A Spanish flight attendant living in Aylesbury has won an international competition for her Japanese music video.
Pilar Fernandez said she was ‘delighted’ after her song ‘Andarushia Kara’ won the grand prize in broadcaster NHK World’s ‘We Love Japanese Songs 2014’ worldwide contest.
A singing enthusiast from a young age, the 35 year old became interested in Japanese culture when she made a friend from the country when she was 13.
Miss Fernandez began learning the language around 11 years ago, shortly before she started working for a Japanese airline.
She began singing in Japanese when she spent a year living there and now does it as a hobby alongside her work.
Raised in Valladolid, the singer first moved to the UK in 1999 and came to Aylesbury, where her brother lives, via spells in Norwich, Guildford, Chertsey, London, Japan and Spain.
But despite her recent success, Miss Fernandez has no plans to pursue the entertainment spotlight full time.
She said: “For me it’s not as important to be famous or to work as a singer as it is to do it the way I like.
“I’m pleased to be a flight attendant, which is a job I like a lot.
“In my free time I can do my hobby the way I like it without anybody telling me you have to dress like this or do your hair like that.”
Her winning song was written by her singing tutor in Japan and, blending Spanish and Japanese cultures, tells the love story of two entertainers from Spain.
The woman in the video, played by Miss Fernandez, decides to go abroad to pursue her dreams, leaving her love behind.
Miss Fernandez said: “She ends up in Japan and she’s very sad because she doesn’t achieve her dreams and she doesn’t have her love.”
Miss Fernandez paid for and filmed the video in Spain last year, with around 14 people working on the production. She found out she had won the competition on December 15, but could not tell anyone until the official announcement on January 3.
She said: “You can imagine my pain. I had to wait such a long time to tell my friends when all I wanted to do was write it down on the internet and tell everybody.”
Singing is not the only part of Japanese culture she has embraced.
Miss Fernandez is also a karate expert, had lessons in wearing a kimono, a traditional Japanese garment, and her Aylesbury home is adorned with souvenirs from the Land of the Rising Sun.