Monday, November 30, 2015

Interview With Ichie Kamachi

By Bixyl Shuftan

Of Second Life's live musicians, Ichie Kamachi has made a name for herself in the Grid. Her virtual career included having performed for several years in a number of venues, with her songs covering a number of genres. I recently had a chance to talk with her, and we met at the Newser office.

Bixyl Shuftan: "To begin with, how did you find out about Second Life?"

Ichie Kamachi: "Some friend and I were in another 'world called 'There.' we were all ex-pats from the islands. They had some mutual friends who had a sim here in (Second Life) and convinced them to come over."

Bixyl Shuftan: "How did your first days here go?"

Ichie Kamachi: "(giggle) For the first three months, I almost never left the 'island.' I didn't know how or where. Sometimes someone would TP me to a shop then back home again, so my contact with other citizens was extremely limited."

Bixyl Shuftan: "What island was this and how was virtual life there?"

Ichie Kamachi: "The sim that our friends had. They put up a house for us. We'd have gunfights and sword fights and talk, but that was about it. I don't even remember the name of the sim anymore. It doesnt' exist in SL today."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Gun and sword fights?"

Ichie Kamachi: "Yes, being from Hawaii, most of us were into the Oriental/Japanese things, so we all had samurai swords and kimonos. (The guns were) mostly the freebie guns like the one that shoots watermelons."

Bixyl Shuftan chuckles a bit at the mention of watermellons, "So these were just sword matches rather than any roleplay?"

Ichie Kamachi: "Yes strictly for fun and to try out new toys. We were all still us. we had actually met on a forum for former residents of Hawaii."

Bixyl Shuftan: "That sounds interesting. Have the people on the forum continued to keep in touch here?"

It was then that our interviewee remembered something.

Ichie Kamachi: "(giggles) (I) didn't realize I was still wearing my microphone from my show last night." I chuckled a but and she then took it off, "not much, I think I'm the only one who is still around regularly. I have run into them once or twice in the past 3 or 4 years."

Bixyl Shuftan: "So when did you head off the Island for anything other than shopping?"

Ichie Kamachi: "Well we had a visitor who sort of introduced me to poseballs. (laughter) He had his own sim, so I would visit there and met some other people. Oh, and one of the people who was with the Hawaii group but not from the islands, is still in SL. She is my oldest and dearest SL freind and she started TPing me to clubs and everything. She is autistic and this is her social life, so she is still around."

Bixyl Shuftan grins, " 'sort of' introduced you to dance poseballs?"

Ichie Kamachi: "Well, actually it was a kiss ball (laughter)."

Bixyl Shuftan chuckles

Ichie Kamachi: "I didn't know there were such things (laughter). 'There' didn't have things like dance balls and poseballs."

Bixyl Shuftan chuckles a little more, "Sounds like you had quite a surprise."

Ichie Kamachi: "(laughter) I did! opened a whole new world not only on ways to live SL but what kind of feelings could be invoked with other people."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Sounds like things were quite fun for a while afterwards (grin)."

Ichie Kamachi: "They were. (I) found out i could listen to music, hear dj's, dance. (I) met some awesome people... started a relationship that lasted nearly 2 years and we are still friends today thought he's not in SL much anymore."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Sorry about him not being on ... when did the idea of you singing come to be?"

Ichie Kamachi: "In one of the blues clubs, I met a friend and we'd have long talks, and I found out he was a musician. I told him I sang and he kind of perked up. (He) asked about a bunch of songs then got all excited when I told him I could sing them. He was a guitarist only, so I recorded one song and he would play it and play his guitar over it. He encouraged me to try singing live."

Bixyl Shuftan: "I take it the first event went well."

Ichie Kamachi: "Yes though I was tricked into it. It was at Merry Pranksters and he TPed me to hear him play. (But) when I got there, he said 'you're up next two songs.'(momentary pause) I guess it's tradition, (laughter) so they say."

Bixyl Shuftan chuckles, "Had you been singing long in real life at that point?"

Ichie Kamachi: "I had not. I'd done a lot during high school but had pretty much stopped for maybe twenty-plus years."

Bixyl Shuftan: "So you had only just recently started again?"

Ichie Kamachi: "Not until I started in SL. I still don't perform in real-life, only in the grids."

Bixyl Shuftan: "So what happened after the first sesstion?"

Ichie Kamachi: "People liked it I know, and I don't even remember how I got started doing the clubs and things anymore it's been almost seven and a half years."

Bixyl Shuftan: "About how often were you playing then?"

Ichie Kamachi: "At one point i was going two or three shows seven days a week. (I) burnt out after a couple of years. If it's no fun it's time to stop."It was around this point the interview was interupted by real-life events. So we met later to continue the interview.

Bixyl Shuftan: "We were last talking about how often you were performing."

Ichie Kamachi: "Back then two or three shows a day every day, got burnt out. Now (it is) between two to six times a week. Things are picking up again now."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Do you sing mostly songs you or a friend compose?"

