Tereda Takuya, who had gaind popularity in Japan, came to Korea because of one and only dream that he want to become a famous singer in Korea even if Korea was unfamiliar to him. The Hanyang Journal met him who is starting his second life in Korea as a singer, and much more. - Ed.
A huge ambition to succeed as a singer in Korea and efforts to fulfill the ambition made Tereda Takuya. “There are many young people who have a huge ambition to achieve something in their lives but do not even try in fear of failure. I want to tell those people that it is very important to put their plans into action. Even if I could not speak any Korean when I first arrived in Korea, I came to Korea purely because I wanted to put my huge ambition to be a famous singer into action. Also, even though talking effectively and persuasively in front of many people was difficult for me, I decided to make an appearance on Non- Summit as I did not want to throw away such a great opportunity. Time to decide my next move in my life and putting more efforts on the move made me successful,” he said.
As a Japanese Man in Korea
Q. You have been in Korea for a long time and might have experienced many things here. What do you think is the most interesting about the Korean culture?
A. There are various interesting aspects of the Korean culture. One is that Korean culture is famous for its “pali- pali,ˮ or “hurry-hurryˮ mentality. People, Internet and even delivery service are very fast in Korea. The lifestyle was comfortable and appealing to me. Moreover, I like the concept of “older brotherˮ and “younger brother.ˮ The term “older brotherˮ gives me the feeling that we are very close and familiar with each other.
Q. It is widely known that you are introducing Korean culture to Japan. In what ways are you promoting the Korean culture?
A. Before my television debut, I introduced the Korean culture by showing my life in Korea through the magazine of KBS WORLD. I am also recommending some main attractions in Korea, especially when I give an interview to a Japanese journalist. However, it is unfortunate that there are still some Koreans who have a negative proclivity towards Japanese. For instance, when Korea and Japan held a soccer match, there were many enthusiastic Koreans who were rooting for the national football team in a Korean restaurant. I could not cheer for the Japanese team because of the atmosphere. There are numerous Koreans who take a jaundiced view of the Japanese. I hope that they would not judge a person by where he or she is from. I expect that Koreans could put aside the prejudice of Japanese in general and that the relations between the two countries could become friendly and cordial.
A Delicate Hand in Non-Summit
Q. You are loved by many, known under the nickname of “delicate hand” on Non-Summit. What do you think about the nickname?
A. As my seat in the studio is in the far corner of the table, sometimes it is hard to clearly discuss my ideas with other members. Whenever the situation is repeated, I stretch out my hand so as to get the floor in the discussion. This gesture became my trademark and it generated the nickname, “A delicate hand.” I actually want to sit on Zhang Yuan’s seat or Sam Ochiri’s seat because their seats would make it easier for me to clearly explain my opinion. However, even if my seat is a little bit uncomfortable, I like my nickname as the seat created my nickname and my appealing factor for the viewers.
Q. What is the crowning achievement of the appearance on television show, Non-Summit?
A. Japan mainly embraces live concerts as a means of directly communicating with fans while Korean singers communicate with their fans through broadcasts. I think gaining recognition through television programs is one of the essential ways to succeed as a singer in Korea. A famous television show, Non-Summit, helped me to make Cross Gene famous in Korea.
Starting with entertainment activity in Non-Summit, I will pursue my individual career as well. I have recently participated in filming a music video of Korean popular music named Erase. My entertainment activities in Korea were featured on NEWS23, a news program in Japan. I received lots of messages from my family and my friends after the news was broadcasted in Japan, encouraging me.
Q. A particular dance in the song named Amazing became well known to Koreans after you danced to this song in Non-Summit. What do you think about the dance and the song?
A. Some people said the dance of Amazing is embarrassing and asked what the members of Cross Gene think about the dance. Some may find it a little strange but none of our members thought that way. We thought that the dance might make a very big impact that will linger long after the song is finished.
An Ambitious Singer Dreaming No.1
Q. What inspired you to pursue singing career in Korea?
A. After graduation from high school, I auditioned in a Japanese magazine named Junon and was selected in an audition as a trainee in a famous Japanese entertainment agency, Amuse. I gained much popularity in Japan when I started to appear on stages led by Amuse from 2010. I decided to pursue my singing career in Korea rather than in Japan as I was attracted by K-pop artists’ charismatic performances on stage. I thought that I could someday show a fascinating performance in Korea like TOP of Big Bang. I have already told myself that I would never return to Japan until I succeed as a singer.
Q. What was your toughest moment as a singer and how did you overcome it?
A. It was difficult to work as a team at first because Cross Gene is a team of multinational members, from Korea, China, and Japan. At first, we were not able to communicate with each other because we did not speak any Korean. There are no more language barriers now because all members learned Korean.
Another tough moment was when our group had one-year gap after our debut in 2012. The time when we practiced for our comeback album in 2014 was the most difficult moment because of the fear of having been forgotten. However, I could overcome the difficulties as the other members and our management staff gave me good advice and our fans always supported us.
Q. What are your upcoming plans? Do you have any other dreams you would like to accomplish?
A. Before starting my singing career in Korea as a member of Cross Gene, I did some theater work and worked as a model in Japan. I want to challenge myself in acting in Korea as well after improving my Korean. Still, I really want to succeed as a singing group and ultimately rank first on a music chart. Our second single album Future ranked third on the Oricon chart. We are making more efforts to achieve our dreams.