In case you somehow missed it, Fortnite is set to play host to a show from Japanese musician Gen Hoshino as part of its ongoing Soundwave Series of events. Basically, a unique, interactive experience within Fortnite will allow players to watch a show from Hoshino featuring a number of songs starting Thursday, June 9th, at 8AM ET/5AM PT and airing back-to-back for the following 72 hours. Ahead of the show's debut within Fortnite, ComicBook.com had a chance to speak with Hoshino about the event, the success of his ending theme for the anime Spy x Family, and more.
The actual experience within Fortnite for Hoshino's show was made by 3D Lab, and according to Epic Games, "puts players in an evolving space, with changing colors, scenery, and activities to match the mood." The event will feature several different songs by Hoshino, including "Koi," which has its own Koi Dance Emote that can be used during it. Additionally, if players want to attend but also, say, play Battle Royale at the same time, they can watch via Picture-in-Picture through their settings during the following time periods specifically:
- June 9th: 8AM ET/5AM PT
- June 10th: 3PM ET/12PM PT
- June 11th: 2PM ET/11AM PT
As noted above, Fortnite's Soundwave Series event featuring a musical show from Gen Hoshino is set to begin on Thursday, June 9th, at 8AM ET/5AM PT and run for 72 hours following its premiere. Fortnite itself is, more generally, currently in the midst of Chapter 3 Season 3: Vibin', and is available on most major platforms in its latest form save for the iOS version. You can check out all of our previous coverage of Fortnite right here.
What do you think about Fortnite's Soundwave Series? Are you excited to check out Hoshino's show this week? Let us know in the comments, or feel free to reach out and hit me up directly over on Twitter at @rollinbishop in order to talk about all things music and gaming! And keep reading to check out our full interview with Hoshino, conducted through a translator, all about Fortnite, Spy x Family, and more.
The following interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length.
On Getting Involved With Fortnite and Gaming
ComicBook.com: How did you end up getting involved with Fortnite's Soundwave Series in the first place? Do you play the game?
Yeah, I've played it before. That's why when Epic sent me an invite, I said I'd do it.
Were you a big gamer growing up? Do you play a lot of games otherwise?
I've loved video games ever since I was little. It all started around when I was 5, in fact. My first console was the Famicom… or rather, the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System). And I've been a gamer ever since. I'd actually known Fortnite was already doing shows even before they settled on the "Soundwave" moniker for their Soundwave Series. The invite caught me by surprise since it came out of the blue, but I'm really looking forward to it. I'm absolutely thrilled to be able to participate in this event and perform.prevnext
On What He Hopes to Accomplish With the Event
Now obviously Epic Games has its own reasons for doing these sorts of collaborations, but for you personally, what do you hope to achieve through participating in this specific collaboration, and what does it mean to you to have been asked at all?
I think of Fortnite as a wonderful virtual space, as well as a golden opportunity, for many people around the world to come together and listen to an individual artist's music simultaneously. That's why I hope to use the platform Fortnite gave me to share my music with people who've never listened to my songs before. Also, my fans are scattered around the world and I haven't had that many chances to meet up with them, which is why I'm happy that the Soundwave Series would ultimately allow me to hold a virtual meet-and-greet with everyone. In short, I just want to share my music with as many people as possible, including first-time listeners.prevnext
On the Process and Possibility of More Gaming Collaborations
Without getting into the creative or techy aspect of this, would you say that this process has been pretty smooth?
Hmm… I got my invite a very long time ago, you see. So I was essentially waiting with bated breath the entire time, wondering when it was going to happen. Since I knew the Soundwave Series was going to be an event that would feature artists from different countries, I'd been stewing over performance and video ideas for the event this entire time. I'm very happy that everyone will soon experience what the Epic team and I had been working on for the past six months.
Has your involvement in this Fortnite project inspired you to perhaps do more collaborations with other gaming platforms in the future?
I think there will be more opportunities to take part in similar events in the future. With Fortnite spearheading events like this, I get the feeling that more and more events centered on musical performances will be held within the gaming sphere. I'd love to participate in other events too if I get a chance.prevnext
On Fortnite Setting the Stage for Collaborations Like This
Do you think this sort of international collaboration is the future of gaming and, more recently, especially music? It seems like this is becoming more interwoven as time goes on and it's only going to increase. What do you see sort of the future of this being? Is Fortnite setting the stage for every other game, in your opinion?
