J-WAVE (Tokyo, Japan) 23 January 1996
Programme opens with 'Orinoco Flow' playing and the interview proceeds over the music...
Interviewer: Here's out special guest for today, Enya! Nice to have you back here at J-WAVE.
Sound of canned applause.
Enya: Thank you! It's nice to be back here.
Interviewer: Um... It's been about four years since you were last here?
Enya: Yes, four years... laughs
Interviewer: Time does fly by!
Enya: It does! It does.
Interviewer: Um, I hear that you were in the United States before Tokyo?
Enya: Um hm, yes I was. Ah... New York and in Los Angeles. Doing... promotion trip as well.
Interviewer: So... must have been pretty cold in New York, huh?
Enya: I was there for the blizzard. laughs and interviewer joins in I arrived in on the Friday, and then on Sunday they had the blizzard, and, uh, it was fascinating to, ah, to look down on 5th. Avenue and they're skiing - on 5th. Avenue...
Enya: ... traffic has come to a complete halt and people are walking. It was... it was amazing to witness this.
Interviewer: That's something.
Enya: It was.
Interviewer: Only in New York! laughs
Enya: Yes! It was. Yeah. Um.
'Orinoco Flow' segues into 'Anywhere Is'...
Interviewer: The song has, uh, been number one on our J-WAVE charts for the last four weeks and it's still there.
Enya: That's wonderful!
Interviewer: Um... what do you think is the appeal of this song?
Interviewer: Especially in a place like Tokyo?
Enya: laughs I have to tell you that this song was one of the last songs that I worked on. And it's strange because it's... it was the same way that 'Orinoco' happened...
'Anywhere Is' segues into 'The Celts'...
... it was the last song on Watermark, and 'Caribbean Blue' was the last song for Shepherd Moons. And I think, it's in the studio, there's a stage where, um, I think, I sense that it's coming to an end and it gets very up-tempo with myself and the producer, Nicky Ryan. The arrangements - it's kind of everything's much more up-tempo, and even with the lyricist. And, um, I... I don't know, ah, as far as the appeal to this song, um... I think they sense that, that kind of, um, excitement that was inherent in the studio, it comes across to the listener... and they, um, they, they enjoy that feeling.
Interviewer: It's interesting that all three songs were the very last that you did.
Enya: It is. And I only just realised that, um, recently on talking to Roma, and, ah, we both kind of pointed it out, to this pattern that happens without us being aware of it.
Interviewer: Well, we'll, we'll look out for the next album...
Enya: I don't know laughs. It's strange...
Interviewer: ... and see if it continues laughs.
Enya: ... it's very strange that.
Interviewer: Um. Now you come from a very musical family, but what as the thing that inspired you to become a singer? Was there anything, any incident, or any moment in your life that you can remember?
Enya: Well... I think it's, it's, um... Before becoming a singer, um, I wrote soundtrack, and that I think stemmed from studying classical piano. And what happened was, I started to improvise and started, eventually, to write my own melodies. So, ah, so it actually comes from classical music and, um, working on soundtrack. I enjoyed that for a few years then I was asked for a solo album and thought: Yes, why not try, um, a solo album...
'The Celts' segues into 'Shepherd Moons'...
... So it was, was, um, I think it was firstly the melodies though that got me involved in music.
Interviewer: Do you feel that there is a very strong Irish element in you music?
Enya: Very much so. Again, I'm not aware of it when I'm writing music, but, uh, when I listen back to it I can... there's this strong element of melancholy that's very inherent in the music. And, even if it's an up-tempo melody there's this sense of melancholy within it, and it's not very reflective of me, I think it's, uh, it's... it's more from, ah, from being Irish. I think it's... it stems from Irish culture because I can hear it within other musicians, Irish traditional music to... rock music, in Ireland, that there's this sense of melancholy in it.
Interviewer: I think that's something that appeals to the Japanese because, um, I don't know, I think we tended to be attracted towards that, that feeling of melancholy.
Enya: Well I know it's very strong in, in Irish music.
Interviewer: Um, hm. 'Shepherd Moons' segues into 'China Roses'... Um, now, on this new album, um, you remain in the same collaboration form you've been working, ah, with on the last few albums. Um, is it because you find it works so well, or...
