JapanUp! July Issue(vol.177)
J-pop Rising Star Idol group,
▶︎ Kaito Miyachika
▶︎ Noel Kawashima
Travis Japan flew from Japan all the way to Los Angeles with the goal of polishing their skills as performers. On March 27th, they performed in the “World of Dance Championship Series OC 2022 (WOD)”, taking third place. The group’s leader, Kaito “Chaka” Miyachika, and most senior member, Noeru “Noel” Kawashima, talked to JapanUp! In the first of a three-part close-up interview series.
Overall, they felt very confident about the result of WOD, their first big performance in the United States. Noel said, “For the first half, we tried to express a Japanese spirit through the performance. The music, filled with Japanese sounds, and the ‘haori’ (Japanese traditional wear) costume made the number traditional and cool.” Chaka, who handled the choreography and remixing of the piece, said, “It was an amazing stage where I was able to bring to life all the ideas I had in mind from the moment I knew it was something we were pursuing. When I heard the applause and cheers coming from the whole venue, I was just so touched.”
Chaka has been dancing since he was a little kid; sending his resume to Johnny & Associates at the encouragement of his mother, where he was quickly accepted and began his life as a trainee. On the other hand, Noel decided to start dancing even younger; entering the entertainment agency after seeing the musical “The Lion King” at the age of six.
It has been 10 years since Travis Japan was formed in 2012. Both Chaka and Noel have been working hard for Travis Japan, in addition to making names for themselves in solo careers throughout various fields.
Describing Travis Japan, Chaka said: “We are a group that has formed a rather unique chemistry from seven completely different individual characters. In the past, each person might have looked in their own direction, but now we are creating one great thing together.” Noel continued, “I’m basically the type of person who sees things objectively by suppressing emotions, and at first it was a little difficult for me to work on something with others. However, I learned from the other members that I can value my own emotions while actually helping the entire group.”
Their future goals are to improve their English and release songs in the United States and worldwide. “We want to build up a sense of power from the precious experiences gained from our daily lives here. We want to bring them together and become better able to express who we are to the world through our performances.”
Travis Japan: Who Are They?
A seven-member dance & vocal performance group hailing from one of Japan’s most famous entertainment agencies, Johnny & Associates. Travis Japan is currently active as pre-debuted trainees called “Johnnys’ Jrs.” working hard toward their dream of superstardom.
Since arriving in Los Angeles in March, they have been taking English classes, vocal and dance lessons, and have participated in a number of national dance competitions and local events gearing up for the WOD finals in July.