11 April 2022

GalMuu! Extended Play ★ Interview with Gyaru Rapper PiNKII

In our last GalMuu post, we talked about gyaru rapper PiNKII releasing her latest EP Koakuma Trap. We were lucky enough to ask her a few questions about it in our very first edition of GalMuu: Extended Play!

On March 4th, PiNKII released her new EP Koakuma Trap. Alongside that, she put out music videos for the tracks Babyface, Timeline, and Bitchii.

With its hard beats and dark tones, Koakuma Trap is a long way home from the sweet cotton candy sound of PiNKII's earliest albums. What looks like a change of direction in the rapper's style turns out to be a transition towards her revealing her true self as an artist.

We hope you guys enjoy this interview as much as we did!

Doya! 💗

PiNKII shot by Holly Marie Olmos
🦋 Thanks so much for doing this interview with us! Gyaru and music have been connected for a long time, so it's amazing there are gaijin gyaru artists for us to follow. We’re big fans of your work, both musically and visually; not only do you put out bops, you put out stunning looks, too! Your music captures gyaru’s essence in the way that it’s cute and unapologetic and we love that.

Thank you so much for inviting me! I’ve always been a big fan of gyaru, but my love for it was really re-ignited during the pandemic when I was hope with nothing to do but look at Pinterest haha. I really love the idea of spreading gyaru outside of Japan and I love what you guys are doing! 

🦋 Some of our readers may already know this, but you originally started out as an idol in Japan. When did you begin transitioning into rap and what made you decide to go in that direction?

So there’s actually a big gap between my idol days and me making the kind of music that I am now. I wouldn’t say it was really a smooth transition as much as an abrupt halt, followed by a break, and then sudden inspiration. 

I really loved Japanese idol culture, but along with it comes a lot of attention from older men. For awhile I was afraid to even express myself with cute fashion or anything related to idols because I was afraid of attracting the same kind of people; but after a couple of years of dressing more toned down and boyish, I realized that I don’t want to let negative attention from men stop me from doing what I love, so I decided to take the things I like and use them to influence my current sound. 

I’m also a big fan of underground hip hop and female rappers. I’ve always loved the confidence and power of women in rap, and so I thought it could be really cool to mix two complete opposite sounds. 

"...I realized that I don’t want to let negative attention from men stop me from doing what I love, so I decided to take the things I like and use them to influence my current sound."

🦋 Your first album Internet Angel has a very sweet bubblegum cyber sound. We see that again in Prism in Pink and To Tokyo and Back, but we also start to see some trap influence come into play. Koakuma Trap breaks off from that bubblegum sound entirely and really hones in on your skill as a rapper. What inspired you to go with the sound Koakuma Trap has and what did the process of making the album look like?

I think my first projects were me venturing into the world of rap while still playing it safe with beats that “fit my image”. To be honest, I’ve always been more drawn to darker/harder hitting beats, but I was worried they wouldn’t fit with my voice. I obviously got over that fear haha. 

“Hard Candy” was actually one of my first tracks that ventured out into the darker style I do now, and my idea was to rap over the entire beat to show these boys up! ( *`ω´)

People really loved it and it inspired me to dive deeper into a similar sound. I really wanted Koakuma Trap to be the first project to introduce my new sound, while mixing in themes of another Japanese subculture that I was into at the time. For this project it was the Japanese hostess club scene and agejo style that inspired the lyrics and imagery! 

🦋 Do you have any artists that you look up to? Have your inspirations changed as the sound of your music has evolved? 

It’s funny because the music that inspires me is a lot different from my own music. But artists like Yung Gravy, Lil Peep, and Dorian Electra inspired me to put my own spin on a genre and turn into into something completely new. I also like any kind of music that gives me a nostalgic feeling. For years I’ve been listening to phonk/trap/vaporwave mixes on YouTube, and its also made me want to take my own music in that direction. Phonk is a genre that uses a lot of old samples/sounds, and definitely gives a good dose of nostalgia. I don’t really think my music has changed as my tastes evolved, but that my music keeps getting closer to the sounds that inspired me from the beginning. 

PiNKII shot by Holly Marie Olmos

"I don’t really think my music has changed as my tastes evolved, but that my music keeps getting closer to the sounds that inspired me from the beginning. "

🦋 Which gyaru music artists do you like best?

90s era morning musume were pretty gyaru, but I also went through a Nishino Kana phase when I was around 14-15. I remember singing her “Best Friend” song the first time I went to karaoke in Japan after taking purikura and I felt like a gyaru queen! (`・ω・´)

Although I didn’t listen to too many gyaru artists, I was obsessed with the gyaru cyber trance CDs! Koakuma Trap was actually a parody of a cyber trance album called “Koakuma Trance”! 

🦋 You collabed with a few different artists on this album, like B-Train and Jupiluxe. (We really love Jupiluxe’s verse on Bitchii!) What kind of people do you enjoy working with? How do you decide what artists you want to work with?

For awhile I was in a group chat of artists with the alternative hip hop scene, and that’s actually where I met Jupiluxe! Collaborating with other artists in the scene really helped me to venture out into the harder stuff too. 

