TRF

biography - 08.10.2014 06:15

TRF is one of the most famous pop groups in Japan, having broken record sales in the 90s. Their music style has evolved from "techno-reggae" then to pop and dance music now.

In 1992, KOMURO Tetsuya decided to create trf (the name standing for TK Rave Factory) when he was interested in a new sound; a mix of techno and reggae. Shortly after, YU-KI joined the group as vocalist after being asked by KOMURO. At that time the group was comprised of about ten fluctuating members, which included dancers SAM, ETSU, and CHIHARU, DJ KOO in charge of programming, and several other members.

The following year, they released their first single entitled GOING 2 DANCE and a successful debut album, THIS IS THE TRUTH, which reached the 14th spot on the Oricon charts and sold roughly 400,000 copies. A few months later, a remix version of their album was released which involved the collaboration of several disco artists such as STARR GAZER and 2nd Funk-tion.

In June of 1993, trf hit the jackpot with their single EZ DO DANCE, which sold over 940,000 copies and the title track quickly became one of the most popular dance songs in Japan. Several months later, they released an full-length album under the same name, which also reached the Oricon charts in 1993 and in 1995, when the album sold over one million copies. Because of this success, they took the opportunity for promotional events such as collaborations with radio stations, such as FM 802, television media, and the participated in Avex Rave '93. During that festival, the official line-up of the band was solidified to the five current members. The group then had a tour in September and two releases in November.

That same year, they won their first award for new artist of the year at the Nihon Yûsen Taishô and also the best music video at Nihon Record Taishô. This was only a hint of things to come, as the following year they won the New Artist Grand Prix at Nihon Gold Disc Taishô.

In 1995, they released their best-selling single CRAZY GONNA CRAZY, which is their most popular single to date, having sold over 1.6 million copies and best-selling album dAnce to positive, which sold over 3 million copies. That October, trf released their single BAND NEW TOMORROW, which was used as the theme song of the drama Christmas Kiss ~ Eve that stared YU-KI and DJ KOO as radio DJs.

In 1996, SAM and DJ KOO decide to challenge themselves with other projects. For instance, SAM organized a dance four-day festival in August, the DANCE REPUBLIC, that was sponsored by Fuji-TV and several other television shows. Not only did he participate himself, but also his band members CHIHARU and ETSU. DJ KOO tried his hand at producing with DJ TRAIN~Dance Mixture~. It is during this year the band changes the typography of their name from trf to TRF.

Throughout the next several years, they continued with the same successful path of releases, live performances (several being at Avex festivals), and winning various awards, their popularity growing rapidly.

Due to KOMURO's absence as a producer in 1997, that year was a rather calm one for TRF with no new releases except a live video of their Yokohama Arena concert in April. Even through this silence, that did not stop the band from stage performances such as the TK PAN-PACIFIC TOUR '97 IN TAIPEI which incluced artists such as globe and AMURO Namie (artists who had also been produced by KOMURO). YU-KI also tried a solo career with her first single dragon's dance and had a voice acting role in an anime.

In 1998, even with several successful releases, the band had a negative turn when their album UNITE didn't captivate the fans as previous releases had. Although they had a 21-date tour to promote the album, the band members already having solidified reputations for the choreographic work they produced for other Avex artists, the "good days" of the band seemed to be left behind them as their sales didn't do as well as they had previously.

Instead of having new releases in 2000, the band has a kind of "recycling policy" releasing several remixes of previous work. Reticent to these easy releases have nothing to make do with, as the band take a commercial break. However, the members continued to participate in several festivals during the following years. Avex festivals were a priority of course, but also events for the fight against AIDS.

In 2002, TRF came back with a new track available on the song+nation compilation, a music project helping the September 11th victims. This new title, One Nation, is also a reunion with KOMURO Tetsuya under an anthology trance track form, which unfortunately wouldn't be released as single.

It wasn't until 2006 that TRF fans heard again from the band with a new single in January, Where to begin, following with a new album Lif-e motions the next month. The album was promoted with a new tour, which was later available on DVD. KOMURO Tetsuya also returns as he produces the single We are all BLOOMIN' in November, after ten years without any singles supervised by the producer.

2007 was TRF's 15th Anniversary; the band and Avex celebrated this fact with a special website only available for one year, and the release in February of a best-of available in three editions, one of the editions including several exclusive goodies. A "greatest hits" tour was held in autumn 2007. After this commemoration TRF saw the releases of three more singles, one DVD and the new album GRAVITY (2009) in the following years. However, after the subsequent promotion tour it got a bit silent around the group; though DJ KOO performed in several clubs as DJ and together with TRF at a-nation' 10. Furthermore in 2010 three of their greatest hits were re-released as digital singles. capsule member Nakata Yasutaka for example created a new sound for EZ DO DANCE.

2011 did not only saw the release of another digital single, Samui yoru dakara... feat. INFINITY16 & GOKIGEN SOUND, but also their performance alongside AAA, moumoon and BENI at LIVE SDD 2011. But they didn't keep that pace and it grew silent again, though DJ KOO participated as honorary guest at Suzuki Ami's Happy Anniversary Birthday Party in February 2012. In June a special dance training box was released on DVD, where SAM, ETSU and CHIHARU are teaching the dance choreography to their greatest hits. Two months later the band starred at a-nation stadium fest. in Osaka and Tokyo again. But until November no new news hit the surface.

With the penultimate month of the year 2012 TRF started the celebrations for their forthcoming 20th anniversary with the release of the collection TRF 20TH Anniversary COMPLETE SINGLE BEST. This was followed by the idol tribute album TRF Respect Idol Tribute, digital single PUSH YOUR BACK and the new mini-album WATCH THE MUSIC as well as big tour. But over March two more tribute albums came out: TRF TRIBUTE ALBUM BEST and VOCALOID3 meets TRF. The tour final of their anniversary tour came out on DVD and Blu-ray on August 14th and this release closed the celebrations around their big anniversary.

The time after was dominated by events like a-nation stadium fes. (August 2013), LIVE SDD 2014 (February 2014), DJ event agePa!!, where YU-KI and DJ KOO appeared, as well as a special dance audition held by SAM, ETSU and CHIHARU (June 2014) for the next a-nation event.
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