Tea Time: Interview with Chai
I sat waiting at an outdoor café in the heart of downtown Austin, keeping an eye out for my next interview, when suddenly I see an explosion of pink just down the street. That’s Chai. As I stand to greet them, they are all smiles and warm welcomes and excitement. No hesitation or shyness here, they are ready to go, along with their helpful translator, and we are immediately off and running in what I can only describe as the happiest interview I’ve ever conducted.
First up, I surprise the quartet by asking them to introduce each other. This takes them all by surprise and there is an audible squeal of surprise and laughter when they start to look at one another.
Kana starts off by introducing Yuna.
Kana: Yuna is very natural, and calm, but when she starts to drum, she’s very powerful and energetic!
They switch roles;
Yuna: So, Kana is the guitarist of the band. She always cares and is concerned about the others. And she knows every small detail, but also with the music and the band too. She’s in control.
Like a leader?
The entire group laughs, while Kana emphatically shakes her head and exclaims “NO!” But the rest of the group are quietly smiling and shaking their heads in agreement. It seems they all clearly see her as the leader, but she is shy about claiming that mantel.
Mana moves in to tell us about Yuki.
Mana: Yuki is the bassist, she’s very secretive.
Oooh, like mysterious?
The entire band giggles at this and nods.
“She also senses others’ fear and other people’s feelings. She has a very sensitive side.”
Mana smiles at Yuki and passes the proverbial baton over to her for her own introduction.
Yuki: Mana is the main vocal and the keyboard…
At this, Mana makes the motion for “a little” and quietly says, “A little keyboard,” speaking with modesty, then allows Yuki to continue.
“She has a very, very BIG voice, and she is very loud and is always very energetic. Her laugh is very noticeable.” Listening to this, Mana gets a very big and bright smile on her face, spreading from ear to ear, as she turns slightly pink. Utterly charming.
“I can always tell where Mana is. I write the lyrics, and Mana writes the songs. I think she is a musical genius.”
The whole band is looking on with earnest agreement on their faces. It is like watching a set of siblings all smile and support one another. You can really get a sense of unity among the members of Chai, even in their small movements and gestures.