Beauty Features

[7daysfree] TOKYO CUTTING EDGE CREATORS by Julie Watai #11 featuring Frenesi: The Singer-Songwriting-Animator | Japanese kawaii idol music culture news

TOKYO CUTTING EDGE CREATORS by Julie Watai #11 featuring Frenesi: The Singer-Songwriting-Animator


『TOKYO CUTTING-EDGE CREATORS by Julie Watai』#11:シンガーソングライティングアニメーター フレネシ

TOKYO CUTTING EDGE CREATORS by Julie Watai #11 featuring Frenesi: The Singer-Songwriting-Animator

Sponsored Links

TOKYO CUTTING-EDGE CREATORS by Julie Watai is column series, which covers Tokyo’s latest cutting-edge culture! In this series she’ll be interviewing creators that have caught her interest, in order to discover the latest cutting-edge culture in Tokyo. We have interviewed Ai☆Madonna, Junya Suzuki from chloma, Etsuko Ichihara, TORIENA, and Tadashi Shimaya, Nukeme, and Keisuke Nagami from HATRA, and Novmichi Tosa from Maywa Denki, and Tomofumi Yoshida from Techno-Shugei Club and Masaaki Enami from EDITMODE.
東京の最先端カルチャーを常に追いかけ続けているJulie Wataiさんの連載『TOKYO CUTTING-EDGE CREATORS by Julie Watai』。この連載では、Julie Wataiが注目するクリエイターとの対談を通じ、新たな東京の最先端カルチャーを発見していきます。初回では愛☆まどんなさん、第2回目ではchloma鈴木淳哉さん、第3回目では市原えつこさん、第4回ではTORIENAさん、第5回では島谷直志さん、第6回ではヌケメさん、第7回ではHATRA長見佳祐さん、第8回では明和電機土佐信道さんと、第9回ではテクノ手芸部のよしだともふみさんと、第10回ではエディットモードの江南匡晃さんにインタビューを行いました。

For the 11th installment, we’ll be interviewing Frenesi, the singer-songwriting-animator .

Julie: It’s been four years since xxx of WONDER, since we’ve last worked in the media together, hasn’t it? Since I see you around on SNS, it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long. Are you working again now?
Julie: フレネシさんとメディアでご一緒させてもらうのはxxx of WONDER振りですね。調べてみたらなんと4年振りでした!SNSでお見かけしているのでそんな経った感じがしない・・・。今は活動の方は復帰されているんでしたっけ。

Frenesi: I’m still taking a break from music. Even if I started working again, it would only be a half-hearted effort.
フレネシ: 自身の音楽活動は休止のままですね。いま始めても中途半端になっちゃいそうで。

Julie: I see. I recently saw an interview you did and incorrectly assumed.
Julie: そうなんですね。最近インタビュー記事でメディアに出られていたのをお見かけしたので、ちょっと勘違いしておりました。

The interview was conducted via Skype. / 対談はSkypeで行われました

The interview was conducted via Skype. / 対談はSkypeで行われました

Frenesi: Since parenting has taken up so much of my interest, I’d like to enjoy this period for a little longer. Which interview was it?
フレネシ: 育児が面白すぎて。もうちょっと楽しみたいですね・・・。インタビュー記事ってどれでしたっけ?

Julie: I’m sure you’ve been creative when it comes to parenting. It was an article where you interviewed the music artist Lamp.
Julie: フレネシさんの育児もきっとクリエイティブなんでしょうね。インタビュー記事はLampというアーティストの。インタビューはLampというアーティストに、フレネシさんがインタビューする記事です。

Frenesi: Oh! That was the one where I was the interviewer.
Parenting has been pretty normal. Then again, my kid is a bit on the weird side, so maybe it hasn’t been so normal after all.
フレネシ: あー!私がインタビュアーをした記事ですね!

Julie: The interview was really interesting and easy to read.
Julie: 記事、とっても興味深く読みやすかったです。

Frenesi: Thanks. Lamp’s a band I’m a fan of, so I was glad to be able to meet them.
フレネシ: ありがとうございます。大好きなバンドなので、会えて嬉しかったです。

Photo, Model : Julie Watai, / 撮影、モデル : Julie Watai

Photo, Model : Julie Watai, Styling:Hirokoten(Meruheso)/ 撮影、モデル : Julie Watai、スタイリング : ヒロこてん(メルヘソ)

