Billboard JAPAN delves into the musical metamorphosis of Japan’s iconic Ikimonogakari, renowned for NARUTO’s “Blue Bird” theme song, as they embark on a new era as a dynamic duo – Yoshiki Mizuno and Kiyoe Yoshioka. The spotlight shines on their latest double A-side single, “Ureshikute/Tokimeki,” as Mizuno and Yoshioka share insights with Billboard JAPAN about this transformative chapter.
The duo discusses the intricacies of the single, featuring “Ureshikute” (the theme song for the film Pretty Cure All Stars F, produced by Koichi Tsutaya) and “Tokimeki” (a Pretty Cure 20th-anniversary commemorative song and the opening theme for the TV anime Kibo no Chikara – Otona Pretty Cure ’23, produced by Masanori Shimada).
In this exclusive interview, Mizuno and Yoshioka unveil the creative process behind “Tokimeki,” highlighting its significance as a song of self-affirmation. Mizuno reflects on the challenges of modern society, emphasizing the struggle to determine personal values amidst the influence of social media.
As they narrate the journey of creating a vibrant and powerful sound, the interview explores the meticulous sound production by Masanori Shimada for “Tokimeki” and Koichi Tsutaya for “Ureshikute.” The orchestration of “Ureshikute” is described as amazing, showcasing the duo’s commitment to creating a majestic song reminiscent of the Los Angeles Olympics fanfare by John Williams.
The interview captures the essence of the songwriting process, detailing the initial demo stages, where Mizuno on piano and Yoshioka singing set the foundation for a truly excellent song. The lyrics, emphasizing acceptance and understanding, reveal a cheery yet sensitive side to the composition.
As Ikimonogakari unveils their first single since embracing a duo format, “Ureshikute/Tokimeki” promises not just a musical offering but a vibrant journey into the evolving identity of this iconic band. The interview provides a captivating glimpse into their creative synergy, setting the stage for a harmonious chapter in Ikimonogakari’s storied career.