Beckii Cruel is an 18 year old girl from the Isle of Man who blogs, sings, makes videos and models. She became highly popular in Japan after posting Youtube videos of herself dancing to J-pop songs in her room. One video that brought her fame was a video of herself dancing to a popular Japanese internet meme. After reaching fame in Japan, Beckii decided to target a British audience by releasing the song ‘You can’t kiss me’. BBC THREE also did a documentary on her, named Beckii: Schoolgirl Superstar at 14, a documentary which made people in Britain more aware of her talent. Her main Youtube account has over 66,000 subscribers and she is currently the 3rd most subscribed user in the Musician category in Japan. She also has a second Youtube account where she uploads tutorials, vlogs and practice shots.
Whilst at Hyper Japan 2013, we were lucky enough to bump into Beckii and she kindly agreed to answer some questions for us.
What inspired you to make videos on youtube?
‘It was never really a thing I did because I wanted to get success out of it, it was always a hobby for me, so I kind of just saw other girls in Japan doing it, other girls all around the world. It looked like a lot of fun and I enjoy dancing anyway, so I thought you know why not get a new hobby? So I started doing it.’
What was it like when you were in Japan?
‘Being in Japan was a big cultural shock. It was strange because on the one hand I was in this big country which I’ve never been in before and it was shocking to be there, but also because I was so young, I was like how will my life progress? I don’t know my age at 14 being any different from that, so it was a very weird thing to get my head around, but it was very cool being there and being able to meet the fans.’
What were some of the challenges you faced?
‘I think for me it was very difficult because as I didn’t start out with the intention of becoming a celebrity from it, I never took full training and I got the fame before I was ready, technically, for it, so I had to learn a lot in a short amount of time, and I was learning whilst I was in the spotlight. So, that was very difficult for me and I still continue to learn and I’m definitely not at the top of my game yet so I’m really excited for the future as well.’
Oh okay, so what are your plans for the future?
‘I’m really interested in making more music. I think that over the years I’ve been trying to develop my style a little bit more. I want to try new things, I want to work with new producers and I really want to have more of an imput into my own contents because before it’s been very much like ‘You will do this, you are our product.’ But now I want to take that and make it more personal. I really hope I can do that in the next few years, now that I’ve left school I have more time to dedicate.’
I watched your documentary a few years ago, in 2010, and I wanted to ask how has your career progressed? I realised you’ve had some ups and downs, especially during school and the difference between Japanese and British fans, I noticed you receiving guitars as gifts as well, so that must have been shocking?
‘Yeah, it’s really crazy. Well since the documentary in 2010 I’ve been concentrating on my school work. I’ve just finished school, I’ve just graduated now, I don’t have any plans to go to university I want to just do different things, some things to do with my career and also things which I haven’t tried yet. So, I’m excited to do that.
The Japanese fans and English fans are quite different in the way that in Japan they’re very very reserved and also very very enthusiastic. In England, fans will sometimes not ask to take a photo but in Japan they always will and they won’t hog you as much because it’s not in their culture. So, it’s different in that way in Japan but also, even though they seem more reserved they’re sometimes more enthusiastic. But really it depends on the people, I think that the English fans are quite good because it’s they’re not typical English fans, they’re English fans who are also fans of Japanese culture so they understand that culture and they kind of have that part of Japanese culture in them.’
So over all, how are you finding Hyper Japan 2013?
‘It’s really cool, I love how we’re in this new building. I think that the lights are a bit orange, which makes it kinda hard to take photos in this kind of light, but overall it’s a nice air conditioned environment with lots of good vendors and it’s nice to see familiar faces as well so I’m having a good time.’
I have to say, we thought the same about the lights but I’m glad she enjoyed her experience at Hyper Japan 2013. It was lovely to meet Beckii and to be able talk to her and get more of an insight into the kind of person she is. Beckii is such a sweet girl and I’d like to wish her good luck with her future goals and plans.
We hope you check out her website ~> beckii.co.uk