ONE N’ ONLY Interview on March Single ‘We’ll rise again’ – Billboard
J-pop boy band ONE N’ ONLY released a new single, “We’ll Rise Again” on March 8, the third in a five-month series of new releases by the group currently under way to celebrate the group’s fifth anniversary, after “YOU?? ? and “Get That (PT-BR version)”. “We’ll Grow Again” is also the six-member group’s first single in about four years to be released in physical form since “Category/My Love” in 2019.
Members of EIKU, TETTA, REI, HAYATO, KENSHIN and NAOYA chatted with Billboard Japan about their March offer and broke down each of the tracks included on the CD single.
“We will rise again” is the theme of your film. Battle King! -We will rise again-which will be released in Japanese theaters on March 10.
HAYATO: This song has been around for a while, but when we were chosen as the band for our first movie with the main characters, we changed the lyrics to match the content of the movie.
Since you knew this was going to be the theme of the band’s first film, you must have felt different than usual when you recorded it.
EICU: Yes. We recorded the first verse before we started filming. Then we recorded the second verse after it ended so that helped us give it more feel because we could see how true the song was to the film and the meaning of the words became clearer.
HAYATO: Scenes come to mind, don’t they?
EICU: Yeah. Later we re-recorded the first verse and made it even better. The character I play, Genjiro, used to be a delinquent, but he starts to dance hip hop and finds his dream. There is a scene where he expresses his determination to the director of the art school, and it’s a really touching moment. I sang my part with this scene in mind, so my voice sounds more emotional.
THETTA: The film depicts a future in which the characters strive for global success, and singing with that feeling is the same as now that we’re ONE N’ ONLY, so it was easy for me to get into that feeling.
REI: The lyrics are really related to the story, so I think you can enjoy it twice!
Will fans be able to watch your film outside of Japan?
TETTA: Unfortunately, there are no plans for an international theatrical release yet.
HAYATO: But video-on-demand streaming services are everywhere these days, so it would be nice if people could catch it.
THETTA: We could do our own voice-over.
NAOYA: Come on, there will be subtitles! [Everyone laughs]
HAYATO: But if it gets dubbed, I’d like to see who will do the voices for us.
NAOYA: The film version of the drama series I starred in was called his – Koi suru tsumori nante nakatta – (“I didn’t mean to fall in love”) distributed in Brazil with subtitles. I know someone from Brazil who got to know ONE N’ ONLY through this.
KENSHIN: We could do a Portuguese version of the first rap battle scene.
EIKU: Then we would have to ask everyone who performed with us to learn Portuguese.
KENSHIN: Sounds like a lot of work, but fun!
“We’ll Rise Again” will be released on CD along with digital formats. What do you think about it?
NAOJA: The last time it was “Category/My Love” was in 2019, so that was a long time ago.
HAYATO: Releasing songs in a physical format is always great.
Two other songs are included on the CD single. Tell us about “GIFT”.
HAYATO: It’s a tender love song after “My Love”. I think our SWAG also likes such simple J-POP numbers. It has a more mature outlook than “My Love” and the chorus contains a message about the importance of ordinary things in life. We performed it at our Christmas concert last year, so I’m looking forward to sharing it with everyone.
REI: The lyrics are simple and the song changes key so it’s not boring. We sing the words clearly so that the message is likely to reach us.
HAYATO: The choreography is also cute.
REI: It would be great if people could remember the hand waving at the end and the hug gestures as they are easy to imitate.
NAOYA: Another song, “QUEEN”, is quite bold for us. This is the sexiest song we’ve ever made.
HAYATO: It depends how you look at it, but it’s hot! [Laughs]
NAOIA: Without a doubt. I want people to see our performance after memorizing the text.
HAYATO: We did a performance using a mic stand as one of the highlights of our tour, and when you listen to it with the content of the song in mind, it’s definitely different!
REI: The lyrics are hard to understand the first time, aren’t they?
TETTA: We encourage everyone to read the lyrics while listening.
REI: People will be like, “Oh la la!” [Laughs]
THETTA: This is a song that we can sing because we are who we are today.
REI: There aren’t many songs like this in Japan. This kind of content would be glossed over in other J-pop songs, but here it comes forward, which I think is a message from our songwriters that they expect us to express things like this and compete with our musicianship.
KENSHIN: The song is carefully broken down into each of our parts and we try out new expressions right down to our fingertips, so I’d like people to pay attention to that too.
I look forward to seeing these songs live again.
EIKU: These tracks will definitely add power to our live performances, so I hope everyone enjoys these three songs this month.
—This interview with Kana Yoshida first appeared on Billboard Japan.