Enya: I think, er, it's, it's a case of it works well... and, ah, if it required any changes we would have made those changes, but it's, it's just not necessary. There's just myself, Nicky, and Roma. And, uh, we just go into the studio and, again it's something that's very personal for the three of us, and I think that comes across very much in the album.
'China Roses' segues into 'Hope Has A Place'...
And, um, for me it's, it's, ah... I'm a very private person, but when I go into the studio, um, I can open completely, ah, emotionally-wise, um, because these are two people I work with, I know so well. So it's, um, it just works so well with the music.
Interviewer: Exactly what, um... Can you explain a little bit about the process of making the album, like, do you come up with the music first?
Enya: Um hm. Usually, ah, I work in the studio on my own, um, writing the melodies. And that can take me some time because in the two years on working on The Memory Of Trees, um, the only melodies I've written is what is on the album. It's not like I have an endless library after two years and I select. It's a case of finding that melody, looking for it, and then, um, I will arrange the song, um, with Nicky, and then Roma will be working on lyrics at that stage. It's wonderful with Roma because, ah, when I play her the melody, I don't have to explain what I'm trying to say, um, she can sense it, the emotion within the melody, and, uh, it's, it's very special, that.
Interviewer: Yeah.. that's very, very unusual. And I think a lot of times you'd have to explain and then you still don't, you know, you don't get it right... laughs
Enya: No. It would be difficult for me, actually, to, to be able to put that emotion in words.
'Hope Has A Place' segues into 'The Memory Of Trees'...
If I had been able to do that I would have written lyrics long ago. But she's able to sense what I'm trying to say, and so it's wonderful when I start reading her lyrics and it's, it's exactly how I felt.
'The Memory Of Trees' segues into 'Athair Ar Neamh' which, on completion, segues into 'Tea-House Moon'...
Interviewer: So right now you're, um, on part of this, er, promotional tour. Um, what happens after Tokyo?
Enya: After Tokyo I go to Taiwan. And then I go to Korea. And, um, then I go back to Ireland, and, ah, I'm supposed to shoot the next video for the next single there, and then I go to... to travel to Australia and New Zealand. And I think I'm finished then. laughs
Interviewer: All around the world! joins in laughter Um, what other plans do you have for 1996?
Enya: Um... Well I will be probably working on soundtrack because I get a lot of offers...
Interviewer: I bet!
Enya: ... and it's, it's not possible for me to, to work on both. When I'm in the studio for an album, that's all I want to work on. So, ah, so hopefully I'll get some time, in the summer, to work on some soundtrack. Um... I will be taking a break... because two years is... in the studio is a long time. And, um, especially if I'm thinking about working in the studio again, I need to distance myself, a little bit, just to gather thoughts... and inspirations and ideas.
Interviewer: What do you do when you're off on break?
Enya: I usually catch up on family and friends. And I like to travel... it's something interviewer laughs I actually enjoy, even in my leisure. joins in laughter
Interviewer: Any, ah, plans for a concert? laughs, joined by Enya That is like the biggest question from all your plans.
Enya: It's, it's still something that I haven't done as of yet. Um... It's, it's a case of the amount of time I spend in the studio, on an album, seems to be the priority for me at the moment. But, um, again, myself and Nicky have spoken, and many's the time, about, um, adapting the music to stage, because the way we work in the studio is a very "live" feel and we want to get that feeling for stage. And, um, we're still talking about orchestrating it, ah, getting a choir, um, some, ah, synthesizers, the piano, myself, and very much a concert feel we're looking for. So, hopefully again, maybe this year that we can, um, talk about and sort of try, um, to adapt the music to stage.
'From Where I Am' segues into 'On My Way Home'...
Interviewer: Well, thank you so much for coming to our show, and, ah, if you have any plans for a live performance I hope we get news of it soon so...
Enya: Of course you would.
Interviewer: ... we can let our listeners know.
Enya: Of course.
Enya: Well, thank you so much.
Interviewer: Thank you! And have a great trip back to Ireland.
Sound of canned applause.
Enya: laughs I will. Thank you.
'On My Way Home' continues and the programme ends.
Note: Transcribed by Dave Allum. The interview was conducted in English with the interviewer translating the questions and answers into Japanese.