Home Interview: krage on the Solo Leveling Ending Theme Song

Interview: krage on the Solo Leveling Ending Theme Song

Solo Leveling premiered this season after a long anticipation from its fans, and the anime has become one of the most popular shows currently airing. We had the pleasure to interview krage, the artist behind the show’s ending theme song “Revenge” (official links for the track), and you can read on about her experience working with TK from Ling tosite sigure (who produced the song), the pressure working on such a big project, the creative process, and more.

Q: How were you approached for the Solo Leveling anime ending song, and what was your initial reaction?

A: The producer of the song is TK from Ling tosite sigure and his global perspective was able to help bring out a new part of me that was deep asleep within me, which became a perfect fit for the image of the work. Since this was a genre I have never tried before, I was worried about whether I would be able to sing the song. But thanks to TK’s vocal direction and the wonderful animated video that pushed me along, I was happy to hear fans say “I could see krage-chan’s new horizon.”

Q: Was the pressure high, considering it’s one of the most highly anticipated titles of modern anime?

A: Yes. I was worried that I was not the right person [for the anime theme song]. Although I have much to improve, hearing everyone say “So cool!” after the airing gave me the confidence to take a step forward.

Q: Can you share with us your journey into music and how other artists influenced your career?’

A: Lady Gaga first got me interested in music, TK got me interested in Japanese music, and Aimer has helped shaped my singing style today.

Q: What did it mean to you personally and professionally to work on a project with your idol, TK?

A: Having the opportunity to record with TK, who I admired a lot, brought my dreams into reality. Changing my perspective from “this is the goal” to “this is the starting point,” I was challenged to sing in a way I have never done before. It was difficult to do, but being able to overcome those challenges strengthened my confidence; it was a very valuable experience.

Q: What was the creative process of developing “request” for the Solo Leveling anime like? Can you tell us something about collaborating with TK?

A: The original chorus started with bright high notes, but after going to TK’s studio, he said “krage’s voice has an attractive bass voice,” changing the chorus to what it is now.

Q: You’ve previously mentioned that you added a new dark coolness to “request” unlike any of your previous songs. Was there anything special that you did to prepare for that?

A: I sang in a different way than I normally do. I re-listened to my favorite dope songs on repeat, some including Evanescence, Bring Me the Horizon, Paramore, Linkin Park, Post Malone, NF, Yungblud, etc. I also reread the manga works again to try to let the darkness soak into my body and embrace the despair of the main character.

Q: How did you go about capturing the essence of Solo Leveling in your song? Were there any particular themes or emotions you tried to convey?

A: The theme was the feeling of despair from people constantly telling themselves they are weak, or so weak it is okay to die.

Q: What was the biggest challenge you faced while working on this song?

A: The part “A 誉ないな B 貌ないな C 妬ばかり Dislike Disappear E ね貰って錯乱 最低ランク?” has improved steadily in the recording studio to what it is now, but it was difficult to translate what was in my head into singing so I kept singing the part(s) repeatedly through trial and error. We suffered a lot.

Q: How has the response from the Solo Leveling fans and your own followers impacted you?

A: Their response was, “It was refreshing to see a darker side to the more fragile image of krage,” something I have not yet been able to express, but I was glad I was able to show fans a new side [of krage].

Q: What is your favorite part of Solo Leveling, and how does it resonate with your personal tastes in anime or storytelling?

A: I like that it’s fantasy, but in a realistic sense. Being trapped in a dungeon as a “decoy,” being discriminated against because you are, “so weak you may as well die,” etc. I like that it is realistic and relatable.

Q: What is your favorite anisong?

A: My favorite is “unravel” by TK from Ling tosite sigure

Q: Are there any other anime projects or collaborations you would like to work on in the future?

A: I would like to work on a serious animation work with a grand world view or something like that. Someday, I would also like to collaborate with Aimer, who is the inspiration for my style of singing.

Q: What advice would you give to other aspiring artists who look up to figures like TK and yourself?

A: The more ideas you have the better, so let your thoughts explode endlessly.

Solo Leveling is currently streaming on Crunchyroll, Netflix, Bilibili (depending on region) on a weekly schedule: new episodes are added every Saturday. If you are enjoying the anime, make sure to vote for it in Anime Corner’s weekly polls.

© Solo Leveling Animation Partners

Official synopsis:
It’s been over a decade since the sudden appearance of the “gates”—the paths that connect our world with a different dimension. Since then, certain humans have awakened to supernatural powers. We call these individuals “hunters.”

Hunters make their living by using their powers to conquer dungeons inside the gates. In this world of tough customers, the low-ranked hunter Sung Jinwoo is known as “the weakest hunter of all mankind .”

One day, Jinwoo gets fatally injured when he runs into high-rank double dungeons hidden within a low-rank dungeon. Just then, a mysterious quest window appears in front of him. On the verge of death, Jinwoo decides to accept the quest and starts leveling up… while the others aren’t.

The main staff:

  • Original creator: DUBU (REDICE Studio), Chugong, h-goon
  • Director: Shunsuke Nakashige
  • Screenplay: Noboru Kimura
  • Character Designer: Tomoko Sudo
  • Music: Hiroyuki Sawano
  • Animation Studio: A-1 Pictures

Official Platforms:
Japanese Twitter/X
English Twitter/X

About krage, via Milan Records:

krage was born in Hokkaido to a Japanese father and a Chinese mother, both of whom influenced her to take up the piano in her early childhood.  Growing up in a family environment always exposed to music from around the globe, she was naturally attracted to music and started singing in full scale while still in junior high school.  After launching her solo career in 2020, she has digitally released four self-written songs. 

With a refreshing sensation of lyrics that skillfully uses Japanese, Chinese and English, along with her crystal-clear voice as weapons, she is expected to flourish now and beyond. 

In April 2022, krage made her major debut from Sony Music Labels with “HIBANA,” the theme song for the TV drama series Sabishii Oka de Tabi wo Suru.  In October the same year, she released her second digital single “Natsu no Yuki” (closing theme of the anime Raven of the Inner Palace). 

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