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Days spent in Waseda led to the path for the future

Ms. Ai Takekawa

When she was younger, she was surrounded by music. "I never thought, 'I want to play music!' As I was born in a musical family, music was something familiar. I thought doing gigs with parents, elder brothers and sisters was normal for every family, but it was actually a bit special (laughing)" says Ms. Takekawa, looking back at the environment in which she grew up.

Engaged in musical activities vigorously, Ms. Takekawa often plays live. How does she feel when she stands in front of an audience? "When I write music, I tend to feel introverted. Concentrating too much on the composition, I sometimes forget the presence of the audience. In gigs, I sense the responses from the audience and confirm that what I want to communicate is properly delivered to them. Above all, I release the music I have made up in my mind. Gigs are special time for me, so I thoroughly think out the entire arrangement of the show including MCs."

Why didn't you enter a music college and chose Waseda? "To tell the truth, I was interested in archeology, so I was determined to enter Waseda to study under Dr. Sakuji Yoshimura. But actually he retired before I entered Waseda (laughing.)" Once she sets her mind on something, nothing will stop her doing it. She perfectly fits the expression. And in Ms. Takekawa's dictionary, there is no word like "awkward." "After entering Waseda, I became interested in film music, so I visited many movie clubs and promoted myself, saying, "I play music! I can write film scores! It was like a visit to challenge members of a rival kendo school (laughing). But thanks to this, I made many friends."

Now, she's taking courses of archeology of her original interest, as well as chemistry and French. She says her selection of courses is very unique. She says she was fully attracted by French since she studied the language to prepare for a gig at "JAPAN EXPO 2010" that took place in Paris in July. She loves "not only comfortable accents but also gentle facial expressions of people speaking French." After returning to Japan, she started to take a French course. She is a woman of action. "I can immediately study what interests me and meet many different people," she says. "Waseda offers a rich environment."

In making her musical activities and studies compatible, her friends at university are indispensable. "As I am always thinking about music, my peers are very precious as I can talk about things other than music with them," says Ms. Takekawa, with her eyes shining bright. "After entering Waseda, my world expanded, and I feel that I have many alternatives right in front of me. In continuing musical activities, I want to keep in mind that it is my own choice out of the many paths I could take." She adds, "I want to be a person with values that don't change." The voice of Ms. Takekawa talking about her future was filled with her strong will.


On November 27 and December 25, Ms. Takekawa will play at HEAVEN'S ROCK in Saitama Fukutoshin!
For details, please visit http://aitakekawa.net.

(Offered by WASEDA WEEKLY)

Ai Takekawa

Born in Tokyo in 1988. Graduated from Yokohama International School. Junior at School of International Liberal Studies. Singer songwriter. Made a major debut with her first single, I Will, (avex) in November 2009. Her second single, "Tooi Michi no Sakide" was the ending theme song of "Inuyasha Kanketsuhen." Semi regular guest of a music program, J-MELO, (NHK Television, broadcast every Sunday at 24:30) as a Music Discoverer. She is the DJ of an FM radio program, "Ai Takekawa: Why Ai Tonight" (NACK 5, broadcast every Monday at 23:00). The long-awaited first album, Dreamer (avex), will be released on December 1! Her favorite spot is a coffee shop in front of the Toyama campus, Le Cafe RETRO. "It is comfortable and serves delicious stir-fried rice wrapped in an omelette.