Source: (C) Asachill

Interview with Kyoto Pop Singer Asachill

As our readers may recall, last month, Kyoto pop singer Asachill guided us through the beautiful traditional Kyoto neighborhood of Pontocho where she grew up. After our tour of Pontocho, we sat down with Asachill to ask her a few questions about her upbringing in Kyoto, her development as a singer and the range of activities she is involved in.

With permission from Asachill

Growing Up In Pontocho

Your profile says you were born into a family running an obanzai restaurant in Pontocho. Is it a traditional establishment with a long history?

Our obanzai restaurant started 75 years ago and has always been a family business, my older brother being the fourth generation. Since its establishment, the restaurant has become well known for having regular patrons such as Ryotaro Shiba and other cultural figures.

What does Pontocho mean to you?

It’s a long narrow alley brimming with culture and good food.

What do you like most about Kyoto?

Its unchanging nature and its dignified atmosphere.

With permission from Asachill

Were you listening to music since childhood? If so, what?

Yes, I would listen to the YMO and Yumi Matsutoya songs my parents listened to.

Were you singing since childhood?

I joined a band after entering high school and I was on vocals.

Which musicians influenced your subsequent career as a musical artist?

Cindi Lauper, Björk, Kylie Minogue, Judy and Mary, Chara... I like fashionable, cute, yet strong and cool artists. You could say I like the kind of women who women admire. As I was growing up, I was very attracted to solo female artists.

With permission from Asachill

Which came first for you, singing or modeling?

Singing came first.

From when did you start going to clubs?

I used to go to clubs a lot from my student days. My friends and I immersed ourselves in techno, hip-hop, house… all kinds of genres.

What inspired you to begin pole dancing and go-go dancing?

I started pole dancing because I thought it was something I could continue doing on my own, and I began go-go dancing as an extension of that.

Had you been dancing from a young age? If so, what kind of dance?

I took ballet lesson since I was three, so I loved to dance since I was very young.

How did you get into MCing?

The opportunity came when an acquaintance of mine asked me if I would consider MCing for a TV show. I had a really rough time starting out because I had no idea what to say.

With permission from Asachill

From Kyoto to Tokyo and Beyond

When did you move to Tokyo?

About three years ago.

What gave you the idea to move from Kyoto to Tokyo?

I wanted to expand my range of activities.

After moving to Tokyo, did you notice a change in your activities as an artist?

Not only was I able to expand my range of activities, I also gained opportunities to show my view of the world to a larger audience.

With permission from Asachill

Would you say that the relationship between Kyoto and Tokyo is a continuous theme for you?

Yes, you could say that. Both cities are part of my experience. They are exact opposites but both of them mean a lot to me. I would like to contribute to both cities, acting as a “bridge connecting Tokyo and Kyoto”

Your latest album PONT. [details and music video below] also means “bridge” in French. Was that intentional?

Yes, Pontocho and “bridge.” You could say that through my music, I’d also like to act as a bridge connecting Kyoto and Tokyo to the rest of the world.

With permission from Asachill

You sang the theme song for the animated short “SEX and VIOLENCE with MACHSPEED” by Studio Trigger, but how did you connect with the independent label Attack the Music?

I was introduced to them by an acquaintance at the warm-up bar Oiran in Shibuya.

What merit did you see in working with an American net label as opposed to a Japanese label?

I had always wanted people abroad to listen to my music and see my fashion activities. This allowed me to reach out beyond Japan in a way I couldn’t have before.

Was singing the theme song for an anime something you were interested in from before?

Yes, it was.

Do you like anime? If so, what are some of your favorite?

To tell the truth, SEX and VIOLENCE with MACHSPEED is the kind of world view I like. It’s crazy and cute and the music is cool. It’s amazing!

Would you like to sing more anime songs in the future?

I would definitely!

It seems that food such as ice cream and ramen is a frequent theme in your music (not to mention the title of your first album, E.A.T., which stands for Early Asachill Tracks also happens to spell the English word “eat”). Is there a reason why you often focus on food?

It probably has to do with the fact that I was born into a restaurant family. Food must be an important element somewhere within my personality.

With permission from Asachill

Which artists continue to influence you as a singer today?

I still admire Yuki and Chara, and I continue to be inspired by various artists when I attend their live performances.

Going forward, do you have any challenges you would like to take on as an artist?

I have many. To begin with, I would like to make my live performances more elaborate productions!

Is your connection to the club scene something you will continue to value?

Yes. For me, it’s an important culture which has provided me with irreplaceable social ties. I’ll continue going to clubs where I’ll listen to all kinds of music and enjoy meeting people.

With permission from Asachill

The Many Faces of Asachill

When did you begin modeling?

