We spoke to UQiYO to ask the Japanese pop outfit about ‘lo V er’ and what’s next in terms of the upcoming album, future collaborations and more music.

Released last week with Singaporean singer-songwriter MARICELLE, ‘lo V er’ feels both introspective yet “floaty” at the same time, almost as though it was indeed transcending through time and space. Listening to the track, there is this feeling of transcendence that captivates the listener as the two layers of vocals interweave into each other seamlessly almost like wisps of gases or particles in space.

The result is a gorgeous track that is quite sublime in terms of textures and emotions. Between the two lovers, we do feel their love and “separation”, yet also their formidable “connection”.

Did you know that both UQiYO and MARICELLE used one of UQiYO’s unfinished loop tracks, and recorded the single in separate rooms without seeing each other’s faces.

Also read: UQiYO unveils new single ‘lo V er’

AL365: Hi UQiYO, Vanessa here from AsiaLive365. Thank you for taking the time to chat with us. Congrats on your new collaboration song ‘lo V er’ with MARICELLE. We are loving the melding of vocals and textures in the song and how it represents the love of two people that transcends time and space. Almost like they’re in two different “worlds” or “parallel worlds”. I’m actually getting a very Doctor Who (Doomsday episode) vibe. What was the inspiration behind this piece?

UQiYO: Thanks, Vanessa! Haha, that’s very interesting. Well, it all started with the key word ‘isolation’, but I feel like it gets into fields like space-time and quantum physics as you say. The latest scientific developments are beginning to prove the ideas that were conventionally considered insane or occult. Two worlds that would never have met are blending together in a beautiful harmony; I think the Left and Right channels of this song were able to express it beautifully. The distinct and somewhat soothing first 10 seconds of the song is because of the disparate sounds in disparate phases, which should actually be unpleasant, but when it comes in through both ears it somehow mixes into a magically balanced harmony inside your brain.

AL365: Tell us – how did you and MARICELLE meet, and what made you decide to collaborate with her?

UQiYO: We met in Tokyo just before the outbreak of the pandemic. She came with her label rep from Singapore at that time when I was due to meet him. She knew about UQiYO and asked me many pleasant questions. She seemed very intelligent and good-hearted. So we got together in my home studio the next day and had a chat and sang a bit to each other, and I fell in love with her voice right there, and it all started from there.

AL365: The title ‘lo V er’ is so fascinatingly done. Does the letter V represent the wall between the two “worlds” of these lovers?

UQiYO: Exactly! The Japanese letters are hieroglyphic, where the shapes of the letters themselves have meaning. Since Spotify and other media became the mainstream platforms, the design of the letters on the album cover became less and less significant, I began to enjoy expressing with the arrangement and positioning of the printed letters.

AL365: Interestingly enough, the song which captures the poignant emotions of being “isolated” or “separated” from a loved one was also recorded before the impact of COVID. Now with COVID in our midst, this song feels more surreal and relatable than ever. How do you feel about this new “change” in the emotion of your song?

UQiYO: I never imagined that the world would be in isolation, which if you think about it at the beginning, would become such a common thing in society, but I didn’t want this song to be about COVID. I wanted the song, rather to be about how people inevitably need to upgrade a dimension at this point in time. Spiritual or quantum physics or whatever context you want to take it, I think it adds to the reality of the song that the moment the observer or the mind feels that way, the world changes accordingly.

AL365: What colour would you say this track was?

UQiYO: What just came to my mind is space gray, I guess, lol.

AL365: What can you tell us about your upcoming album? We heard that there is another collaborative track – this time with Froya from Malaysia.

UQiYO: All I can say now is that this is UQiYO’s 11th anniversary and it’s certainly going to be a masterpiece of UQiYO history. An album that will, in many ways, seem to be the beginning of something transcending. The song with Froya is also outstanding. It is focused on Niigata’s snow land, and personally, I think it also enters into a new territory of music.

AL365: If you could collaborate with anyone in the world, who you have not collaborated with yet, who would it be?

UQiYO: I can only think of someone I actually met and spent time with. However, what just came up to my mind is a man I met in Norway when I went to visit. His name is Lasse. He is a musician and a farmer in the mountains where the sun never comes up during the winter. He makes synthesizer music, and the depth that I hear in his sound is such a straightforward resemblance of his personality, which is so beautiful and artistic.

AL365: Besides the release of the new album, what’s next for UQiYO?

UQiYO: I am getting ready for the next episode of “impromptu live” about the music of the land.

AL365: Is there anything you like to say to your fans and our readers out there?

UQiYO: Thank you as always for following my work. Please look forward to what floating world will come up next!

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