The popularity of K-Pop groups, such as TWICE and IZ*ONE, which are active in the Japanese music scene and feature Japanese members, has led to an increasing number of new K-Pop groups to which Japanese members and trainees belong. With the high-quality K-Pop songs and dances, the younger generation has shown more of an interest in aiming for a Korean debut.
The 10-member group Cherry Bullet, who debuted earlier this year, has three Japanese members: Kokoro, Remi, and May.
The three girls shared with Oricon Music how they overcame obstacles in preparation for their Korean debut.
Question: Please tell us how you debuted in your K-Pop group. Why did you aim for a Korean debut?
Kokoro: I was interested in K-Pop since I was little. When I watched K-Pop artists perform, it was so cool that I thought, “I want to be able to perform like that someday.”
Remi: I’ve always loved Korea. I travel a lot, and I want to be an artist who can play an active part in the world.
May: I always listened to K-Pop and listened to it because of the dancing. I’ve also attended K-Pop artist lives. Previously, I was in a K-Pop dance cover group (MRY-N☆), but when I was cast, I was challenged to become a K-Pop artist for the first time.
Question: Did you have a lot of trouble before your debut?
Kokoro: I worked hard studying Korean so I could enter a Korean agency!
Remi: When I first went to the agency, I was the only Japanese trainee so I couldn’t understand anything and didn’t know anything. However, while practicing, Hae Yoon unni and all of the members helped me overcome it.
May: When I started my life as a trainee, I couldn’t speak Korean and had difficulty practicing day-to-day from early in the morning until late at night. However, it’s natural to practice hard to perfect your performance and it was a process I had to overcome to debut. I believed that I would debut one day, so I did my best.
Question: When working in the Korean entertainment scene, what are the negatives and positives?
Kokoro: I can help the members when we’re working in Japan! The hard part is that I still can’t hear difficult words, so that’s frustrating. So, I’ll keep doing my best studying Korean!
Remi: The positive is being able to talk to Japanese fans during signing sessions. I don’t feel any demerits other than difficult words.
May: I feel that a positive is when we go to Japan, I can teach Japanese to other members. The difficult thing is Korean because even now, there are times when I cannot say what I want to say. Also, because I’m away from my family, it’s hard not to see them often.
Question: Please tell us your current goals and dreams.
Kokoro: I want to win a newcomer award.
Remi: I want more and more people to know Cherry Bullet!
May: My goal is to win this year’s rookie award. My dream is for Cherry Bullet to become a group that everyone knows! As I have received so much power from K-Pop, I want to be a person who can empower others.
Question: How do you stay motivated?
Kokoro: I write in a diary!
Remi: I face forward and do my best!
May: It’s not a definite action, but I think living your best every day. (Lol)
Question: An increasing number of the younger generation (in Japan) is aiming to debut in Korea. Could you give advice or message for the next generation?
Kokoro: K-Pop has the best performances! I want many people who like singing and dancing to challenge themselves.
Remi: Only those who are capable of shining on stage are K-Pop artists. I think because it looks cool, more people are aiming to become idols. Dreams come true if you wish and work hard, so let’s do our best together!
May: Recently, K-Pop has been popular in Japan, but the main reason of people who want to debut in Korea is because of the appeal of K-Pop. Japanese people aiming to become K-Pop artists, it’s not easy, but if you do your best, you will definitely make your debut! It is difficult, but let’s do our best for the sake of our dreams!