About four years ago. A cameraman by the name of Masanori Kato took my pictures and that’s how I discovered how much fun it was to be a model.

Do you have any other reasons for modeling?

I like to leave a visual record of my fashion sense and my view of the world.

When did you being modeling for the magazine KERA?

Since 2016. I’ve been invited to appear in snapshots and I’ve been in a special on hair color.

Can you tell us how you ended up being a Monster Girl at the Kawaii Monster Café?

There was an audition to be a Monster Girl so I signed up.

What inspired you to apply for the role?

I’ve always been attracted to Harajuku and have wondered if there was a place for me somewhere in the Harajuku neighborhood where I could promote myself. That’s why I chose to be a Monster Girl who can perform during showtime and entertain people too.

Can fans see you at Kawaii Monster Café regularly?

I’m not there every day but there are days when they can see me! I’m always there at lunch time.

With permission from Asachill

Model, singer, MC... Your talents span multiple fields. Are there still other fields you’d like to explore in the future?

If I’m presented with a good opportunity, I’ll eagerly jump in and do my best with it.

Is it true you have a bifid uvula? Does it influence your singing voice?

Yes, it’s true. People often tell me I have an interesting voice. It may partly contribute to my distinctive singing voice.

Is there anything you’d like to say to Grape Japan readers?

Thank you for reading this article. I’ll do my best to spread my wings and go out into the world, so please support my activities! You can find out the latest information about me here:



Kyoto Pop Icon Asachill’s Second Album PONT.

Released on January 15, 2018

A concept album on the theme of Kyoto produced by Ryo Teshima (from Kei-ko Tokyo, Inc.) and Yasuyuki Tomita (from Magical Completer Inc.), composed by Yasuhito Yamada, with lyrics by Yuki Kawamura, PONT. includes the upbeat number “Pont KYOTO Pont,” about Asachill’s native Kyoto and the Pontocho neighborhood where she grew up, as well as the bittersweet pop tune “Obanzai” which was given an online advanced release at the end of last year.

The music video for “Pont KYOTO Pont” was also released on January 15. Combining the traditional beauty of Pontocho with Asachill’s kawaii pop style, it will surely make you feel like hopping on a train (or plane) to Kyoto right now! Even the lyrics contain names of actual shops and locations in Pontocho.

Asachill kicked off her “Spring Asachill Utamatsuri 2018” tour with a show at Kyoto MUSE on January 15th and has a series of live performances and events planned for Kyoto and Tokyo. Moroever, songs from the PONT. album are being released weekly from Jan. 15th, beginning with “Pont KYOTO Pont,” so please check them out!

CD information
PONT., Jan. 15 release
On sale at live events only
1,800 JPY (inc. tax)

With permission from Asachill

With permission from Asachill

Song list

1. River
2. Pont KYOTO Pont
3. Last Train
4. Rainnbow-chillout remix-
5. Obanzaiya no Okami-san Boogie
6. Tower
7. Obanzai
8. Pont Cat Street

Live Information
“Spring Asachill Utamatsuri 2018”

Jan. 15th (Mon.) Kyokore at Kyoto MUSE
Jan. 26th (Fri.) Honey Lab at Ebisu BATICA
Feb. 7th (Wed.) at Shibuya The Closet
Feb. 11th (Sun.) Live performance at Shibuya Oiran
Feb. 24th (Sun.) Hitsuji at Akihabara Cypher
March (TBA) Live performance in Kyoto
April (TBA) Live performance in Tokyo
April 28th (Sun.) Hitsuji at Akihabara Cypher

Details about Asachill’s live performances will be updated on her SNS and her official home page.

Pont Kyoto Pont MV

With permission from Asachill

Asachill Profile

Kyoto Pop Singer from Pontocho, Kyoto.

Birthday: June 5th

Born into a family running a traditional obanzai restaurant for generations in the Pontocho neighborhood where geisha culture flourished.

Singing the theme song for Studio Trigger’s short anime “SEX and VIOLENCE with MACHSPEED” opened up other opportunities for Asachill to produce tracks and music videos with numerous creators.

In addition to her work as a musical artist, she continues to expand her range of activities, putting her unique fashion sense, her unmistakable voice, her bright personality and soft, lilting Kyoto accent to good use as a model, MC and other fields.

As a self-styled “Kyoto pop icon” bridging Kyoto and the world, Asachill is active performing live in mainly Tokyo and Kyoto.

Official HP

We also recommend these Asachill music videos:

“SEX and VIOLENCE with MACHSPEED no teema” [Theme for SEX and VIOLENCE with MACHSPEED]


“Raamen no uta” [The Ramen Song]

By - Ben K.