[Trans – Interview] MYNAME Takes Its Place As Hallyu Idols In Japan, “Going Out There Without The Halo Of Kpop Is Our Secret”

[Sports Seoul] MYNAME, who just wrapped up promotions after releasing their 4th single album ‘Just Tell Me’ last month, are more known in Japan than in Korea. With ‘Stop The Time’ released last March, they topped the Oricon charts and Tower Records Shibuya branch’s daily sales charts, showing their hot popularity. MYNAME recently invited their Japanese fans to Korea for a 2-day-1-night camp fanmeeting and will soon be going to Japan for their concert tour.

What is MYNAME’s secret of succeeding in Japan 5 years after their debut? Seyong said, “We didn’t go into the market through the K-pop or Hallyu boom. We achieved those results in Japan from scratch.” He explained further, “The unique thing about the Japanese fans is that they will keep liking you once they have decided to like you. We started from really small concert venues, which slowly got wider.”

Like they said, MYNAME did not enter the Japanese market basking in the light of K-pop. They stuck to the ‘localization strategy’ from the beginning. They’ve released 3 full-length albums in Japan alone, with about 50 Japanese songs. Whenever they have concerts now, they can fill the space with four to five thousand fans.

JunQ said, “The K-pop groups that do well in Japan have one of two strategies. They either approach their fans and be close to them, or they go as artists. We focused on getting closer to our fans. Through handshake events, we get to talk to each of our fans, even if it’s just for 10 seconds.” He added, “When a Korean group holds their first concert in Japan, curiosity pulls in the crowd, and the audience becomes quite large. It’s because they’re curious to see how different this group is from other groups. They judge the first concerts that way. The fans start to see the group’s ‘sincerity’ from the second concert onwards. They can see if a group is just there for the sake of being there, or if they are giving their all in their promotions. The Japanese fans are really strict and they value sincerity.”

What does MYNAME think is the difference between their Korean and Japanese fans? “In Korea, digital sales are important, while the Japanese value analog sales. In Korea, they focus on TV, but in Japan, it’s concerts. The demand for analog is much higher in Japan, so they prefer magazines and newspapers. The general age range of the fans in Japan is also wide. There is a 72-year-old grandma who comes to our tours.”

MYNAME is not only popular in Japan. They are the most popular in Kazakhstan. Seyong explained, “We’ve been to Kazakhstan twice. A media representative even said that MYNAME is in Kpop’s top two with Big Bang in Kazakhstan. We also found that funny and interesting.”

Of course, MYNAME are worried about some things like how their popularity and awareness in Korea is not much compared to Japan. “We have to go out there a little more. Lately, singers with the bigger fanclubs are popular. Of course it’ll be nice if we have a huge fandom, but we want to hear that we’re fun even from other groups’ fans. Our goal is to perform for many years and release good albums and songs.”

Source: Sports Seoul
Translation: MYNAMESG

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