to not let it get to me because I’m sure they are lovely people regardless of the things they say on the internet.
And I believe in myself and I believe in the people I work with in Oishii!Project, so it doesn’t bother me when people say mean things.
A: You’re quite optimistic. I didn’t see that from you … well, what is the BEST part of being a ‘Net Idol’? What do you love about it?
C: People are always listening. So you get to share things with many more people than you do in real life. You’re never lonely. So maybe you have a beautiful memory that you want to share with a couple of friends and family that you can share with with many more people when you’re in the spotlight. You work really hard on a song and people are willing to listen and cooperate. If you’re struggling with any kind of problem, people are understanding and try to help you even though you barely know these people they’re very warm and inviting. It’s very pleasant to be in the spotlight in that sense. I like knowing I have friends even though I’ve never seen their faces. I think that’s cool.
A: What motto do you live by?
C:“Live with passion. Without it, you’re not living at all.”
I think you can be passionate about anything even hobbies or small things but you won’t truly be happy until you find that. People spend their everyday life going to school and working without a drive to do something. It is very monotonous and I am sure it is sad, so I really love seeing people that love something and it is very apparent that they love it. They could have the worse day ever and they could go back to the thing they love doing and it will keep them going. I feel that way. I feel that what keeps me going is music, “Live with Passion.”
A: (Almost speechless) That is actually very inspirational.
A: What made you decide to join Oishii Project? You revealed to me earlier that you had more of a Rock influence. It is so different from Oishii!Ichigo. What made you decide to join?
C: It’s kind of funny because I’ve just gone through a transition. It wasn’t always Rock that I did. For a long time, I wanted to be an idol. I wanted to do Morning Musume type of stuff (music) or Hello Project. But as I began to explore more music, I began to realize that I may have different goals. At that time though when I was into the idol scene, Camille, the founder of Oishii!Project approached me in Youtube and encouraged me to audition and since I was always excited to collaborate with people, I considered it as an option and although I grew into a different type of persona I still love very much the Oishii!Project, which got me started. So, I stick with it regardless.
A: What was it like for you before Oishii!Project debuted? How did you feel? Did you have a hard time? Now, a lot of people really like you because now they’ve seen what you can do but before that you must have gotten a lot of negative attention. This is a pretty ambitious project.
C: It was more exciting than hard. We got a lot of hate but it just made me more driven to prove them wrong. It didn’t get me down. It was exciting because all those people …
A: I admit, I am one of your converts. I was initially very worried about the idea because I have seen from experience how difficult it is to maintain a business with friends. Some even broke up as enemies. But after seeing you all working so well, it turned me into a convert.
So I think in a way, even if it is just me, you did what you set out to do.
C: Thank you …
A: Who are you in Oishii!Project? Do you have a character?
C: I think people consider me as the ‘Try-Hard’ one?
A: (Surprised) What? Really?
C: I get a lot of flak from people because I do a lot of weird posing and being theatrical. It doesn’t work well with some people. I guess my character is the ‘burriko’ (meaning, ‘A woman who acts like a child’). The one that tries very to be cutesy. I don’t know — (Laughs) It is kind of hard to put a character on myself. I consider my personality to have a lot of depth to it, but not a lot of people see that. So, all they see is the silly posing and stuff. I … I’m kind of the awkward one. Everybody seems to know what’s going on in their life. You just ‘see’ them and you already know how to describe them in one word. With me, it’s that girl that doesn’t know how to say a full sentence without pausing or saying, “ummm” or looking away from the camera.
A: What are your strengths and weaknesses?
C: My biggest weakness is my inability to dance and lack of speaking skills. If I could avoid talking on camera, I will. When we would do the Oishii!Bootcamps, I would dread it. It is really hard because I would start talking on camera and I’d start trailing off without saying anything and I get frustrated. Another thing is that a lot of people get shocked by the difference between my singing voice and speaking voice because I have a low and raspy voice when I speak and when I sing it is a little higher and clearer, so it confuses people. That is something I’ve always been paranoid about when I record speaking videos.
