Interview Exclusive

Interview with Da-iCE

21/01/2021 2021-01-21 01:00:00 JaME Author: Laeza, Christine Translator: Sophie

Interview with Da-iCE

Now in their 10th year together, dance-vocal group Da-iCE look back on their career so far and discuss their brand new album "SiX".

© Da-iCE. All rights reserved.
Formed on January 17th, 2011, Da-iCE is a five-member dance-vocal group. As their name is partially derived from the English word "dice" (the image of a six-sided die represents the combination of the five members and their fans), the number six is a particularly meaningful one for them.

With this in mind, to commemorate their 10th anniversary, Da-iCE announced six consecutive releases - five singles followed by their sixth full-length album. Titled SiX, the album just hit stores on January 20th.

Just before the release, we had the opportunity to ask the group's members some questions about their evolution as performers, Da-iCE's unique charm, contributing a theme song to the beloved anime "ONE PIECE", performing online concerts, and more.

Since you just celebrated your 10th anniversary on January 17th, let's look back on the past decade. What has been the most memorable moment for each member?

Taiki Kudo: The day it was decided that we would hold a concert at Budokan left a huge impression on me.

Sota Hanamura: It has to be our first concert. I still remember how nervous and elated I was today. It was a very happy time.

How do you feel Da-iCE has grown since your debut? Are there any things that have changed within the group?

Toru Iwaoka: In a good way, I don't think I could pinpoint anything that has drastically changed. That's because we were relatively old by the time we formed the group, so when we're all together the distance between us really hasn't changed from what it was 10 years ago. Well, one thing that has changed is that we've all gotten a little rounder, myself included...

Hayate Wada: The friendship between us hasn't changed, but I think our songs on the face of it have continued to change appropriately with our age.

Have you learned anything important about being an artist/entertainer during your time as a member of Da-iCE?

Taiki Kudo: Creativity. And the importance of continuing to express it.

Yudai Ohno: I've repeatedly become aware of the meaning of the word "kandou" ("being deeply moved"). If we convey that, then our fans also convey their emotions to us. That emotional catchball is the meaning of entertainment, and because we've been able to do that exchange of feelings to excess, I want to continue to stress its importance from now on as well.

For your upcoming album SiX, you launched a project featuring six consecutive releases that follow the theme of “entertainment to enjoy with your five senses”. How did you arrive at this concept?

Toru Iwaoka: We reached that conclusion after several meetings with our staff.

Sota Hanamura: Our staff proposed the idea of releasing six releases in a row, so we held a meeting about it and, after some talk, decided to go ahead with it.

Your song
DREAMIN’ ON was used as a theme for “ONE PIECE”. Could you please explain a bit about the message behind this song?

Sota Hanamura: We included the shared themes between "ONE PIECE" and Da-iCE in the lyrics, which are the bonds of friendship and heading towards your dreams. And for the national anthem of Wano Country we used words that embodied warriors.

Hayate Wada: It became a powerful song that encourages you to press on and where the shared themes common to "ONE PIECE" and Da-iCE, like bonds and friendship, became the theme.

EASY TASTY is said to be a track that gives listeners a “quick taster” of Da-iCE’s charm. With this in mind, if you had to try to sum up Da-iCE’s charm in six words or less (in English) or 30~35 kanji characters, what would you say?

Toru Iwaoka: "The power of two vocalists".

Yudai Ohno: "The brilliance of our songs".
"Making the worldview of songs important".
"The difference between our MCs and performances".

On this album you collaborated with members of androp and BLUE ENCOUNT. How did these collaborations come to be?

Taiki Kudo: We thought a long time ago that we wanted to try this collab, so we threw caution to the wind and contacted them.

Yudai Ohno: We all appeared on the same radio program and seemed to have formed a friendship. As we already had a connection there, we asked if they would like to join us for a release.

Are there any other artists you would like to collaborate with in the future?

Sota Hanamura: There are loads, but we definitely want to do some collaborations with bands.

Hayate Wada: We want to do a collab with bands.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, it has not been easy for artists to hold lives. Like many others, your tour was cancelled, and instead you chose to hold on online live tour on Abema. It must be strange not to perform in front of a live audience. How did you feel about performing online for fans?

Taiki Kudo:
It's similar in feel to recording for a TV show. Whatever form it's in, I'm happy if people can see our shows.

Toru Iwaoka: We can only hold concerts live in person, so online shows and live concerts are two very different beasts. However, there are good points about online shows. Thanks to the chances bestowed onto us by this whole situation, we've discovered new things, and we are very optimistic.

You used lots of interesting technology and staging to enhance your online live events. Were any parts of the online concerts particularly fun or challenging for you due to these new components?

Sota Hanamura: One definite good thing about online shows is that you can do the show from anywhere. We've never had the experience of doing a concert throughout the whole venue we played in or in a warehouse before, so I feel that the online shows opened up a lot of doors for us.

Hayate Wada: The fact that you can perform differently or use camera work that isn't possible during a normal concert is one way of enjoying the online performances.

There are many Da-iCE fans who are not able to attend your regular live events, such as fans who live outside of Japan. Are online events something you would consider keeping even after the pandemic has ended?

Taiki Kudo: Definitely. As one new aspect, I really think it's best if we continue with it.

Yudai Ohno: Of course!! As a happy result of our music being used as "ONE PIECE"'s theme song, the chances we've had to receive comments from abroad have increased. We really want to be able to go to those other places and directly convey our gratitude through a concert. However, until this novel coronavirus pandemic ends, we want to continue to deliver entertainment and our music to you through online shows!

Please leave a message for your overseas fans.

Toru Iwaoka: I think that most people won't know of us. We are called Da-iCE and we had the opportunity to create the theme song of the TV anime "ONE PIECE". We are a five person dance and vocal group. We'll keep trying our best so we can come and perform in all of your countries! Please think kindly of us!

Sota Hanamura: We will try our very best and await the day we can come and meet everyone in their own countries with excitement. But first, I'm praying for everyone's good health!

JaME would like to thank Da-iCE and avex for making this interview possible.

Links to download and stream Da-iCE's new album SiX are available here, and details on the physical versions of the release are available in English on their official website.

 Download or stream "SiX"  Details on the contents of the physical versions of "SiX"


Related Artists

Related Releases

Album CD + DVD 2021-01-20 2021-01-20
Regular Edition Da-iCE
Album Box 2021-01-20 2021-01-20
Special Limited BOX Edition Da-iCE