2024/05/29 18:25

melody.VJ of J-MELO

melody.: A brave, young television host and singer
with a rich musical and cultural background!
Sarajane Siebert
melody. interview
Here is an enlightening interview with melody. about her television program, J-MELO, on NHK, her music career, her experiences being an ethnically Hawaii-born Japanese, and the importance of not letting cultural barriers or stereotypes get in the way of your dreams!
Q: What do you think is the most distinct difference between J-MELO and other music shows in Japan?

A: One obvious difference would be that we do everything in English, including interviews. Another difference is that most music shows in Japan are directed toward a Japanese audience but we make J- MELO for foreigners or people who don’t know much about Japanese culture and may be interested in J-Pop or Japanese music. We don’t only feature J-Pop, but classical music, jazz music and even traditional music. People who watch the show can get a good sense of what Japan really is. It’s our job to let people around the world know about Japan. I can see all the traditional things from a foreigner’s point of view because I wasn’t raised in Japan, but in Hawaii, so I feel like I’m learning something. It’s easy to explain things in a simple, easy to understand way.
Q : You’ve collaborated with a lot of artists on the show J-MELO. Do you have any special memories from these experiences?
A: The most special memory that comes to me right away is the collaboration I did in Okinawa with Isamu Shimoji and Yukito Ara. My mother is originally from Okinawa so I used to visit every summer to see my relatives. Their traditional music and their culture is something that I’ve always experienced. I’ve never had a chance to perform in Okinawa before so because of this collaboration I was able to perform in front of my relatives and grandmother, which was the happiest thing for me. Also, those two Okinawan musicians were so soulful. In Okinawa everything is so laid back. To them, music is something really fun, not work, like it can not be in Tokyo, so that was kind of new for me.

and how was the transition coming from Hawaii?

A: I moved by myself when I was nineteen, leaving my family and friends in Hawaii. In the beginning it was fun because it was my dream to live here but, because I didn’t speak the language, it was hard. I look Japanese so I think people expected more out of me. After I did begin to understand the language better, many people thought I was familiar with Japanese culture. It was hard because I didn’t want to be treated like a Japanese person, but I did want to learn about Japanese culture.

Q: What message would you like to leave for the readers of this magazine?

A: After my experience in moving from Hawaii to Japan, I think it is important not to believe in cultural stereotypes. Accept people for who they are as individuals! Also, don’t let something like cultural barriers prevent you from trying to achieve your dreams because anything is possible unless you give up! After I realized this, the life in Japan got much easier and more fun. So just give it a try!

J-MELO 12/10/2007

J-MELO is NHK´s first ever Japanese music show recorded entirely in English for audiences around the world, which started in October, 2005.

J-MELO features musical materials from a wide-range of different genres which all are “brightly shining” in Japan.
We have got tons of reactions and requests from our audience in all over the world and its 95% is from foreigners.

The program´s name, J-MELO, is a combination of "J" for Japan and "MELO", an abbreviation of both "melody" and "mellow".

Although this show is entirely recorded in English, for Digital Educational TV (NHK), we have subtitles!

Digital Educational TV /in Japan Thu. 22:15-22:45
World TV/ World Fri. 22:15-22:45
Sat. 5:10-5:40 (Repeat)
Sun: 18:10-18:40 (Repeat)


melody. is a great influence to anyone trying to pursue their dreams. Her strength is shown in her determination to overcome cultural and language barriers. Anyone who has traveled or interacted with people of another culture would find it easy to relate to melody.. She is a wonderful young woman with a lot to offer musically and culturally!