Babyraids Japan makes their way to JPOP Summit to spread their “emotional idol rock” music and invigorate attendees. APA sits down with the group to get to know them better before their first U.S. performance.
APA: Welcome to San Francisco! Please introduce yourselves.
Ricopin: I’m Ricopin! I’m in charge of MC-ing. I’m always talking, so the other members say I’m like a broken radio. [laughs] I like fashion and makeup.
Denchan: I’m Denchan! I’m the leader of the group. I’m into fashion and movies.
Manatsu: I’m Manatsu! I’m the center and main vocalist of the group. I like everything Disney such as going to Disneyland and watching Disney movies.
Naosuke: I’m Naosuke! I’m in charge of doing variety shows and… muscles. [flexes & laughs] My hobbies are games and reading Shounen Jump.
Rioton: I’m Rioton! In the group, I’m… [laughs] the youngest! I like reading books.
APA: I saw on social media that you’ve been doing some sightseeing around San Francisco!
Manatsu: We have been taking photos around the city for goods like calendars and photo books. We were so excited to see the Painted Ladies because we saw it in Full House! We were really happy that we got to visit. We also went to the Golden Gate Bridge and ate clam chowder the other day. It was really tasty!
APA: Can you tell us a bit about your recent single, “〇〇〇〇〇”?
Manatsu: The song is being used as the ending theme song for an anime called “Fastest Finger First.” As the anime is about a quiz bowl and the students are nervous about competing but are working hard to do well, we expressed those feelings in this song. Our choreography also has us swinging our arms in a circle motion, which is really fun because the crowd does it with us too when we perform.
APA: Your performances are known to be really energetic. What do you do to keep your energy up?
Denchan: We just think about the kind of performance we want to show to the crowd and gather up our energy that way. Before we perform, we also hit each other on the back as like a “starting push.”
APA: Although JPOP Summit will be your first performance in the U.S., you performed in other countries before, right? How were they different?
Denchan: Yes, before this we have performed at the Japan Expo in France and in Shanghai. In France, the attendees each really enjoyed the music themselves. In Shanghai, the crowd had incredible energy!
APA: Each of you has a very distinct and signature look in the group such as your individual hairstyles or accessories. If you could trade a look with somebody else, who would you want to switch with?
Manatsu: I want to be Ricopin. [laughs] Since she has good fashion sense, I think I’d be good at selecting what looks good on me.
APA: We’ve prepared some questions to get to know each of you better, so please select a card each.
[If you were an animal, what would you be?]
Ricopin: Ehh what do I want to be…? I think being human is the best. [laughs] I’d want to be a sloth! I would just hang onto trees and eat all day. If I could also live in a place like San Francisco where it’s warm and breezy, that would be fun.
[Name three of your favorite artists.]
Denchan: I have so many that I like… Hmm… I like the Japanese rock band Super Beaver. I also like Ed Sheeran; his new album has so many great songs. And lastly, I like Japanese singer songwriter Ren.
[What are your three must-have apps?]
Manatsu: Instagram because that’s where I can connect with fans more globally. I tend to include English captions on Instagram because I usually only just write in Japanese on my Twitter. iMovie because I can use that to edit the videos we film of our daily group activities to post on YouTube and Twitter. Lastly is B612, which is a really popular photo editing app that makes our faces look prettier. [laughs]
[What’s your favorite season?]
Naosuke: I like summer because there are so many fun events going on like festivals and fireworks.
[What’s something you haven’t done before, but want to challenge?]
Rioton: Last year, it was great to have performed overseas, but there’s still a lot about Japan I don’t know yet. I’d like to travel to various places and learn more.