Ichie Kamachi: "No, although I do have a few originals from myself and others i'd say 97% of what I sing are covers. I'm not a great songwriter (laughter)."

Bixyl Shuftan grins, "Which are your favorite songs to sing?"

Ichie Kamachi: "Favorite? .. hmmmm, I think right now blues and Celtic. (It) changes a lot though. Whatever my new one is, it's usually a current favorite."

Bixyl Shuftan: "What have been some of your favorite venues to sing in?"

Ichie Kamachi: "Oh so many for various reasons. A lot of them become like family. Endeavour cove, I've been singng there for more than seven years now. I'm at Shades of Grey twice a week and they've become close to me too, but all my venues I love or I wouldn't be there for long (laughter)."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Seven years (at Endeavour)? That's a while."

Ichie Kamachi: "It is! I've been singing almost seven and a half years now."

Bixyl Shuftan: "How has that location changed over time while you were there?"

Ichie Kamachi: "The majority of it stays the same, but they are always tweaking. They have always had the main stage where I started. Then we moved to the blues club, then the ballroom, and now we're back at the main stage again. During the winter we are on the ice at the ice skating rink."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Singing at an ice rink? Sounds like fun. (smile)"

Ichie Kamachi: "(laughter) (The) first couple of years, they kept asking if I could sing and skate. Now they know be better, and no way (laughter)."

Bixyl Shuftan chuckles, "What have been some of the more noteworthy events you've been in?"

Ichie Kamachi: "I do a bunch of RFL. I love playing for the tinies at Raglan they are always so much fun. Memorial concerts always stick in mind, the sad side of SL I've done Second Life Birthday (events) a few times."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Which Second Life Birthday events were these?"

Ichie Kamachi: "Just over the years they've put out calls for live performers. Sometimes I get an invite, some years no (laughter)."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Heh. ...  Was there an event in which a number of things went hilariously wrong?"

Ichie Kamachi: "Well not a number, and there are always things that don't always go right during my shows. Once though I did a whole hour long show. I was dressed in a pretty white lace dress with a huge bow in the back. near the end of my last song, I started getting these pictures. No one else saw any clothes. Just the bow. No one said anything (before that), they said they didn't want to interrupt (laughter)."

Bixyl Shuftan chuckles, "That would be, different ... heh."

Ichie Kamachi: "(laughter) I've come to take things like that in stride. It's part of SL.

... But there is always something during the warm months, I inhale flies, a lot, the tiny fruit fly variety."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Oops."

Ichie Kamachi: "They make me cough and choke (laughter)."

Bixyl Shuftan: "That can be, inconveintent."

Ichie Kamachi: "It has been. We all just laugh about it now. The fans don't care, makes you more real, something that's hard to get people to remember sometimes."

Bixyl Shuftan: "I take it over time, the fans have had much to say."

Ichie Kamachi: "Some you see once. some for a season and others keep popping in all the time. Everyone has been so good to me. Some are (like) family to me now."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Sounds very nice."

Ichie Kamachi: "Live music fans are very enthusiastic and wonderful with their praise. I am just happy they like it."

Bixyl Shuftan smiles, "So what are your plans for the near future?"

Ichie Kamachi: "Just keep on keeping on. I have found someone who plays guitar and has offered to make soem backings for me. so hopefull I can get some music out for the fans to buy off my website. I'm hoping to do Scarborough Fair soon. It's public domain and my hubby Honor's favorite song."

Bixyl Shuftan: "How did you meet him?"

Ichie Kamachi: "Met him the first time in one of the clubs that Carla and I owned, 'The Classy Tease.' Been together on and off but recently for more than a year. we've always been friends. Now more and we see each other now and then real-life too."

Bixyl Shuftan: "'The Classy Tease?' Interesting name ... oh? You meet in real life as well?"

Ichie Kamachi: "It was an interesting club (laughter) ... Yes we do. He is a good man."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Nice. ... I take it there was a reason for the 'tease' part of the name?"

Ichie Kamachi: "(laughter) Well you've met Carla. It was a, wasn't a strip club, no dancers but nudity, yes. A lot of flirting yes, some hot suggestive music.... usually (smile)."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Sounds like fun."

Ichie Kamachi: "It was, and it was only run part time also, 4 days a week I think."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Sorry you couldn't keep it up more. ... Was there anything else that

you'd like to mention?"

Ichie Kamachi: "Hmmm I don't think so. Just I'm grateful for all the places that let me sing for them. I know it is hard to run a club in SL. a lot of work. AND also to the fans that come whether once or time and time again. A dream come true for me to sing for them."

Bixyl Shuftan "Well, thank you very much for your time. And I wish you well for the future."

Ichie Kamachi: "Thank you Bixyl."

To find where Ichie is playing next, check her groups. You won't have to wait too long before you next get an opportunity to hear this talented singer.

Bixyl Shuftan

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