And I’m sure you’ve noticed in ‘GAMETIME’ and ‘Ainano,’ I didn’t dance at all because I don’t— I can’t dance. (Laughs) I’ve tried! It’s not necessary that I am not capable of it, it’s that I am not capable of learning them. So, you can give me a dance tutorial or a mirror version of it and I would have no idea where to start. My body and brain don’t connect.
A: Actually, I was just thinking … during the time I was dividing the members of Oishii!Ichigo in groups, I always thought that you were the moodmaker of the group. So I didn’t really think it was necessary that you knew how to dance. There are your dancers, singers and there are the moodmakers. I always remembered you because of your expressions, theatrics and of course your poses … I am honestly a little surprised that you don’t see yourself as that character.
C: As far as my strong points though. I think I am very focused and goal-oriented, so I am always looking for more ways to improve or add to the project. I like to push people to do things. Behind the scenes when there is a deadline, I am that over-enthusiastic person messaging everyone, “Hey, guys! Two more days before the deadline! Are you guys ready?” So, I am always excited over it no matter how long I’ve been in the project I continue to strive to make it the best it can be. And I love writing music, I am doing it all the time. I love writing new music for Oishii!Project too.
A: Who are you closest to in the project?
C: That is hard! I’m so close to a lot of people, specifically the staff! I really love the staff! But I think that the person I am close to in a personal level is probably Sango. He’s our mixer. It’s sad! He’s very active in the community but nobody gets to see that part and I hope that someday the staff will get more attention from the public. He mixes the songs. I don’t know if you have heard, Smiling recently. We’re super silly! We are always texting back and forth. We are very gossipy together, so I feel like maybe I am closest to him.
A: Lets play a game. You have 10 seconds. So what is the first thing that comes out of your mind when I say, Cherry?
C: Akiba Idol!
C: Utada Hikaru.
C: Yamato Nadeshiko.
C: An Osakan cutie.
A: Annnnd … Scarlett?
C: A QUEEN.
A: For those people who want to join the fandom, not necessarily Oishii!Project. We have groups popping up all the time, like Lollipop Project, Berry Pop Project and Kira Kira Project. What are the things they should know?
C: We’re all so different from each other, but you’ll always find your Oshimen (推しメン, “the member that they would give their fullest support.”) that suits your taste.
And being so far from each other, we want people to know that: ONE song and eight different people all over the place. I know a lot of people probably think that we dropped off the face of the planet, but I encourage fans to be more patient because we are definitely working. I promise. It just needs a lot of time to get everything together.
And — if you want to be my fan? Give me a Doctor Pepper and I will love you forever!
A: (Laughs) Unfortunately, I live so far away and sending a Doctor Pepper from here is so impossible. Or at least it won’t be cold anymore when it gets there. I’ll send you a card instead.
C: I’d like that.
A: Hear that, fans?! Send her a card! (Laughs) If you could be another member of Oishii!Project, who would you be?
C: Micchi! She’s got everything! She is super beautiful! Her voice is so sweet and her dancing is spot on. There is nothing about her that isn’t to be idolized. So, I would be her in a heartbeat.
A: Well, I am out of questions. This has been a lot of fun. Before we end this interview, do you have a message for your fans?
C: Thank you for being my fan even though I don’t express many things about myself. I want to learn to be myself knowing you guys will love me. And thank you to the fans of Oishii!Project in general, please keep listening to our music and we’ll keep making them.
And, I love everybody. ❤
And that was Oishii!Ichigo and Remote Girl’s Chii. I enjoyed every second of my time talking to Chii. It is hard not to be curious about her. All of her. The cute idol, the cool rocker chick and the small town girl who just want to send her love to the world. With each video, Chii continues to reveal more and more of herself and part of the fun now is anticipating the character she is going to show us next.
That’s all for know your Youtube Idol for now. To learn more about Chii, the project and the other members, please refer to the links below. And look forward to next time as I interview another member of the Youtube Idol Community.
Official Oishii Project Website http://www.oishii.pro/
Official Facebook Account (Oishii Project): https://www.facebook.com/OishiiProject
Official Facebook Account (Oishii Ichigo): https://www.facebook.com/OishiiIchigo
Official Oishii Project Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqPn9MP5bpWYCZv4AjLB3Tw
Chii’s Original Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/lolichiidesu