"We had a valuable experience while producing and performing 'Kite'"
— Regarding singing Kite
Sakurai: First of all, I was surprised that we were going to play such a major role in singing the NHK 2020 song. Although we had known that we would be involved in the Olympics (as the navigator) I didn't think we would also receive the offer to sing a song that will be played throughout the year in a wide variety of situations. It was really impressing.
Matsumoto: And at that, receiving such a role especially when the Olympics and Paralympics were being held in Tokyo, is amazing. That makes me really happy and above all, singing it in Kouhaku, having it become a part of "Minna no Uta" gives a sense of responsibility, as it makes me feel like we are able to be a part of a big production.
Ninomiya: I was originally a fan of Yonezu-san so just the fact that being able to do a job with him —when we received the demo tape it was from Yonezu-san's voice— made me very excited. I was really happy.
Aiba: Yonezu-san directed and recorded our singing. We don't really have the opportunity to have the artist record our songs so it both had a nervous atmosphere and exciting.
Sakurai: We went into the booth together and sang face to face, and after that, he also had a moment he himself sang so it was a direction and a...
Aiba: Something like a session at the same time (laughs).
Sakurai: Yes, yes (laughs). That was really impressing. Our first meeting with Yonezu-san was in NHK but with that flow, we went to dinner together and talked about various things. That time closed our distance. The thing that was really surprising about Kite is that I was expecting a song that's more lively and full of delight but the lyrics were something closer, and something you can listen to it in various situations. I thought how amazing it was and how challenging it is for the creator.
Ohno: I thought it was really amazing that we got to sing the Kite for its the first performance in the National Stadium. I didn't think we would be able to stand in the National Stadium this fast. Of course, there weren't any audience but if anything that was impressing... It was an experience that's hard to obtain.
Sakurai: Certainly, there might not be such a situation for us to sing without an audience.
Matsumoto: Because there was no one in it, the size of it was more outstanding.
— Regarding the song, Kite
Matsumoto: When I first heard it, it felt like it wasn't the first time I have heard it. It felt like a song that I heard, that I would hum it some time in my life. I had an impression that it was an approachable song like that. I felt that even for a melody, normality exists. However, I felt that the lyrics we sing and the cuts belongs to Yonezu Kenshi. Singing that as five of us was a mysterious experience.
Aiba: It's a song that makes you feel good when you sing. I really like how the lyrics fit. "ra ru ra ri ra" is also from "Paprika" but it's really catchy. Also, there isn't an intro at all, that was really refreshing too.
Ninomiya: The fact that we don’t have any solo parts to sing was very impressive for me. I think Yonezu-san was also in this decision of singing divisions but since we didn’t have a thing like changing people but continuing to sing as two and three people continuously, it was very impressive.
Matsumoto: Truly, there might not be many songs like that in recent years.
Sakurai: For me, it was how the song starts in a small world, and how it expands in the second half and how it gets connected to a grand view of the world in the very end. I feel the future and the hope from the composition.
Ohno: There’s Arashi in the lyrics but we were told that it wasn’t because of us but it was born naturally by Yonezu-san. So I thought that was very nice.
— Regarding the broadcast of Kite on Minna no Uta
Sakurai: We are very happy, right? Starting with Computer Obaa-chan*, I always watched it when I was small. I remember the songs from that time, so I would be very happy if the small kids now who listen to it would remember it after ten or twenty years (laugh).
Ninomiya: It was normal to watch it after all (laugh). It was so naturally on TV after all.
Ohno: Most children pass that way, probably (laugh)
Aiba: We remembered the songs by that, after all.
Sakurai: I think I first heard Sushi tabetai ne!** on Minna no Uta too.
Ohno: I think I watched it on days when I was on a break from school too (laugh).
— To people who listen to Kite
Sakurai: The part that got me emotional is the phrase “I wish for your dream to come true”. It’s a cheer song, of course, and it’s just as the lyrics but when I am singing it, it mysteriously feels like it’s coming back to me. It’s almost like as if I’m chanting to myself. I wonder if it’s because of the melody? That part really hits me when I’m singing it. I want everyone to try singing it too.
Ninomiya: It might be a song that could cheer people from every generation. Songs might be things that make you get energetic, that gives you motivation or that makes you want to do your best tomorrow when you listen to them, but I think there might not be a lot of songs that give you energy by singing it yourself.
Aiba: Anyway, it’s a song that makes you feel good when you sing so we hope everyone sings it as well.
Matsumoto: We would be happy if it becomes “Minna no Uta”*** as the title is. We ended up singing it just by chance, or if you say so (laugh)... Of course, by the meaning of spreading this song, I want this song to reach to people as we sing but I think it would be nice if this song becomes a song that everyone hums and everyone sings. I want everyone to not just listening to it but also sing it too.
Sakurai: I think that songs are something that goes beyond from our hands to a certain extent, so I think it would be great if this song becomes Minna no Uta, a song that would be close to people.
Ohno: I want the “ra ru ra ri ra” of this song to win rather than Paprika. If you say “ra ru ra ri ra” it’s Kite, and if you say Kite it’s “ra ru ra ri ra” (laugh).