Interview Exclusive

Interview with ONE N’ ONLY at Anime Friends 2022

02/08/2022 2022-08-02 14:00:00 JaME Author: Nana

Interview with ONE N’ ONLY at Anime Friends 2022

Hours before their first ever live performance at Anime Friends in São Paulo, 'JK-pop' group ONE N’ ONLY spoke to JaME about the genre they've created and how TikTok fame led them to Brazil.


© Carolina Genúncio "Nana"
A few hours before their first international live performance at Anime Friends in São Paulo, the first edition of the long-running South American convention in four years, 'JK-pop' group ONE N’ ONLY spoke to JaME Brasil about their experiences in the country, how it was meeting fans after the pandemic, and what exactly 'JK-pop' is.

Could you introduce yourselves to our readers that don’t know you yet?

ONLY N’ ONLY: (in Portuguese) We are ONE N’ ONLY!

HAYATO: I’m HAYATO.

REI: I’m REI.

KENSHIN: I’m KENSHIN.

EIKU: I’m EIKU.

TETTA: I’m TETTA.

NAOYA: I’m NAOYA.

HAYATO: We are a Japanese group, but our producer is Korean. So, we created the genre 'JK-pop', which is a mix of J-pop and K-pop.

And how has this new genre been received?

HAYATO: K-pop is very popular in Japan, so we tried to be part of it, combining J-pop with K-pop. Singing in Japanese helped us to get the attention of Japanese K-pop fans.

REI: Actually, as our music is a very dance-focused style of music, language is not really important because anyone that listens to our songs can feel their body shake and dance with us.

You went viral on TikTok and became famous overseas because of your dance videos. How do you think it has impacted your career?

EIKU: We are very happy with the huge exposure those videos got. This allowed us to cross many borders, including coming to Brazil.

Previously, you were in two groups: EBiSSH and SBC. How did you come up with the idea of joining together to form ONE N’ ONLY?

HAYATO: We became trainees together and had the opportunity to perform together. As the fans reacted very well, we thought that with more members in the group, we would have even more to offer our fans.

When the groups came together, could you keep the styles of each group or did you have to change?

REI: EBiSSH is a group aimed at a young audience, while SBC is aimed at an adult audience. Together, we are able to cover more styles.


After meeting the Brazilian fans, what are you expecting from tonight’s concert?

TETTA: Brazilian fans’ reactions are much more intense than what we are used to in Japan. Due to the pandemic, Japanese audiences cannot sing along with us, so everything is very quiet. Here in Brazil, we can hear an explosion of screams and cheers, so we're looking forward to seeing how the audience will react.

How did the pandemic affect your work?

KENSHIN: Before the pandemic, our fans could attend live venues and sing with us. For some time, we performed no-audience concerts and they were very quiet. Now, they still can’t scream and sing, and need to wear masks. However, on the bright side, we had a chance to get closer to our fans through social media. This brought us light in the midst of everything that was happening.

Is this your first time overseas?

ONE N’ ONLY: Yes.

How it has been?

NAOYA: When we started to make videos on TikTok, we didn’t imagine they would receive so much attention and that we would be here. We are enjoying every moment and having loads of fun. We are looking forward to what is going to happen next.

What do you think about Brazil?

REI: People here are very honest when they are chatting. They are not afraid of talking to us, even with the language barrier. We're on the other side of the world, so the differences in climate, culture and how everything we've seen looks has been shocking, in a good way.

HAYATO: Everybody here dances very well. Dancing seems to be a very Brazilian thing. Here at Anime Friends, we could see many people dancing everywhere. As we love to dance, it was a delight to see people that also love to dance.

KENSHIN: I love Brazil. We were warmly welcomed – we were happily surprised with this reception. I was afraid of the food…of not being able to eat something from another country. But no, I was able to eat it all, and everything was delicious. I ate something with gumbo and I loved it. (laughs)

We have the best food in the world. (laughs)

ONE N’ ONLY: Yes! (laughs)

EIKU: I love Brazil especially because it has many places that convey Japanese culture. People are very interested in our culture and they love it – I was very happy to learn about that.

TETTA: I love how people share their love here. In Japan, it's not that common for people to take pictures with artists they don’t know; here everyone is very friendly. (laughs) I also found out that Brazilians love peanuts. Everywhere we go, we find something made of peanuts. I also tried Paçoquita and loved it! (laughs)
(TETTA takes a Paçoquita, a traditional Brazilian sugary snack made of peanuts, from his bag and places it on the table)

NAOYA: I was very impressed by how friendly, caring and loving Brazilians are. I was very happy to see people’s interest in our culture thanks to this anime convention. I hope more people know about us and I hope we can come back to Brazil.


What are your plans for the future?

HAYATO: We already have a tour planned in Japan. Besides that, we would love to play more shows in Brazil, as it is a huge country with many cities to visit. We would also like to visit other countries.

Finally, do you have a message for your fans?

HAYATO: We are very thankful to the Brazilian fans because they were the ones who found us on TikTok. So, we would like to thank you for this and for waiting for us. We are very happy for this opportunity to meet you. Wait for us, we will come back! We love you very much.

NAOYA: Brazil opened the world to us, therefore we really appreciate the Brazilian fans. We know there are many fans around the world, all we can say now is…wait for us! We are coming to you!

JaME would like to thank ONE N’ ONLY, interpreter Vinicius Heidi Somehara, and Maru Division for making this interview possible.

The music video for ONE N' ONLY's latest digital single LUCKY can be viewed below. Links to download and stream the song on various online music platforms are available here.

 Download or stream "LUCKY"
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Single Digital Release 2022-06-17 2022-06-17
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Date Event Location
  
10/07/20222022-07-10
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São Paulo
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