Julie: On that note, let’s get down to it. I first found out about you when Tower Records in Shibuya was doing a lot of PR for your album “Meruhen”, which I then bought there. The illustration on the jacket was distinctive and caught my eye, and the CD’s catchphrase was also great. It made me wonder… “What kind of music will it have?”
Julie: それでは、早速フレネシさんについてお話伺わせてください。

Frenesi: I appreciate that. “Meruhen” was my second album, which was eight years ago.
フレネシ: ありがとうございます。メルヘンは2ndアルバムで、8年前になりますね。

Julie: Right, you released it back in 2010. After giving it a listen, I thought it perfectly matched the image of the girl’s meaningful expression in the illustration as well as the catchphrase, and considered how unusual it was for a work to be so unified. I got more and more interested about you, and after looking you up online, I found out that you also worked on the illustration yourself.
Julie: 2010年のアルバムですね。楽曲を聞いてみたら、意味深な表情の女の子のイラストもキャッチコピーもイメージとピッタリで、ここまで統一感があるのは珍しいな〜と益々気になってネットで調べたら、イラストも手がけられているんですよね。


Illustrations: Frenesi / Illustrations: フレネシ

Illustrations: Frenesi / Illustrations: フレネシ

Frenesi: That’s right. It was professionally colored, but the original image was a poorly drawn doodle I did myself.
フレネシ: はい、着色はプロのイラストレーターの方がやっているのですが、原画は私が落描きで描いた拙い絵なんです・・・。

Julie: It’s a really nice drawing. It’s stylish like retro shoujo manga art. But also there’s a certain darkness to it.
Julie: とっても素敵な絵ですよね。レトロな少女漫画風でおしゃれ。そしてなぜか闇を感じます。(闇を感じるのは私だけかも。)

Frenesi: (is surprised)
フレネシ: ひっ!

Julie: (laughs)
Julie: 笑。

Frenesi: I’ve always liked drawing, and influence by my older sister, I started drawing when I was about three.
フレネシ: 元々絵を描くのが大好きで、絵のうまかった姉に影響されて、3歳くらいから少女絵ばかりを描いていたんです。

Julie: So were you absorbed in drawing before music?
Julie: 音楽よりも絵の方に先に夢中になっていたんですか?

Frenesi: I was. I started learning how to play instruments when I was five, and before that I was really into drawing. When I’d play, I’d draw on the ground outside and on paper inside. I was fascinated with older things as a child, and because I never updated the way I designed characters, that might be why it appears to have a retro feel.
フレネシ: そうですね。楽器を習い始めたのが年中のときなので、絵はその前から夢中になっていましたね。外遊びといえば地面に絵を描くことで、室内遊びといえば画用紙に絵を描くことでした。

Illustrations: Frenesi / Illustrations: フレネシ

Illustrations: Frenesi / Illustrations: フレネシ

Illustrations: Frenesi / Illustrations: フレネシ

Illustrations: Frenesi / Illustrations: フレネシ

Julie: So you found a way to express yourself as a young child. The world you create is full of originality and time and time again I find myself surprised by its depth and variety.
People often say you’re mysterious, perhaps because you never reveal your face, but in my opinion your world is the most mysterious thing about you.
Artists that are able to express themselves in multiple ways have a central activity that leaves an impression on their other work to a certain degree, and I think for you, music serves as your central point while your illustrations, videos, and writings are also at a high level. I’m very interested to know how your childhood served as the basis for how colorful of an artist you’ve become.
Are there any places or subjects at school you liked?
Julie: 幼少期からフレネシさんとしての表現活動の方向性がスタートしていたという事ですね。オリジナリティ溢れる世界観で、本当にその深さと多彩さに何度も驚かされています。

Frenesi: Thank you. It wasn’t such a big deal, but at the elementary school the next school district over from mine, there was an animal cemetery monument. It had a design like a three-eyed monster. When I went back home and went to go see it, it was still there, and I felt very moved.
フレネシ: ひー!なんだかいろいろありがとうございます。そんなに大それたものでもないんです・・・。自分の通っていた学校ではないんですが、となりの学区の小学校に動物の墓のモニュメントがあって、それが大好きでした。三つ目のモンスターのようなデザインで。帰省したときに見に行ったらまだあって、感動しました。

Julie: An elementary school student focusing her attention on a strange cemetery monument… (The mystery deepens…)
Julie: 不思議なお墓のモニュメントに注目する小学生、、。(益々謎は深まりました)