Yes, I do. If there's an upsurge in events like the Fortnite Soundwave Series, it will breathe some new life into virtual and real music events alike. I think we'll see a boom in live performance opportunities in the gaming sphere and across metaverses, with actually going to see live performances in the flesh becoming a more unique spectacle than ever before.
When I play games, even if I see my character in third-person, I feel like I'm actually there inside the game. The same thing goes for concerts in games. It's as if the people who attend my virtual Soundwave Series concert are actually attending a real "Gen Hoshino" concert. I want them to enjoy it just like it's the real deal. So when I go on my next world tour and make stops around the globe, I hope they'll come watch me again in-person as well.prevnext
On Spy x Family
Shifting gears a little bit, I have to ask: how does it feel, the reception to your Spy x Family ending theme and the success of the show? How does it feel to be a part of that?
I'm extremely happy. By the way, are you watching Spy x Family?
Oh yeah, absolutely I'm watching Spy x Family. Obviously, this interview got set up last week, so I was familiar with your music before accepting the interview so I was very excited.
I'm happy to hear that. You see, I was already reading the Spy x Family manga. So I was very surprised when I was asked to write the ending theme because I'd just finished reading the latest issue at that very moment. I really liked the source material, so I immediately said, "I'll do it!"
The Spy x Family team asked me to write a song based on the word "family," so I wrote "Comedy" with that in mind. Spy x Family is a very popular manga, so I knew there was going to be some kind of buzz, but all the buzz it generated caught me off guard.
It makes me so happy to see that people from all over the globe, despite their linguistic and cultural differences, can relate to the groove and vibe of "Comedy," the meaning behind its lyrics, and the raw feelings I put into it, with many leaving comments on YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter in their own words.prevnext
On Writing Music for Anime
Obviously, you've made music that has been in anime and not been in anime, is that process different in any meaningful way or is it just… you write a good song?
I often write theme songs for movies and TV dramas, but, in terms of my creative process, writing an anime theme song is not so different.
No matter the work, there is always a central theme. It's crucial to grasp what a work is trying to convey, what kind of vibe it's trying to convey, and what the creator was thinking when they wrote it. First, I find the key features that resonate with my central thoughts and philosophy, and then I put it into a single piece of music.prevnext
On His Favorite Spy x Family Character
With you saying you were a fan of the manga before the anime adaptation, do you have a favorite character?
Let's see… Of course, my go-to favorites would be the Forger family: Loid, Yor, Anya, and Bond. But everyone loves them, so I guess they don't count. (laughs)
Right, of course, fair enough. Who can choose?
Makes sense. (laughs) Then, I'd have to say… Sylvia Sherwood. There are moments in the story that show brief glimpses into her tragic, horrifying past, but she essentially never lets that dark side show. She's always smiling and supporting Loid. I'm really drawn in by her backstory. I would love to see a spin-off centered around her.prevnext
On How It Feels to Be Part of Both Spy x Family and Fortnite
The timing on this couldn't be better, right? Spy x Family features your song as its ending theme, Fortnite is going to be spotlighting you – how does it feel to be in arguably one of the biggest games in the world at the same time that you are contributing to one of the most highly anticipated anime adaptations of the season? Is it a surreal feeling?
This kind of thing happens a lot in my life. For example, the timing of this Soundwave Series came about because I got busy with other work after getting the invite, and Epic Games suggested we hold it a little later. Of course, I didn't plan Spy x Family to be broadcast around the same time. It was a strange coincidence that these two amazing opportunities would collide to bring people together the way it did.
I consider myself to be an incredibly lucky person. I've had many moments in my life where the timing of things was just perfect. So, I don't really think it's surreal or strange. "Wow, something amazing is underway!" Feelings like that are an ever-present aspect of my life. This coincidence is one such instance. It's a lot of fun and it makes me happy.prevnext
Any message you would like to share with fans?
I'd like to tell all the people who tuned in to the Soundwave Series and listened to my music for the first time to give my other songs a listen too. I'm glad I was able to meet and interact with so many people through this event. This was all possible because of the passion shown by Fortnite – a fantastic game, by the way – and its Soundwave Series toward connecting music and games. I think it's creating a brand new culture, and I am very honored and happy to participate in it. I hope you all will take this opportunity to experience a lot of my music.0comments
And to all of you who've been listening to my music for some time, please look forward to it. I played a variety of songs and the performance turned out quite well, so please check it out in-game.