When you are in Japan, there will be some kind of media exposure daily for any artists from Johnny’s Jimusho but probably a little harder to catch those who do not have CD debut.
My favourite Johnny’s group is KinKi Kids. Both are 40 years old this year, so it’s kind of funny calling them “Kids” but well you have 52-year-old Higashiyama-san still in this group called “Shonentai” (少年隊) so well, I guess they can still call themselves “Kids”. It was KinKi Kids’ 22nd CD debut anniversary just over last weekend on 21 July 2019. *clapx3* There hasn’t been a lot of group activities recently but it’s still nice to see them once a week on the TV for their regular TV show “KinKi Kids no Bunbuboon“.
Six Tones? Stones?
I first notice about this group “SixTones” (pronounced as “Stones”, courtesy of Johnny-san’s superb naming sense. LOL) a couple of months ago when I was casually browsing through Youtube and one of their fans uploaded this very creative video clip from this TV show called “VS Arashi” where one of the SixTones members was describing about an incident that happened during the 2018-2019 Johnny’s Countdown Concert.
Producer is none other than Takki!
It’s noteworthy to mention that the music video of this song “JAPONICA STYLE” is produced by Hideaki Takizawa himself. Takki really knows how to capture the essence of these boys, the camera angles, the atmosphere of the song, etc. I never get tired watching this video on repeat. But this song is so highly promoted via this official channel that they even have dance version, recording version, and other live versions. It’s something they can just bundle into a CD+DVD single package and sell for $$$ once they debut.
Profile of SixTones
One of the main vocals: Jesse
My favourite member from SixTones is Jesse. You might have guessed from his name that he is mixed-blood of American father and Japanese mother and I was surprised that he’s also the distant relative of Kei Inoo from Hey! Say! JUMP. Supposedly the only one who can speak fluent English in an American accent. Apparently, he looks up to Domoto Tsuyoshi. If you have a chance to watch his live performances, you will notice he’s really good at singing AND dancing despite his long arms/legs. (Sorry, no offence to Tomoya Nagase. LOL) And what really attracts me is not only this, but the “gap” between his performance and when he talks. You probably need to watch all the videos when they were driving or doing some random things to notice his crazy laughter and silly comments.
Another main vocal: Taiga
Another main vocal of the group is Taiga Kyomoto. He’s the son of a famous artist, Masaki Kyomoto in Japan. Probably also the one who actively performs in musical, i.e. “Elizabeth”. You will probably see a lot of fans saying he’s 美しい (utsukushii) because of his androgynous looks, singing, and gestures.
Juri Tanaka is in charge of most rap parts when they are performing. SixTones does a lot of KAT-TUN song covers which is great for me to relive those songs through this new group. KAT-TUN is actually one of my favourite groups back then and I was following them even before they debut in 2006. Imagine my shock when I learned that Juri is actually the younger brother of Koki Tanaka (ex KAT-TUN member). How coincidental can this be?!
It’s not often that I will notice the juniors but Shintaro Morimoto is another boy you will notice in the huge ocean of boys doing their mass dance. Since I haven’t been following the juniors regularly, my image of him stopped at when he was this super adorable 10-year-old boy. It’s probably not widely known but he has an older brother Ryutaro Morimoto (ex Johnny’s Jr.) who has in fact been part of the unit “Hey! Say! 7” within “Hey! Say! JUMP” dancing alongside Ryosuke Yamada but he left after some incident.
Cool and Sexy : Hokuto
Hokuto Matsumura is the cool and sexy member in the group. Probably the one most into fashion too, in fact, he was ranked in top 10 for 4 consecutive years for “Best Jeanist”. I like how the rest likes to tease him and Taiga because they were rumoured to be on “bad terms”. You can watch the video here with English subtitles too!
The pure one: Yugo
Yugo Kochi is this pure and hardworking boy in SixTones. He reminds me Yuichi Nakamura (KAT-TUN) and Masaki Aiba (ARASHI). But he’s the one in the group with the most experience in variety shows too, with his regular weekly appearance in “School Revolution!” with a couple of other Hey! Say! JUMP members.
FNS performance 2019/7/24
Usually, you can see their performances in “Shonen Club”, a weekly TV show that features Johnny’s Juniors on NHK, but other than that, it’s pretty hard to see them performing on other TV shows. So fans are all excited when we know they will appear on FujiTV “FNS Music Fes. in Summer”. For a non-debut group to do a solo performance! WOOHOO!
In Japan, people are still using Twitter quite a lot, so it’s something when you see them trending like this even before the show starts.
Yes, it’s only a 2-minute performance. This is how much time they are given to make an impression. I was surprised they did the original choreography of the song with the fans, then changing to the new choreography which you see in the MV. I’m sure Takki is also giving his advice for this performance since he’s looking after these boys now.
Too bad I lost the ballots to watch these boys for their September musical “Shonentachi” but hopefully there will be another chance to catch them live! And fingers crossed that they can do a CD debut soon!