Wednesday Campanella's KOM_I Talks Fashion and Dancing Herself Clean

By Valerie Osipov, October 12, 2018

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If you like DAOKO, Of Montreal or Shinjuku style, Wednesday Campanella might be for you.


It’s pouring out. In the middle of the stage, a spheric figure made of gold foil flitters as it fills with air. The music has already started and seems to build with the rain, though the crowd at Beijing’s Strawberry Music Festival has long forgotten about their muddy shoes and dripping wet ponchos. Everyone is fixated on the stage, scanning every corner hoping to catch a glimpse of KOM_I before she makes her grand appearance.

The trendy frontwoman of Japanese dance-pop group Wednesday Campanella is notorious for her quirky and unconventional live performances. She surely doesn’t disappoint this time – the glistening foil orb slowly opens, unveiling KOM_I’s dollish face as she peers out at the unsuspecting crowd with delight.

WechatIMG503.jpegCourtesy of promoters

Her vibrant stage presence can be compared to that of Icelandic indie enigma Björk and is nothing short of mesmerizing – wide-eyed fans stand hypnotized as the vivacious pop pixie prances across the stage, fluidly moving with her music. Though out of the spotlight, she admits she’s quite the opposite. “I’m not [really an] energetic person. [My] performance is [like] washing myself. It sounds cheesy but [it’s a] ritual session for [myself] and the audience.”

The group consists of two other members –  Kenmochi Hidefumi and Dir.F, who are longtime friends and collaborators. From their first gig together in Tokyo to landing slots at festival overseas – such as Tyler, the Creator’s Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival in Los Angeles last year – Wednesday Campanella is well on their way to becoming an international sensation. But if you ask KOM_I, she still feels tiny.

WechatIMG506.jpeg
Courtesy of promoters

Bold, electric hits like ‘Audrey’ and ‘Aladdin’ from their sophomore release SUPERMAN playfully push the boundaries of bubblegum pop, enhanced with bouncy club beats that are dangerously danceable, while more surreal techno tracks like ‘Melos’ and ‘The Bamboo Princess,’ from their most recent album Galapagos, experiment with traditional sounds and showcase the purity of KOM_I’s angelic voice.

“When I write, [I] like to preserve [a] scene or emotion I had before,” the singer-songwriter says, stating that she embraces all vibes as inspiration and the transformations they bring. “We are always changing, like liquid.” She does just that on her tracks, organically progressing from delicate vocals to edgy rap verses.

Recently, the band gained even more exposure after being featured on Scottish synth-pop trio CHVRCHES’ new single ‘Out of My Head,’ which KOM_I wrote some lyrics for.

wednesday-.jpegCourtesy of promoters

Aside from being a music icon, the J-pop oddity is a fashion force as well, having been voted one of Vogue Japan’s ‘Women of the Year’ in 2017. “My current mood is 90s bitch,’” says KOM_I (though she never leaves the house without her wireless headphones.) “And I’m following many Chinese girls on Instagram. I’m really inspired [by] them because their fashion is fearless and they have [the] energy of [a] young country. I feel like China is the oldest and youngest country [at the same time].”

Wednesday Campanella’s China tour includes stops in Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai. Though it’s not her first time, KOM_I is excited to see some new places in each city by day – especially Shanghai as she’s eager to go to Disneyland – and hit the clubs by night.

“And hotpot! I would love to have hotpot after clubbing.”


Guangzhou: Wed Oct 17, 8.30pm; RMB240 (presale), RMB320 (door); MAO Livehouse, see event listing. Buy tickets here.
Beijing: Fri Oct 19, 8.30pm; RMB300 (presale), RMB360 (door); Tango, see event listing. Buy tickets here.
Shanghai: Sat Oct 20, 8.30pm, RMB300 (presale), RMB360 (door); Modern Sky Lab, see event listing. Buy tickets here.

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