Neko Hacker was formed in 2018 by Sera and Sho. They have created a new genre called “Kawaii Future Rock”. Their mission is to spread Japanese music all over the world.
Neko Hacker (Sho) Special Interview
Part 1 : A lot of people want kawaii music
――Would you introduce yourself?
Sho: Hi, what is up guys?
As he introduced, my name is Sho.
I’ve been living in New York for about three years so far, as an international student.
I’m studying business right now over there, and, also teaching Japanese to English speakers at the college.
――You’re teaching Japanese?
Sho: Japanese, yes. Japanese to English speakers in English.
And, also, I make music.
And, currently I am working on the project called Neko-Hacker.
And this is… this project is like, kawaii music.
The genre is called the kawaii future rock.
――Kawaii future rock?
Sho: Yes, kawaii future rock.
It’s… it’s like kawaii, Japanese, you know, cute style.
And, also mixture of like, EDM (electronic dance music), like pop music, and, also rock music.
Like three types of music.
I feel like a lot of foreigners think that Japan is like… Japan has a culture, kawaii culture.
So, our music is like… sounds kawaii.
Like a lot of foreigners want kawaii music but a lot of Japanese music are not kawaii, like…
Sho: They aren’t.
Like J-Rock or like, more like you know, American music.
Like K-pop and stuff like that.
――So, that’s why you guys featured Rika, in your debut song.
Sho: Yes, her voice is so kawaii, right?
――Yeah. And your video is getting a lot of viral responses?
Sho: Yeah, like mostly, it’s like American people watches the video on YouTube, and Japanese people as well.
But, basically like all over the world, not, not only in Japan.
Also, our mission is to spread Japanese music all over the world.
It’s like K-pop, basically.
Like, a lot of Japanese music are consumed domestically.
But, yeah, I believe Japanese music is so good, like, I think Japanese music should be listened to… listened by a lot of people.
Sho: Everywhere, all over the world!
Part 2 : When I gained confidence in speaking English
Sho: Probably a lot of people think if you live in like America, you will understand English very well, you will, you will be able to speak English.
But, it’s not true.
Sho: It is not true, definitely not true.
So, basically you have to study English again to be able to understand and to be able to speak.
And, the most important thing is, like… like this title, “speak up.”
You should speak up, you should talk to a lot of people.
That’s the way, that’s the only way to, you know, study English.
If you don’t do that, you won’t be able to speak English.
And, I think the most important thing is to have confidence.
The first time I went there, I didn’t have any confidence to speak in English.
So… I had a lot of things that I wanted to speak about, but I felt like… since I couldn’t speak English well, so I decided not to speak.
Now I think that was huge mistake, a huge mistake.
But, probably a lot of Japanese people do the same mistake, so…
――So, what do you think you needed, you know, to gain confidence?
Sho: Yeah, basically you shouldn’t be afraid of making mistakes, that’s the most important thing.
Yeah, a lot of people would think that a conversation is a test, but in real life it’s not true.
And, even native speakers make mistakes… a lot.
――Yeah, they do. (Laughter)
Sho: They don’t care about our mistakes, as long as they understand the meaning.
It’s not a problem.
――So how did you realize that?
Sho: Probably when I started teaching Japanese.
I don’t like… they made a lot of mistakes, right? in Japanese.
But still, I understood what they wanted to say.
Yeah. At that time, I realize that, you know, I can make mistakes and that is not a problem, that is not a big deal.