Lately I’m really wanting to work with more female artists though. It’s kind of difficult to find in this scene, so when I find another girl, I get really excited about creating together! 

🦋 Who would your ultimate dream collab be with?

I would love to collaborate with so many artists! But I think my dream collab would be Baby Tate, Yung Gravy, Yung Lean, or Big Klit!!

🦋 Parts of Koakuma Trap address negativity you’ve gotten online, especially in songs like Timeline (which is a bop btw). People can be cruel online; it’s like this awful combo of disconnecting public figures from their personhood mixed with being empowered by some of the anonymity the internet can offer. How do you deal with all the negativity that comes with being an artist? Has your approach to it changed over the years and do you feel like it affects you differently now?

It’s been so surreal to see how the internet has changed since my idol days. Back then it was more important to me to keep up the “clean” image, so I’d do my best to ignore it. I think artists are more open to addressing what bothers them nowadays, so depending on my mood I can either turn the hate into a joke or block somebody. It sounds cliche, but taking a step back to look at my life and be thankful for everything I have also helps. Sometimes I just have to remind myself that the internet isn’t real life, and the stuff these people say literally doesn’t effect my endeavors at all. This gets easier with practice! 

PiNKII shot by James Johnston
🦋 The title of the album "Koakuma Trap" is, of course, a reference to the iconic gal mag Koakuma Ageha. The visuals of the album are also very reflective of that. How long have you been into gyaru and what originally got you into it?

Trying so hard to keep this short…… Buuuut I started my journey when I found manba in a book called “Japanese schoolgirl inferno”. I was about 12 years old and was obsessed with any sort of crazy fashion, but I think I was getting bored of decora. I joined some message boards (does anybody remember ricoche??), and even tried to make a gal circle back in Missouri at the time! Haha

I kinda phased out of it when I got into idol stuff and recently got back into it when I moved back to the Midwest. One of my best friends in Chicago was super passionate about gyaru and I really think it helped me get back into it. After that, I was stuck in Missouri during the pandemic and it brought back so many memories of following gyaru as a kid, and it made me wanna try it again as an adult that actually knows how to do makeup! 

🦋 We said this earlier, but we’re in love with your style! It feels very cyber gyaru meets e-girl with some kyabajo mixed in. Like going to a hostess bar that's located inside of a kawaii computer. What influences your style? Are there any gals in particular that you draw inspo from?

I’m so in love with the description you just gave!! 

I’ve always loved the y2k and cyber looks even before rekindling my love for gyaru; So I think it was just natural for me to mix that fashion with gyaru hair and makeup. Dededo was also a huge inspiration for mixing these cyber vibes with gyaru! Pikarin was another gal I loved who mixed her love for anime with gyaru. I miss old Pikarin so much (´;ω;`)

I’ve also noticed that I start changing up my styles with the seasons though! Summer makes me wanna dress more casual and colorful, like a gal going to a beach party or going to the club. Winter makes me want to get dressed up in agejo style to go sip red wine at a high end bar, or go shopping in the city. The only thing I don’t like about this is the fact that I just added some agejo pieces to my wardrobe, but I’m starting to want to dress for summer again!! 

🦋 Obviously you’re a fan of Koakuma Ageha (we are too!). Are there other Japanese gyaru magazines you love? Any models in particular that you’re a fan of?

EGG was the first gyaru magazine I ever bought, around 2008, and I have a deep appreciation for the models like Kanako and Aina. And even though her fashion isn’t super over-the-top gal, I just really love her “I’ll always be gyaru” attitude. Sakurina has also been a recent favorite. I really wish I could mimic her hairstyles everyday of my life!!!!

I would have to say that I prefer looking at old candid photos of gals though. It’s probably the obsession with nostalgia, but the gyaru lifestyle photos that I grew up with are my favorite! 

🦋 We really appreciate you taking the time to talk with us about your new EP. We’re looking forward to your future releases! Which songs would you recommend our readers give a listen to get a feel for your music?

Thanks for including me in this issue! 

I would say that “Hard Candy” or “Shut up” are most representative of my current style of music, but I think the gals reading will really enjoy Koakuma Trap! 

Host Money and After hours are great songs for a more electronic vibe. 

🦋 Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers?

Big thanks to all the gals who listen to my music! Since getting back into gyaru I’ve really wanted to make music for people in the scene, so seeing my songs in gyaru playlists and things like that means a lot to me. I think it’s dope that there’s such a huge community of gals outside of Japan and I hope we can help this subculture grow even stronger! Hope you enjoy all the new music I have coming out! Doya❤

Another huge thanks to PiNKII for taking the time to do this interview with us! We look forward to her future projects. 

Make sure you check out her latest MV for her song "Shut Up". 

You can stream Koakuma Trap across platforms:

Follow PiNKII everywhere!

Instagram: itspinkii
Twitter: itspinkii
TikTok: itspinkii

What's your favorite song off of Koakuma Trap?
 Let us know in the comments below 💋

Don't forget to spice up your phone with these exclusive phone backgrounds designed just for you!

Join the conversation!