27 June 2012
Akimoto Yasushi Endorses First Official AKB48 Cover Song
In February 2012, an English cover version of AKB48's "Flying Get" was uploaded on Youtube and instantly became a hit, drawing a total of 2.3 million views from 163 countries. The artist went by the name of GILLE, but GILLE's face was not shown in the video, so it was not possible to tell whether it was a foreigner covering the song. GILLE also covered other popular Japanese songs in English. The translated lyrics retained the original meaning of the song very well, and the English did not sound awkward when sung with the original tempo of the song.
On June 27th, 2012, it was announced that this cover version of the song is endorsed by the Akimoto Yasushi, executive producer of AKB48, and it is now available on iTunes as a digital download.
According to Akimoto, he wanted to produce it upon hearing the song.
"We often hear talks about people that want to cover AKB48 songs officially, but we were not able to oblige because it's not a direction that management is interested in. However, when we heard GILLE's song, we wanted to find out who is singing and produce it. We want people to enjoy her voice, which is totally different from AKB48."
GILLE signed with Universal Music near the end of March. Akimoto approved the cover when Universal officially applied for covering the song.
Regarding Akimoto's support, GILLE was very thankful. "'Flying Get' was a cover song that I really wanted to try, and his approval opened the door for me to spread my music to the rest of the world." She will release her first cover album "I AM GILLE" on July 18th, 2012. The world also found out for the first time that GILLE is a female singer from Japan. Her real name and her age remains unknown, but her voice is the real thing.