Illustrations: Frenesi / Illustrations: フレネシ

Illustrations: Frenesi / Illustrations: フレネシ

Illustrations: Frenesi / Illustrations: フレネシ

Illustrations: Frenesi / Illustrations: フレネシ

Frenesi: I liked every subject besides P.E. I especially liked science, music, art, and Japanese. My eyesight was really bad so I couldn’t see the blackboard at all, so I would randomly summarize whatever the teacher said in a notebook. When I felt bored, I’d doodle along the edges of the notebook but only to the extent that I wouldn’t get caught.
フレネシ: 授業は体育以外は全部好きでした。特に理科と音楽と図工と国語が好きでした。視力が異様に悪くて、黒板が全然見えなかったので、先生の話している内容を意訳して適当にノートを取っていました。退屈になると少女絵をノートの端っこに描いていましたね。バレない程度に。

Julie: I guess you could say all of your favorite subjects are connected to your work now.
Something that I’m also curious about, why did you choose not to reveal your face in the media?
Julie: 好きな教科全てがフレネシさんの今のご活動に繋がってる気がしますね。

Frenesi: Mr. Someya from Lamp asked me the same thing, and I feel like I wanted to put myself beyond appearances.
フレネシ: Lampの染谷さんにも聞かれたことなんですが、ルッキズムの外に身を置きたいという思いがあります。

Julie: I see. I think female artists with intentions like that are quite cool.
Julie: なるほど。女性アーティストでそういった意思のある方はかっこいいです。

Frenesi: I love beautiful people and beautiful girls, but I’ve been considering whether there’s a choice or not of being “neither”.
フレネシ: 自分は美人も美少女も大好きなんですが、「ない」という選択肢があってもいいのかなと・・・。

Julie: It’s a means of expression in itself.
Julie: 表現手段でもある訳ですね。

Frenesi: Exactly.
フレネシ: そういうことですね。

xxx of WONDER CD jacket / xxx of WONDER CDジャケット

xxx of WONDER CD jacket / xxx of WONDER CDジャケット

xxx of WONDER CD jacket illustrarion by Mel Kishida / xxx of WONDER CDジャケット illustrarion by 岸田メル

xxx of WONDER CD jacket illustrarion by Mel Kishida / xxx of WONDER CDジャケット illustrarion by 岸田メル

Julie: I was glad to work with you as a member of the creative unit xxx of WONDER!
Julie: クリエーターズユニット「xxx of WONDER」ではメンバーとしてご一緒させてもらって嬉しかったです!

Frenesi: Me, too! I fell in love with your handsome style of work during the photo shoot.
フレネシ: こちらこそです!撮影時のジュリちゃんの仕事っぷりには惚れました。男前で。

Julie: Really?! It’s an honor to hear that coming from a creator behind such faithful creations like yourself.
Come to think of it, talking with Shiho Nanba about good luck charms in the dressing room left quite the impression on me.
Julie: そうですか!?(照)硬派なものづくりをされるクリエーターの方にそう言ってもらえるなんて光栄ですね。えへへ。

Frenesi: Did we talk about that?
フレネシ: おまじない!なんの話をしていたんでしたっけ。

Julie: We did! I was also into good luck charms and the like way back when. I was overcome with nostalgia. But as you become an adult you forget. We talked about the good luck charm magazine “My Birthday” in the dressing room. I imagined that might have been something that shaped your music that unique girls’ culture that is normally forgotten.
Julie: してましたよ〜!私も昔好きだったんですよね。懐かしい。でも大人になるにつれて忘れちゃってたので。「My Birthday」(おまじない雑誌)の話をしていました。そういった、普通は忘れ去られてしまう少女時期独特の文化も含めてフレネシさんの楽曲は形作られているのかもしれないなとか、勝手に想像していました。

Photo, Model : Julie Watai, / 撮影、モデル : Julie Watai

Photo, Model : Julie Watai, / 撮影、モデル : Julie Watai

Frenesi: There’s no magazine like it anymore. When I was an elementary school, I enthusiastically read the magazine “MU” (an occult/mystery magazine) and I remember I was happy when my submission was included.
フレネシ: 「My Birthday」みたいな雑誌はもうないですよね・・・。小学生当時「ムー」も愛読していて、投稿が載って嬉しかったことを覚えています。

Julie: I remember it used to be popular among elementary school students. The content of the magazine was also cute. What kind of things did you submit to “MU”?
Julie: あの頃は小学生の間でおまじないブームありましたね。今思っても雑誌の内容も可愛かったな~。そして「ムー」(笑)。こっちはガチな方ですね。どんな投稿だったか聞いてもいいでしょうか。

