Travis Japan, the rising star in the world of J-Pop, has not only conquered their home country but has also made waves in the hearts of fans around the globe. Known for their catchy tunes and perfectly synchronized dance, this exceptionally talented group has achieved remarkable success since their debut.
We had an exclusive interview with Travis Japan at OC Japan Fair 2023, where they shared their journey since their debut, dreams for the future, and heartfelt messages to global fans. Come with us as we delve into the world of Travis Japan and their unwavering passion!
Read [LIVE REPORT] Travis Japan – A Debut Anniversary Live at OC Japan Fair:
1) First of all, congrats on your debut anniversary!! We’re so happy to see that you celebrated this special day with your fans here in LA. How has everything been going so far, and did anything change after you returned to Japan and debuted last year?
Noel: We were absolutely thrilled to perform Travis Japan’s original songs on music TV shows. Before our debut, we were covering songs from other artists within our agency, so getting to showcase our own music was a significant milestone for us. We’re excited to share that our debut album, featuring plenty of brand-new music, is set to be released December 20th!
KKS: That’s wonderful! Congrats on the album release!
Travis Japan: Thank you!
Noel: I think we’ll have more opportunities to perform a wider range of songs in the future, so we will keep working hard!
2) Do all of you agree that your musha shugyo, training in LA was crucial for your debut?
Travis Japan: Absolutely! Our debut wouldn’t have been possible without our time in Los Angeles.
Travis Japan【LA のスーパーで爆買い】お買い物ついでに変顔選手権
3) Last time we spoke with you, you shared your love for Target with us! Were you able to stop by Target this time? If so, what did you get?
Genta: I’m still a huge fan of Target! I still want to become the Target logo someday. (laughs) This time around, I’ve already made three trips to Target, including one this morning!
KKS: What did you buy?
Genta: I bought lots of snacks!
Noel: There are so many different types of snacks at Target!
Umi: Genta, didn’t you fill an entire suitcase with cereal?
Genta: Oh yeah, I did! One of my suitcases is dedicated to cereal and snacks from Target.
KKS: It sounds like you brought an entire suitcase just for Target snacks.
Genta: Yes, exactly! (laughs)
Machu: We also bought body soap. Thanks to Target, we don’t need to bring anything from Japan!
Shime: As soon as we arrived at the airport, we went straight to Target in a car. (laughs)
Travis Japan – ‘JUST DANCE!’ with Hollywood Sign
4) During our previous interview, you mentioned that you would like to continue adopting American habits, such as making eye contact, saying “Have a nice day,” or complimenting strangers. Are you still practicing these habits in Japan?
Shizu: My apologies, we couldn’t!
Noel: But “Bless you” has become something I say to anyone now!
Travis Japan: Oh, definitely!
Noel: In the studio or on the set, when the staff sneezes, “bless you” just comes out naturally.
Genta: Speaking of which, I said “bless you” to Fuma Kikuchi from Sexy Zone on the set of our current drama, and he got annoyed, saying, “Are you trying to act all Americanized?” (laughs)
Travis Japan: (laughs)
Umi: Ouch. (laughs)
5) What was the first thing you ate, the place you visited or the thing you did after you went back to Japan?
Machu: Right after coming back to Japan, I headed straight to a hot spring!
Umi: You took a bath with your suitcase, right?
Travis Japan: (laughs)
Machu: When we were in America, we only had a shower in our shared living space, so I missed hot springs a lot. I went to one right away and enjoyed a peaceful soak while looking at the sky.
Shime: I wanted to feel like I had returned to Tokyo, so I first took a walk in Omotesando.
KKS: How was it compared to Beverly Hills?
Shime: There are quite a few similarities.
Chaka: They’re quite alike, aren’t they? Especially around Rodeo Drive.
Shime: In Tokyo, you can easily hail a taxi because there are many of them, which is something distinct to the city. So, I did just that in Omotesando after a long time.
6) So far, you have released “JUST DANCE!,” “Moving Pieces,” and “Candy Kiss,” with English lyrics and synchronized dance. These songs have a different approach compared to other artists from your agency. Could you please share the distinctive qualities or selling points specific to Travis Japan’s music?
Noel: To dream big, I’d say that it would be wonderful if, at some point in the future, even though we don’t know how many years it might take, Travis Japan’s music could become a global standard. We want to create songs that people all around the world can enjoy, where everyone thinks, “This song is great, these lyrics are fantastic!” We want to keep working together with our staff to achieve that goal.
