The first time Sena Kana stepped onto a stage to utilize her voice, it was through theatre. Knowing she always wanted to be a singer, she saw musical theatre as the first step towards her ultimate goal in life. She remembers, “It was also the first time when a lot of people liked my singing, so it’s also happy memory and experience.”
Another happy memory locked away for Sena Kana was hitting number one on the charts in Europe with her single, “Live Your Dreams.” Not only because it was charting at the top, but because she was the first Japanese artist with the accolade. We talked about her musical inspirations that led to her current career highs and more.
Kendra: Growing up you were really into musicals like Sound of Music and Mary Poppins. Both starring Julie Andrews, would you say she was your first influence?
Sena Kana: I think you can say that. I loved musicals since I was little, and I always thought that things will fall into place if you just sang. Like in Mary Poppins the room gets clean and bitter medicine becomes sweet. Like in Sounds of Music a song brings people together and can change their hearts. I thought that the music was really a magic. And I still feel the magic of music even now.
Kendra: Right now you’ve got a chart-topping single out. What drew you towards creating “Live Your Dreams?”
Sena Kana: I wanted for many people to hear this song. I wanted to share my message, that a dream can get you through the tough times and support you.
Kendra: The song itself has this really clean sound, which goes well with the location for the video shoot. What made you want to shoot it in Oslo, Norway?
Sena Kana: Oslo’s modern architecture is very beautiful, and the way that it is combined with nature – is just unbelievable. When I saw the photos that the director showed me, I knew at that very moment it was going to be very beautiful. Another big argument in favor of Oslo was the fact that you can easily go to the fjords by car from there. I have always wanted to go there. And since this song is about dreams coming true, I thought that filming PV in Norway will help to make the message of the song even stronger.
Kendra: Right now you’re the first Japanese artist to score chart success in Europe. What did you do to celebrate that notion?
Sena Kana: To tell the truth I was extremely happy when my track entered TOP 20 Itunes Charts in France, Netherlands, and Italy. I couldn’t even dream about hitting #1 spots. So, when I saw it happened in France at first. It was a shock. I couldn’t believe and was checking the chart every hour. So, of course, we gathered the whole team and went to celebrate to one of the nightclubs. It was really a special moment. And of course, I am very excited that the audience rated my debut single that high. My dream is for as many people as possible to hear my song, and thanks to the chart I am one step closer to my dream coming true.
Kendra: Now that you have a hit single, what’s to come in the coming months for you?
Sena Kana: To have a hit debut is a real challenge. It’s a powerful start and new songs should be at least at the same level. And we’re working hard on it at the moment. So, until the end of the year, there are two more new tracks coming, one video and live performances with bright choreography.
Kendra: Lastly, we love to focus on a number of creative outlets at ZO. With that, if you had to compare “Live Your Dream” to a famous work of art – which would it be and why?
Sena Kana: Positive feelings is what I’m trying to bring with my music. Such as happiness, joy, love, inspiration. If to compare with famous works of art I think it should be something bright, sophisticated and positive. French impressionist Claude Monet is the first artist which came to my mind with his famous “Impression, Sunrise,” “Haystacks,” “Water Lilies” and other brilliant paintings.