Frenesi: “MU” was something my dad would buy. The content would have features like, “A moon was born from the giant, red spot on Jupiter!” and I would be like, “OMG, really?” and excitedly read all about it.
I sent a submission to the dream analysis corner, and my submission was printed twice. The first time I accidentally included my real name, which was embarrassing, so the second time I used a pen name.
I dreamed about a rainbow that stretched vertically and a bunch of perfect, circular rainbows came out of it, which made me scared.
フレネシ: 「ムー」は父が買っていたので・・・。木星の大赤斑から月は誕生した!とか、「マジかよ?」っていう内容ばかりでワクワクしました。

Julie: I remember the dream analysis corner. Your dream seems like a beautiful yet mysterious one.
Julie: 夢診断のコーナーがあったんですね。フレネシさんらしい綺麗で不思議な夢ですね。

Frenesi: I remember the analysis result they published was something about “sexual awakening” or something fitting like that.
フレネシ: 「性の目覚めだ」とかなんとか。今思えば適当な診断がついていました。

Illustrations: Frenesi / Illustrations: フレネシ

Illustrations: Frenesi / Illustrations: フレネシ

Illustrations: Frenesi / Illustrations: フレネシ

Illustrations: Frenesi / Illustrations: フレネシ

Julie: Your son, Neshio, sometimes appears at your instagram. He’s three now, isn’t he?
Julie: フレネシさんのインスタで度々登場するネシ夫くん。もう3歳でしたっけ。

Frenesia: That’s right.
フレネシ: そうです。早くも年少さんです。

Julie: Time really flies! All the members of xxx of WONDER got along well and everyone went out to eat, and your stomach was so big at the time. I remember it like it was yesterday.
Julie: 早い~~~~! xxx of WONDERはメンバー同士仲良くて、みんなでご飯食べたりしてたんですが、その時にお腹が大きくなっていたのを昨日のことのように思い出しました。

Frenesi: There were moments like that! It’s a nice memory from before.
フレネシ: そんなときもありましたね。懐かしい!

Julie: Now that you’ve been parenting for three years, do you feel like anything has changed from before? I would think your living environment has changed quite a bit.
Julie: 3年間育児をして、以前と変わったな~って思うことはありますか?生活環境はとても変わったのではと察しますが。

Frensei: Hmm, well, how can I say it… Before I hadn’t really noticed, but I realized there are a surprising amount of children in my town.
フレネシ: うーん、なんだろ。。街には子供が意外と多いんだな、と気づくようになりました。これまではあんまり意識してなかったけれど・・・。

Julie: Oh, for sure. I recently gave birth (earlier this March), and I’ve become more aware of the presence of children and babies than I ever had before. It’s like my view of the world has gotten bigger.
Julie: ああ、それはありますね。私も出産してみて、(今年3月に出産しました)今まで目に入ってこなかった子供や赤ちゃんの存在感がぐっと増しました。世界が拡張された感覚ありますね。

Photo, Model : Julie Watai, / 撮影、モデル : Julie Watai

Photo, Model : Julie Watai, / 撮影、モデル : Julie Watai

Frenesi: That’s right. Other children are cute, but I’ve come to realize how unconditionally cute I find my own kid.
And although I’ve seen a lot of things about the risks and negative aspects of parenting on the internet, I’ve been more into it and had more fun with it than I’d imagined, and I’d like to emphasize that part of it more.
フレネシ: ですよね。他の子も可愛いんですが、自分の子って無条件でこんなに可愛く思えるんだな・・・と知りました。

Julie: What kind of lullabies do you sing to Neshio?
Julie: ネシ夫くんの子守唄、何の曲を歌ってました?

Frenesi: He likes numbers and the alphabet, and loves songs that have letters in them. Even now he asks me to sing English songs and the like.
フレネシ: ネシ夫は、数字やアルファベットが大好きで、文字が出てくる歌を好んでいましたね。

Julie: He really comes across as your typical boy. Surely he’s receiving a gifted education from you.
Julie: 数字の歌って聞くと、さすが男の子って感じですね。子供は環境でもかなり影響されると思うので、ネシ夫くんはフレネシさん流の英才教育バッチリの予感がします。

Photo, Model : Julie Watai, / 撮影、モデル : Julie Watai

Photo, Model : Julie Watai, / 撮影、モデル : Julie Watai

Julie: There are a lot of creators who are continuing to expand their work through childbirth and parenting, but I’m interested in what kind of work you’ll do in the future.
Julie: 出産、育児を通して作風に広がりが出ているクリエーターはたくさんいますし、今後フレネシさんがどう活動されていくのか興味あります。

Frenesi: I appreciate your interest. I’m also looking forward to your work as well.
フレネシ: ありがとうございます。ジュリちゃんの活動も楽しみにしています!

