An Interview With Japanese Artist SENA KANA On Her Latest Single ‘Up’ Featuring Wiz Khalifa and More!
Sena Kana continues to ride high with her debut single “Up” featuring Sheppard and Wiz Khalifa. A new remix of the viral track by Dzeko is out now.
Produced by Lindsey Jackson with Katalyst, “Up” premiered in March exclusively through Billboard. The music video, which focuses on Sena and Wiz Khalifa, has already amassed well over 53 million views.
Check it out here-
Kana’s passion for music began at an early age, when she was drawn to the songs and stories in musicals like The Sound of Music. Despite the language barriers, she was transfixed by the stories and sounds. Inspired and invigorated, she spent her school days deeply involved in both music and the stage. Giving others peace and joy through song was the motivation for Kana to further pursue her dreams. At a music academy, she majored in vocal music, where she studied classic fundamental music techniques and learned songs such as Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and “The Marriage of Figaro.”
CONNECT WITH SENA KANA ONLINE HERE-
Learn more about Sena Kana in the following All Access interview-
Now that the year is about over, how has 2019 treated you? What are some goals that you have for yourself this year? How close are you to reaching them?
2019 has been like a dream! I want to share new music I am working on with the US and beyond!
Growing up, how important was music in your life? Can you recall the moment when you decided that you wanted to be a musician? Was it an easy or difficult choice to make?
I began taking actual singing lessons in junior high school. However, I’ve loved singing since I was little and would always be found singing something or other. Since I was small, I have loved films, especially musicals. Since Japan is an island nation, for most Japanese people there is an image of foreign countries being very distant. However, thanks to movies, I felt very close to such places despite not traveling overseas very often. Those films also gave me the feeling that music was like magic, that singing could make anything possible. Whenever I was feeling pain or sadness, singing gave me strength. It let me feel that everything was okay and made me kinder to others.
There are many scary things in this world. Even still, I feel that the power of the human heart has the ability to erase violence from this world. With this magic, songs being able to accomplish anything, I came to feel that music has the ability to create a better world in which people from all nations could come together hand in hand. That is why music is at the center of everything for me. Since music is so important to me, the decision to become a musician wasn’t easy or hard, it was simply the natural choice for me. I wish to cross borders and use songs to help create a better world.
Was there ever a time when you thought about doing something else? If you weren’t a musician today, what else could you see yourself doing? Would you be as fulfilled in life?
No! Since songs are constantly at the center of my life, I cannot imagine a life without it.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
I have always known that being a musician was hard work, so that came as no surprise. No matter the hurdle, I can overcome it. I grow through challenges.
Let’s talk about your newest track, “Up” featuring Wiz Khalifa and Sheppard. What was the inspiration for this song? What was it like working with those two collaborators on it?
This may not be specific, but the inspiration that filled me when I sang this song can be described like this- I feel entrapped and surrounded by four walls. I repeatedly tell myself, “I’m okay, I’m okay.” Suddenly, my body begins to go up and up, and I realize that the walls weren’t obstacles at all. That sort of feeling gave me a lot of inspiration.
It was absolutely amazing to work with these two artists that I respect so much! I am honored that they joined me on this project.
How does “Up” compare to other music that you have worked on?
“Up” is a song with a more global consciousness!
What was it like making the music video for “Up”? How creatively involved with the process were you?
It was really fun. We shot with Wiz Khalifa for a few days in Los Angeles. I was very much involved along with my team and direction from Brian Petchers.
What is next for you? Do you have plans to put out more new music soon? Perhaps an EP of several new songs?
Yes! More music! Please look forward to new releases next year.
How do you think you have grown as a musician since you first started singing and writing songs?
I’ve been able to go to many different countries and regions and interact with various types of people. I am constantly questioning the meaning of my music. Every time I form a new connection, that meaning grows deeper and becomes more multi-layered. By interacting with my wonderful team and talented artists, I become more musically inspired as well.
It has been so fun and I am so thankful to be blessed with such a warm team and to have been accepted by kind people in many different countries and regions. I wish to continue to sing various types of songs, go to different places and sing for different people and grow as an artist.
What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all of the different platforms? Is it hard to stay up to date on it all? What would you say is your favorite way to connect with your fans now? What has social media done for your career so far?
It is so hard! My favorite way to connect with fans is through Instagram. Social media has helped me express who I truly am! I hope that it continues to help my brand and to connect with fans all across the globe.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
I receive a lot of inspiration from Audrey Hepburn. Other artists include Hibari Misora, Andy Williams, the Carpenters, Michael Jackson, Julie Andrews, Gershwin, Bernstein and Cole Porter. I would absolutely love to work with Ed Sheeran and Drake in the future.
If you had an unlimited budget and your schedule was free, what would your dream music video look like?
I have already made my dream music video happen with “Up”! I truly feel lucky. My voice was heard and I feel we ended up with the video I envisioned!
Where would you absolutely love to hear one of your songs? On a TV show, in a movie or elsewhere? Do you recall the first time you heard a song of yours out and about?
It would be ideal if I were walking down the street, suddenly heard my own song and saw someone humming along to it. However, since I love movies, I would be really happy to hear it in one too.
Yes, I clearly remember the first time I heard “Up” on the radio. I had worked so hard for so long so that everyone in the world could hear my message. I was truly touched in that moment to see my hard work pay off.
At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?
I hope that my music makes my fans feel a sense of warmth, kindness, inspiration to work harder tomorrow, or a desire to be kinder to others.
Would you like to share anything else with our readers about your music?
Every day, I think everyone has moments of feeling pain, sadness, or wondering why they are living. But you are okay. If you keep telling yourself “I’m okay, I’m okay.” I am sure that you feel more up eventually. I hope that my song “Up” can help make your hearts feel a little more up. Let’s all do our best together.