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Interview with Travis Japan

18/05/2023 2023-05-18 22:00:00 JaME Author: LuCioLe

Interview with Travis Japan

JaME had the opportunity to interview Johnny's boyband Travis Japan following the release of their second single "Moving Pieces".

© Travis Japan. All rights reserved.
Hello, could you please introduce yourself to people who may not know you?

Umi: Hi, I’m Umi. Umi means "ocean" in Japanese. My color is green.

G: Hi guys, I’m Genta. Please call me Genta or just G. Nice to meet you!

Chaka: Hi, I’m Chaka. Nice to meet you. I’m the leader of Travis Japan. My member color is red.

Shizu: Hi, I’m Shizu. Please call me Shizu or Shi-kun. I’m good at playing basketball and dance choreography. I love to smile. Thank you.

Shime: My name is Ryuya Shimekake, please call me Shime. My member color is pink. Nice to meet you.

Machu: I’m Kaito Matsukura. Please call me Machu like Machu Picchu. Orange is my member color. I’m the artistic one. My hobbies are playing the guitar, songwriting, photography and fashion.

Noel: I’m Noel. Noel means Christmas in French. Actually, I was born in November. We are Travis Japan and Travis Japan is a boyband from Japan. We love dancing, singing, acting and acrobatics and just released our new second single, Moving Pieces. Please check it out.

How was Travis Japan formed as a group?

Chaka: It was early summer. Johnny and Travis (Payne) had a good relationship with creating stage productions. They were doing a production and Johnny said that he would like Travis to do a choreography lesson, and gathered all the Johnnys' Juniors. It ended up being a form of an audition, and the remaining members were announced at the end of the summer to be Travis Japan. That is the secret story of the formation. We took Travis’ lessons and it was an audition, and a team called Travis Japan was born.

It’s quite a famous story among fans, but can you tell us about the origin of your group name “Travis Japan"?

Shizu: Travis is for Travis Payne. Japan means we represent Japan. But our first name Johnny decided for us was “Travis Sonic,” and the next day he changed it to Travis Japan.

How would you describe your unique musical style?

Noel: One of the new styles of J-pop. Whenever people say, it is not J-pop, it’s kind of Western music or some other countries’ song, we have confidence in our songs as J-pop, as Travis Japan is a Japanese boy band. No matter what happens, no matter what anyone says, we want to say loudly “this is J-pop.” That’s it. "Neo J-pop," I think.

What are your personal musical influences?

Shime: Personally, I like Justin Bieber. When I was first listening to his songs, I thought his voice was so sexy and it was so inspiring to me. In the future, I want my voice to become like his voice. We want to work with him one day.

What are the most memorable moments you have shared together as a group?

Machu: It was on an American TV program, "AGT" ("America’s Got Talent")! We appeared on "AGT" and it was a really great experience and a great opportunity for us. It influenced us. We dreamed of being there. We were able to realize that. It was unforgettable.

How would you describe the experience of working and living together as a group?

G: I think we are like a family. Especially through every moment we spent working together and living in the Traja house in Los Angeles. We were really like a family.

How does Japanese culture influence your music and performances?

Umi: The culture of Johnny's, and Japanese culture in general, is all about working harder. Perfection is an unattainable goal, no one is going to be perfect, but striving towards it, and inspiring others to do the same, makes us not only better performers, but better guys.

How has the group evolved since its formation?

Noel: We realize that every single day, every single moment is a treasure. We just recognized it. Because even if we are fighting, sometimes we ignore one another when we are in a bad mood, but when we face it, we can solve each problem together. We recognized that even bad things or situations can be a treasure. Every single event or experience is really important. We can work together and make new best things. We just want to face it, deal with it, and focus on new things. For now, we are not just as a group, but a kind of family. It is so much fun to be us, Travis Japan, every day!

You had performances on "America's Got Talent" and "World of Dance" while you were living in Los Angeles. Could you tell us about those experiences?

Chaka: They were great experiences for us, but we had never been to a competition show before, so we didn’t know how to compare it to any other performance. I thought it was strict, but it made us stronger and more motivated. We had a lot of good moments.

G: It was an unforgettable experience!

You recently released a DVD titled Travis Japan - The untold story of LA -, could you tell us more about it?

Shizu: When we watched the DVD ourselves, we didn't know about all the feelings of the other members, so it is full of unknown stories that are untold. You can see our life in the United States and how everyone worked hard.

Noel: It's unusual, isn't it? We don’t look perfect all the time, which is rare for something produced by Johnny's. Moreover, it is the first time for Travis Japan. It's a long period, because it's seven months, it's a long time.

You’ve just released a new single called Moving Pieces. What would you like to share about it for new fans?

Shime: We would like to share our synchronized dance and the cool atmosphere and choreography and how our individual voices sound when they work together. And fun! It was so much fun.

Noel: Please listen and remember our name.

As the first international artist from Johnny's, what is your advice to any Juniors also interested in being recognized overseas?

Noel: That it is really tough! But worth it.

Chaka: We didn’t know the answer at the time. We had to figure it all out by ourselves.

Umi: You need to work overseas, you have to keep learning English, singing, dancing and having a tough heart. We saw we had lived seven months in LA, and during that time we fought, we didn’t talk, even for weeks at a time, but in the end we got through the difficult times. If you go there, work hard, and enjoy the singing, dancing, and English lessons!

Noel: We welcome the challenge and courage of the next generation to try it. Rivals can make each other stronger.

Lastly, can you give a message for our readers?

Machu: We want to become world famous. We hope we do, but we have to grow up some more. We have to practice more - and we will. So, if you don’t know Travis Japan yet, please check out our second single Moving Pieces!

JaME would like to thank Johnny & Associates and Travis Japan for making this interview possible.

Links to download and stream Travis Japan's Moving Pieces on various online music platforms are available here.

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