Julie: I’m grateful to hear that! Please tell me about any activity or desires your have in the future.
Julie: 恐縮です!(汗)今後の野望や活動の展望などありましたら教えてください。

Frenesi: Because there’s no lack of episodes with how funny Neshio is, I’d like to illustrate a manga of them someday.
I’d also like to produce a theme song, which I had wanted to do before giving birth, and I’m thinking about starting that soon.
フレネシ: そうですね。変わり者のネシ夫のエピソードが尽きないので、いつか漫画にしてみたいなと思っています。

Illustrations: Frenesi / Illustrations: フレネシ

Illustrations: Frenesi / Illustrations: フレネシ

Illustrations: Frenesi / Illustrations: フレネシ

Illustrations: Frenesi / Illustrations: フレネシ

Julie: I’d definitely like to read a manga about Neshio. I’m sure his episodes would be funny and I’m interested in seeing what you’re like as a mother, since I can’t really come up with a mental image. I’m sure there would be a ton of people that would be interested, too! There are a lot of people waiting for you to make music, too.
If you have any announcements to make, please feel free.
Julie: フレネシさんの絵柄での漫画、ぜひ読んでみたいですね。ネシ夫くんのエピソードも面白そうだし、母親としてのフレネシさんが想像つかなさすぎて気になります。気になっている人も多いはず!楽曲制作は待っている人もたくさんいらっしゃるでしょうね。

Frenesi: I don’t have anything in particular to announce at the moment. But please read the interview I did with Lamp.
フレネシ: 告知は、特にはないですね・・・。Lampのインタビュー、ぜひ読んで下さいませ。

Julie: Thank you for giving me so much of your time today.
Julie: 長時間お付き合いいただいてありがとうございました。

Frenesi: Thank you as well! I had a good time.
フレネシ: こちらこそ!楽しかったです。

Photo, Model : Julie Watai, / 撮影、モデル : Julie Watai

Photo, Model : Julie Watai, / 撮影、モデル : Julie Watai

After the interview

Frenesi strikes me as an artist with a unique vision.
As a creator, the existence of those that release one original work after another strikes fear into you, like being swallowed up by an infinite abyss. I believe that those that can’t be readily understood or grasped, that make you think, “What’s going on inside that person’s head?” can be viewed as capturing an existence that extends beyond mere categories of humanity. It makes their work all the more attractive.

Personally I find Frenesi just as positively engaging as the mysteries of the universe. However, she’s an artist with a drifting enigma of mystery that can’t be captured.
This time, during our interview, I felt like could finally understand her a little, only to feel like the mystery around her had only grown deeper and deeper.

Related Links

Frenesi Official site:
Frenesi Official Twitter:
Frenesi Official Instagram:

Julie Watai Official site:
Julie Watai Official Twitter:

Sponsored Links

FrenesiJulie Watai

Share This Article


Julie Watai
Julie Watai

After working at an idol in Japan, Julie Watai moved by herself to Italy, publishing SAMURAI GIRL in 2006 while working as a photographer for Italian publishing company DRAGO&ARTS. She quickly became an international Japanese pop culture figure, gaining a large following. After returning to Japan, she continued her work as a photographer, along with developing electronics as a hobby and iPhone apps, and has been remarkably successful as part of the Akiba-style geek culture, too.

You may also like

Photo, Model:Julie Watai, Location:deltatune/撮影、モデル:Julie Watai、撮影協力:deltatune

TOKYO CUTTING EDGE CREATORS by Julie Watai 10 featuring EDITMODE Masaaki Enami


TOKYO CUTTING EDGE CREATORS by Julie Watai #9 featuring Techno-Shugei Club Tomofumi Yoshida

Live performance at an exhibition in Shanghai, China / 中国上海展示でのライブ

TOKYO CUTTING EDGE CREATORS by Julie Watai #8 : Investigating Nonsense with Maywa Denki


TOKYO CUTTING EDGE CREATORS by Julie Watai #7 featuring HATRA Keisuke Nagami

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.
comments powered by

(function(d, s, id) {
var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];
if (d.getElementById(id)) return;
js = d.createElement(s); = id;
js.src = “”;
fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);
}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));