J-pop singer: I never thought I was sexy

J-pop singer: I never thought I was sexy
PHOTO: The Straits Times, The New Paper

Even the hottest female stars have their moments of insecurity.

Take that from Japanese singer Koda Kumi, 32, best known as J-pop's flamboyant sex goddess.

The industry veteran might boast a curvaceous body and long, shapely legs, but she brushed away this reporter's suggestion that she is an ageless bombshell at her press conference yesterday evening.

Through a translator, she said: "I have never really thought of myself as sexy."

"Actually, I have low self-esteem and there are some parts of myself that I am not confident about at all. "I use clothes and fashion to cover up my (insecurities) and boost my confidence."

This is rather shocking to hear, coming from the same girl who once wore coconut shells over her chest. On another occasion, thin tape-like gold satin straps were draped over her breasts.

Rocking a funky purple hairdo, Koda, who has a three-year-old son, is in town for her first solo Singapore concert.

This is also Koda's 15th year in the music business.

Although she did not elaborate on the reasons behind her lack of self-esteem, it is not the first time Koda has shared her anxiety regarding her physical appearance.

Back in 2007, when she was interviewed by the Japanese media at a women's razor brand promotional event, she said she needed a lot of courage to put on light make-up.

Some media took her remark as her alluding to a fear of her bare face.


Best known for her groovy dance numbers Juicy (2006), Taboo (2008) and Loaded (2014, a duet with Jamaican rapper Sean Paul), Koda added that with age, she has become more focused on inner beauty.

She said: "Rather than having guys view me as a sex symbol, I'd rather be seen by fellow females as a cool, independent and strong artist."

Her latest song, Ex Tape, released last week, puts her female-empowering side on display.

The music video shows the singer and her gal friends relaxing, laughing and dancing over cocktails - and not a single man is in sight.

Koda, who last visited Singapore in 2011 to receive the Hottest Asian Artist accolade at the 13th Mnet Asian Music Awards, grinned when quizzed about what took her so long - 15 years - to finally hold a solo concert here.

"I was here in Singapore for the first time four years ago and I immediately fell in love with this city," she said.

"In fact, I did make plans to return the following year for a gig, but well, those plans had to be held back as I got pregnant.

"Singapore is beautiful, it has a gorgeous night view. The food is delicious too. In 2011, I performed for only eight minutes on stage, but the feeling was so good that the eight minutes felt like forever. I am happy to be back."


This article was first published on July 18, 2015.
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