Japanese boy band ONE N’ ONLY are in the midst of a five-month streak of continuous new releases in celebration of the fifth anniversary of their debut. Billboard Japan spoke to the group prior to the Feb. 24 release of “Get That (PT-BR ver.)” about how they felt gearing up for their first ever Latin America tour, beginning in March.
The first song you released during this five month string of releases was “YOU???” What kind of impact did it have?
HAYATO: Since “YOU???” was going to be the first song in this five month run of new songs, we picked a really distinctive song. The fast tempo gives a sense of ONE N’ ONLY’s momentum, which sets it a bit apart from our previous releases, so we were a little worried about how it would be received, but as soon as we released it our SWAGs (ONE N’ ONLY fans) were clamoring to see it performed live, which was great.
And now, without even taking a moment to catch your breath, you’re releasing another single. This second release, “Get That (PT-BR ver.),” will be your second song with Portuguese lyrics, following “L.O.C.A.”
EIKU: My first impression when I heard it was that it had a Latin flavor, so it felt like a ONE N’ ONLY song, and that it was quiet but you could really feel the rhythm. The Portuguese fits really well. It’s also easier to sing than “L.O.C.A.”
REI: “L.O.C.A” was hard!
EIKU: Yeah. It was fast and there were a lot of lyrics, so singing it was hard. Compared to that, this song is a lot easier to sing.
I think you’re the first group in Japan to release two songs with Portuguese versions.
TETTA: That’s why we’re “one and only!”
HAYATO: When we performed in Brazil, the audience was singing along, which was awesome. We’re going to be touring Latin America, and I think they’ll be happy that we have more songs in local languages. I certainly hope they will.
TETTA: I was also happy that we’d be able to perform this song on our Latin America tour. This time, I understood the lyrics right from the demo stage. It took some time for me to be able to make out the lyrics to L.O.C.A, so I guess I’ve advanced a little.
How did you feel when the decision was made to tour Latin America?
KENSHIN: I was really happy. Last time we performed there it was for an event, but this time it’s a whole tour. So far, we’re planning to perform at three venues in Brazil and one in Chile.
HAYATO: They’re big venues, so I can’t even imagine what it’ll be like!
HAYATO: I hope all our Latin American followers on TikTok come see us (laughs).
KENSHIN: I want everybody to come!
REI, how did you feel when the decision was made to tour in Latin America?
REI: It felt great. It felt like something that I’d just dreamed of before COVID hit was now becoming a reality. Brazil’s on the other side of the world, so it’s not that easy to just get up and go there. I’m honored to be able to go again, and I hope we keep going there in the future.
You can go once without any particular reason, but you need a solid reason to be able to go again, right?
NAOYA: Right. Last time, we went to São Paulo, but this time we’re going to Rio de Janeiro and Porto Alegre. Brazil’s a huge country, so just getting around is going to be hard. That’s why I’m really looking forward to seeing our Brazilian SWAGs who couldn’t get to our show last time. I’m going to be celebrating my birthday while we’re in Chile, too.
What’s the music video for the new song like?
HAYATO: We tried to make it feel like a Brazilian party. It’s unlike our previous music videos, so I think it’ll really make a different impression.
KENSHIN: It’s sexy.
HAYATO: We’re releasing five months of new singles, so I want to be able to create different moods and feels.
What are you looking forward to doing in Brazil?
NAOYA: Last time, we only went to São Paulo, and it was like half work, half vacation. This time, we’re going to be on the road a lot. I wonder what we’ll have time to do?
TETTA: The jet lag will probably be intense, too. We’ll have to be careful not to get sick or injured!
NAOYA: We’ll be touring, so we need to prepare so that through each entire show, the audience is thinking “ONE N’ ONLY is the best.”
So you think the way you put on the show will be different than in Japan?
HAYATO: Totally different. We’ll be creating our set list based on what we learned from our last show.
TETTA: There’s a lot less distance between us and the audience in Brazil.
HAYATO: The audience reacts really well, so I want to try harder at MCing. We’ll probably have an interpreter, but I think it’s better when we communicate in our own words, so I’ll study a lot before we go. We’ll do our best to get a foothold through the tour so that we can go again someday.
KENSHIN: I also want to express my love in Portuguese.
You’ve got a solo show scheduled for right after you get back to Japan, right?
KENSHIN: I’m really looking forward to it. We’ll be coming back from Latin America stronger than ever.
NAOYA: It’s not something you can experience every day.
HAYATO: It’s going to be a wonderful and really interesting experience, so we’ll make sure to have fun while on tour!
—This interview by Kana Yoshida first appeared on Billboard Japan