[INTERVIEW] Japanese idol sees South Korean music scene as a platform of opportunity

Japanese idol Miyu Takeuchi talks about her experience in South Korea during interview with Aju Business Daily on September 1 [Photograph by Yoo Soo-mi = [email protected]]

SEOUL – Miyu Takeuchi’s endless desire to live her life doing what she wants has captivated the Japanese singer ever since she entered a children’s modeling contest at an amusement park at the age of seven years. The desire drove her to become a child actress and become a member of AKB48, one of Japan’s iconic girl groups. The 25-year-old had spent nine and a half years on stage as a member of the country’s best idol group.

Suddenly, an opportunity to start her career in South Korea was given to Miyu, who was making her dream come true, sprinting to where her heart was heading. She had the choice of whether or not to participate in “Produce 48”, a musical audition program co-created by entertainment agencies in South Korea and Japan. It was a path she had never walked before. It would be assessed in a foreign country. However, the fear of starting a new career in a new country could not stop his desire.

“It’s good to meet you,” Miyu said in a Korean pop-up at the start of her interview with Aju Business Daily in early September. It has been three years since she started her career in South Korea after Produce 48. The Japanese singer does not have a management agency, but she hopes to stay in Seoul for a while as she thinks the most way. fast to meet fans around the world through musical lies in South Korea.

Despite the singer showing little confidence in speaking Korean, it was clear that Miyu had a good grasp of the language. Translations were only needed occasionally when difficult Korean words appeared. She unraveled stories about her life and K-pop in a calm voice with eyes shining with curiosity.

For celebrities, it is not easy to live in another country as the process involves the complete transformation of living environments, including its main language spoken, culture and relationships with others. Maybe because Miyu is already a veteran who started her career at the age of seven, settling in South Korea wasn’t too difficult, she said, adding that the support of her parents inspired Miyu to move on and start a new career.

“I’ve always wondered what makes my fellow South Korean artists so talented, even though we all work in the same entertainment industry.”

It was 2013 when Miyu strongly recognized the presence of K-pop for the first time through Girls’ Generation and other K-pop girl groups that overwhelmed Japan with extravagant and delicate performances. Miyu was shocked that the South Korean girl groups exhibited totally different characteristics than their Japanese counterparts.

The flawless dancing and flawless live singing skills of K-pop bands were aspects that were not required of Japanese bands. When Miyu was active as a member of AKB48, Japanese idols had to look cute and naive to fans. “At that time in Japan, it didn’t matter if you could sing or dance. The popularity of an idol depended mainly on your character and kindness rather than your talents.”

In Miyu’s eyes, South Korean idols were on “completely different levels.” “As a Japanese idol, I learned to respect South Korean idols after watching their professional performances,” she said. At the moment of her wonder, Miyu got the opportunity to participate in Produce 48. The singer thought that South Korea would be an ideal stage for her to develop her skills for the world stage.

“It was not difficult to make the decision to move to another country. I thought ‘it’s time for me to go to Korea.’ Maybe it was because I dreamed of starting a new career in another country all the time, ”she said. For Miyu, 2018 was a turning point in her life. Her appearance in Produce 48 allowed fans in South Korea and Japan to find a new Miyu. His talent for singing, piano, guitar, trumpet and composition stood out.

After competing at Produce 48, Miyu returned home, but decided to “graduate” from AKB48 and return to South Korea in 2019. Her desire for music motivated her to come to South Korea. Before coming to South Korea, her anxiety built up in her heart as she still thought about her life after AKB48. As a member of a Japanese idol group, it was not easy to seek new paths in her career as she had to attend monthly events to join the core membership roster.

[Courtesy of Mnet]

Miyu had always wondered if she should go solo or find a new career. With a strong desire to go solo, she wanted to stand proud and show her talent not only in Japan but also on the world stage. For Miyu, South Korea was a special and engaging scene and a place to step into the global music scene by honing her skills through the systematic K-pop scene.

“In fact, any Japanese idol would say, ‘if you want to go global, just go to South Korea.’ Everyone in the entertainment industry would feel the same. Even internet critics would say ‘yes. you are pursuing a career only in Japan, it is very difficult to go global in the future ”.

K-pop is seen as a preparation platform for the world stage as the Japanese music industry, which flourished in the late 1990s and early 2000s, has lost much of its craftsmanship. Miyu said.

Japan was the second largest music market in the world after the United States since the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) began publishing the Global Music Report in 2002. However, the Japanese industry has grown. is focused only on domestic demand by relying on the domestic market to make profit.

Now, Japan sees K-pop as a platform that has adopted various musical styles to adapt to the global market. The South Korean music industry, affected by its Japanese counterpart, had created ordinary music, but K-pop is now much different by adopting a hybrid platform that targets different fan groups around the world.

Recently, the pop music industries of South Korea and Japan have started to influence each other. Much like Miyu who grew up in Japan, J-pop was also boosted by the success of K-pop. The Japanese music industry accepts that an idol’s talent is more important than kindness, and that female idols are treated better, Miyu said, adding that she was surprised by the performance of her junior members of the l ‘AKB48.

“South Korea and Japan have their own strengths and I believe the two countries should share their strengths, grow together and become closer to each other.”

Over the past two and a half years, Miyu has honed her skills and been able to put together realistic plans and fulfill her dream while undergoing systematic training in singing, dancing, and acting. But the singer confessed that she felt overwhelmed by something she didn’t recognize during her life in Japan.

“There is so much that I have to do on my own and more energy had to be spent. There were so many tasks to do that I had expected. In Japan, when you sign a contract with an agency, you can get started right away. However, in South Korea, you should invest time and effort to get the preparations active, even if you have already debuted. “

Miyu’s joy and excitement for her success was huge because she put everything in it. She said the moment she felt ‘It’s finally done! I now have my own album! I can show it to everyone! ‘ was one of the happiest times of his life in South Korea. Now she has music that she loves and wants to do. She wants to improve “Miyu’s music” and believes that an artist is only able to pursue a lasting career when she has found her own color and musical styles.

It is true that restarting his career in South Korea was not so easy. She was lonely at first, sometimes telling herself that she should refrain from being too lonely. Miyu became skeptical of his decision as relations between Seoul and Tokyo were not good. His skepticism grew when his career did not go very well due to a coronavirus pandemic.

Miyu thinks that if she had stayed in Japan, she would have been very different from now on with less confidence in her talent. “Of course, life in South Korea can be very tiring at times. But now I don’t feel alone at all and it surprises me. I learned to lead my own life. I really think the things that I do. learned here would help me on the world stage. “

[The original article was written in Korean by Aju Business Daily reporter Choi Ji-Hyun·Yoon Eun-sook] [This article was sponsored by the Korea Press Foundation]

© Aju Business Daily & www.ajunews.com Copyright: All material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, posted, published or broadcast without permission of Aju News Corporation.

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