Zombie idols. Basketball players. Tennis. Ice Skaters. Women that play a version of Judo with only their backsides… if you name it, there’s probably been an anime for it. So it only makes sense that independent music artists finally get their anime in the form of Netflix’s new anime, Carole & Tuesday.
Helmed by Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo), Carole & Tuesday tells the story of two girls living 50 years after humans have colonized Mars, and AI is now the culture creator. Although they come from very different backgrounds, they form a friendship through music and look to pursue their passion.
Carole & Tuesday already has the right names attached to it. Outside of Watanabe, Bones Studio—whose resume includes My Hero Academia, Mob Psycho 100, Soul Eater and others—is producing, and FlyingDog—who has done the music for animes like Samurai Champloo, Asterisk War, Space Dandy and Fuuka—will be handling the music. The anime will also see collaborations with the likes of Taku Takahashi, Flying Lotus and Thundercat.
Another highlight: the singing voices of the characters will be provided by indie artists that were selected from a competition held by the production studio. Providing the singing voice for Tuesday will be Japanese pop/R&B singer-songwriter Celeina Ann, and for Carole will be alternative R&B artist Nai Br.XX. We got the chance to talk to Nai Br.XX about the anime and her journey with music.
CASSIUS: What started your interest in music?
Nai Br.XX: I’ve been singing my entire life, but it wasn’t until I got to college that I actually saw music as a career path. I met an amazing producer, Sensei Bueno, and came out with my first project Wasted Callaway and the rest is history.
C: Where did the name Wasted Callaway come from?
NX: So as we were working on my first project, Bueno had this great idea to do a writing camp. So we rented a cabin at this place in Georgia called Callaway gardens. When we got there, we got absolutely no music done. But I really got know Bueno and the writer I was working with, Honey Simone, as well as a few friends that came with us on the trip.
C: Who were some of your influences or favorites growing up? Who are you listening to now?
NX: I absolutely love Mariah Carey and her voice. As for musical inspiration, there is so many, but Aaliyah and Stevie Wonder are definitely at the top of my list. Right now I’m listening to a lot of Nao. I actually got to see her when I was in Tokyo! But as for the rest, I listen to so many artists it’s hard to list them all. The music I mainly listen to is R&B and 80’s pop and R&B.
C: How would you describe your music?
NX: I like to think of my music as something you can feel. Very flowy and free, to put it into a genre it would be alt R&B.
C: The titles of your tracks that have cartoon references (e.g. Adventure Time). Was that on purpose or just a coincidence?
NX: Honestly, they have nothing to do with anime or even the show Adventure Time haha. We had finished the songs and were trying to give it a name and Adventure Time was on TV so…
C: When did you decide you wanted to be a musician?
NX: I think I was really hesitant in the beginning of my career because I didn’t know how much it could change my life, but [then] I saw that Wasted Callaway was received well.
C: How did you get involved in the Carole & Tuesday project?
N: I had already been working with label out in Japan, Sweet Soul Records. They had been pushing my tracks throughout Japan, so they submitted my music for the show.
C: What drew you to Carole & Tuesday?
NX: I liked that the anime is based in music. Every artist has a story of why they fell in love with music and the journey it took to get to success, so this story hits home to me in that way.
C: Bones, Flying Dog, and Shinchiro Watanabe are practically anime’s Holy Trinity. How was it working with them?
NX: I feel honored to be working with them. Everyone on the staff is super nice and patient, especially when it comes to the recording process!
C: What was the process like?
NX: Very simple. I was given the songs to learn, and when I got to Japan I recorded them. The actual doing was pretty fun. A lot of laughs and hard work!
C: So are there any similarities between you and Carole?
NX: It’s funny we actually joke about how I’m more like Tuesday and Celeina is more like Carole. Almost like our roles are switched.
C: Are you a fan of anime?
NX: When I was younger, I did watch the classic like Pokémon and Dragon Ball Z. As I got older I stoped, but having apart of this anime has sparked my interest again.
C: Okay, so you just got back into anime. What are you watching?
NX: I just started watching Naruto, but it’s too early to call my favorite character and what not.
Carole & Tuesday premiered in Japan on April 10.