I believe the charm and core of Travis Japan’s music lie in our ongoing commitment to crafting music that’s not only enjoyable to create but also keeps us excited.
7) Could you tell us what fans can expect from the songs on your album?
Umi: The album features a variety of songs. There are chill songs, mood-setting songs, and some fun songs. I think if you buy this album, it can keep you entertained for about half a year.
Chaka: Half a year is too short!
Genta: It’s packed with the distinctive Travis Japan style from before, and it also includes music that represents our evolving challenges. You’ll discover original songs from our pre-debut days and unit songs as well.
KKS: That’s wonderful! We’re looking forward to it!
Chaka: Thank you!
8) As Travis Japan, what kind of artist would you like to become in 10 years, and do you have any specific goals or aspirations you’d like to share?
Umi: We aspire to become a group that travels all over the world in the future! Not just as a group, but also individually, we’d like to perform and make a positive impact in various countries. We’d be delighted if, in 10 years, there are many people who want to see us all over the world.
Noel: We want to produce a lot of music that resonates with a broad audience, much like Maroon 5 or Backstreet Boys.
9) Finally, could you please convey a message to your fans in America?
Shizu: Travis Japan recently celebrated its first anniversary, but we hope to keep going with this group for many decades to come. I’d love to keep performing “Yume no Hollywood,” the first song we sang, with my fellow members. So, please continue to support us!
Shime: Hello, I’m Ryuya Shimekake, “Shime.” Thank you for your ongoing support. As we celebrate our first anniversary, we’re excited to move into our second year with even more determination and a readiness to take on new challenges. We want to continue bringing smiles and happiness through Travis Japan’s music and entertainment. Thank you very much.
Noel: I’m Noeru Kawashima, “Shime.”
Shime: No, no! You’re Noel!
Noel: I’m Noel. In 2023, we spent about one month in total in the US. We participated in events like the Grammy Awards, recording sessions, and MV shoots. The next time we return, we hope to perform live shows, and I would be thrilled to meet all of you if we get the opportunity to hold a concert here. Thank you for your continuous support.
Umi: Thank you for always supporting us. We’ve released various songs and an album this time, so if you know about us, we’d appreciate it if you could help us spread the word to your friends! Let people know that there’s such a wonderful group and share our music with them. We really want to bring our concerts to you here as soon as possible, so please continue to cheer us on and wait for us. Thank you very much.
Chaka: We are eager to see Travis Japan’s popularity grow even further in the US. We’d love to contribute to sharing Japanese culture through our work and look forward to your continued support and mutual encouragement.
Genta: Thank you for supporting us in the past and in the future! We’re thrilled about the album release in December and eagerly anticipate sharing the joy with our fans. Our goal is to continue sharing these happy moments with you for the long term. Please check out our first album, and we hope to meet you at our concerts! Thank you very much.
Machu: We have many dreams, such as appearing at the Grammy Awards, going on world tours, and fulfilling various dreams one by one with our fans. We’d like to create an environment where American fans can easily connect with us, and we also hope to evolve into artists who journey to diverse places. Another personal ambition of mine is to become so well-known that when I ask “Like?” everyone responds with “Machu Picchu!”
KKS: It became a signature call during your self-introduction in today’s MC! I was surprised!
Machu: Indeed, I’m deeply grateful for the response! Someday, during a world tour, I wish for the “Machu Picchu” call and response to become known worldwide!
KKS: Do you also use this call in Japan? Do you also use this call in Japan?
Machu: I do it occasionally, even in casual settings!
Umi: He does it while eating, too!
Noel: Sometimes, when I call “Machu,” he responds with “Picchu” echoing back. (laughs)
Machu: I’d love to keep spreading it! Thank you for your continued support.
Check out our interview video from Anime Expo 2022!
Kaito “Chaka” Miyachika
Kaito “Umi” Nakamura
Ryuya “Shime” Shimekake
Noeru “Noel” Kawashima
Shizuya “Shizu” Yoshizawa
Genta “G” Matsuda
Kaito “Machu” Matsukura
X (Japanese only): https://twitter.com/TravisJapan_cr
Official site: https://www.capitolrecords.com/artist/travis-japan/