4年ぶり「Mステ」出演May J.の素顔とカヴァーアルバムの制作秘話

5月31日(金)に4年ぶりとなるテレビ朝日「ミュージックステーション」へ出演。昨年から「関ジャニの仕分け 」のカラオケ採点対決企画に出演し10連勝中、2月発売のベストアルバムもロングヒットを続けるMay J.が、6月19日(水)にカヴァーアルバムを発売する。


今回はこれまで語られる事のなかった彼女の知られざる一面とカヴァーアルバムの制作秘話をお伝えしたい。

May J.は2006年、18歳でソニーミュージックからR&Bシンガーとしてデビュー。2009年にリズムゾーンへレーベル移籍し、直後に配信リリースしたSugar Soul「Garden」のカヴァーが200万ダウンロードを超える大ヒット、アルバム『FAMILY』もオリコン初登場4位を記録した。この頃「ミュージックステーション」にも初出演を果たし、新歌姫の登場と話題になったがその後はヒット曲に恵まれず、苦境の中地道な活動を続けていた。

「『Garden』リリース後、なかなか自分の歌声を思うようにたくさんの人へ届けることができなくて、"私はもうダメなのかなぁ..."と落ち込む時もたくさんありましたが、"常に一所懸命気持ちを込めて歌い続けていればきっと、いつかはちゃんと届くはず!"と信じて歌い続けていました」と語る彼女は、4年もの期間をショッピングモールやクラブ、ライブハウスなど、どんな小さなステージにも上がり、年間100本を超えるライブで喉を鍛え、日々パフォーマンス力をつけていたという。


そんなMay J.に昨年、「関ジャニの仕分け 」のカラオケ採点対決への出演という大きな転機が訪れる。当時、多くのスタッフがカラオケでの歌唱企画に懸念を覚える中、May J.だけは前向きだった。

「プロの歌手として負けられないというプレッシャーはありましたが、ライブでも、テレビでも、それがカラオケでも、歌わせて頂けるならどこででも一所懸命に歌いたいと思っていました。マイクを握る以上は、プロの歌手として聴いてくれた方に最高の歌を届けたい。カラオケでの歌唱に賛否両論はありましたが、私は真剣に歌うことしか考えていませんでした」

彼女のたゆまぬ努力と強いプロ意識の結果、現在まで負け無しの10連勝という記録を保持。オンエア後には視聴者から沢山の声が寄せられ、中でも「カヴァーアルバムを出して欲しい」というリクエストが日に日に増えていったという。

彼女はカヴァーアルバムについて「リスナーが望んでくれたものを自分の声で精一杯歌い表現したいと思いカヴァーアルバムのリリースを決めました。カラオケ企画でテクニックに注目が集まる今だからこそ、カヴァーアルバムでは歌詞にどれだけ感情をこめられるかをテーマに歌と向き合いました」とコメントした。

こうして制作されたカヴァーアルバム『Summer Ballad Covers』は現在YouTubeで全曲試聴が可能。4年ぶりの出演となる「ミュージックステーション」では、生放送のステージでMay J.がどのような歌を披露するのか注目したい。

また9月からは、全席指定にて彼女の歌声を堪能できる生バンドでの全国ツアーも開催される。


■参照URL
・May J. オフィシャル・サイト
http://www.may-j.com/index.html
・【映像ダイジェスト】カヴァーアルバム『Summer Ballad Covers』
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWjC87sQ0VU 

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4年ぶり「Mステ」出演May J.の素顔とカヴァーアルバムの制作秘話

Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929), Self-Obliteration (original design for poster), 1968. Collage with gouache and ink on paper, 18 1/8 x 11 in. (46 x 28 cm). Collection of the artist. (c) Yayoi Kusama. Image courtesy Yayoi Kusama Studio Inc.; Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo; Victoria Miro Gallery, London; and Gagosian Gallery, New York

Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929), Flowers and Self-Portrait, 1973. Collage, watercolor, and ink on paper, 20 7/8 x 16 9/16 in. (53 x 42 cm). Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo. (c) Yayoi Kusama. Image courtesy Yayoi Kusama Studio Inc.; Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo; Victoria Miro Gallery, London; and Gagosian Gallery, New York

Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929), Self-Portrait, 1972. Collage with pastel, ballpoint pen, and ink on paper, 29 5/16 x 17 5/16 in. (74.4 x 44 cm). Collection of the artist. (c) Yayoi Kusama. Image courtesy Yayoi Kusama Studio Inc.; Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo; Victoria Miro Gallery, London; and Gagosian Gallery, New York

Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929), Self-Obliteration No. 3, 1967. Watercolor, ink, pastel, and photocollage on paper, 15 7/8 x 19 13/16 in. (40.4 x 50.4 cm), Collection of the artist. (c) Yayoi Kusama. Image courtesy Yayoi Kusama Studio Inc.; Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo; Victoria Miro Gallery, London; and Gagosian Gallery, New York

Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929), Self-Obliteration No. 1, 1962--7. Watercolor, ink, graphite, and photocollage on paper, 15 7/8 x 19 13/16 in. (40.4 x 50.4 cm). Collection of the artist. (c) Yayoi Kusama. Image courtesy Yayoi Kusama Studio Inc.; Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo; Victoria Miro Gallery, London; and Gagosian Gallery, New York

Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929), Man Catching the Insect, 1972. Collage with oil on paper, 19 7/8 x 16 15/16 in. (50.5 x 43 cm). Collection of the artist. (c) Yayoi Kusama. Image courtesy Yayoi Kusama Studio Inc.; Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo; Victoria Miro Gallery, London; and Gagosian Gallery, New York

Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929), Untitled, c. 1962--3. Collage on paper, 23 13/16 x 25 in. (60.5 x 63.5 cm). Collection of the artist. (c) Yayoi Kusama. Image courtesy Yayoi Kusama Studio Inc.; Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo; Victoria Miro Gallery, London; and Gagosian Gallery, New York

Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929), An Encounter with a Flowering Season, 2009. Synthetic polymer on canvas, 51 5/16 x 63 3/4 in. (130.3 x 162 cm). Collection of the artist. (c) Yayoi Kusama. Image courtesy Yayoi Kusama Studio Inc.; Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo; Victoria Miro Gallery, London; and Gagosian Gallery, New York

Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929), Late-night Chat is Filled with Dreams, 2009. Synthetic polymer on canvas, 63 3/4 x 63 3/4 in. (162 x 162 cm). Collection of the artist. (c)
Yayoi Kusama. Image courtesy Yayoi Kusama Studio Inc.; Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo; Victoria Miro Gallery, London; and Gagosian Gallery, New York

Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929), I Want to Live Honestly, Like the Eye in the Picture, 2009. Synthetic polymer on canvas, 51 5/16 x 63 3/4 in. (130.3 x 162 cm). Collection of the artist. (c) Yayoi Kusama. Image courtesy Yayoi Kusama Studio Inc.; Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo; Victoria Miro Gallery, London; and Gagosian Gallery, New York

Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929), All about my Love, and I Long to Eat a Dream of the Night, 2009. Synthetic polymer on canvas, 51 5/16 x 63 3/4 in. (130.3 x 162 cm). Collection of the artist. (c) Yayoi Kusama. Image courtesy Yayoi Kusama Studio Inc.; Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo; Victoria Miro Gallery, London; and Gagosian Gallery, New York

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