Have you ever felt like you're standing at the start of something great? Like you're witnessing the type of origin story people are going to look back on like "Damn, what a wild and wonderful ride!?!"
Well, that's how I feel when I'm watching the Japanese idol group Travis Japan.
I've followed Johnny & Associates for a while now and first noticed Travis Japan, a group under their Johnnys' Junior branch, after their string of episodes on the Amazon Prime docu-series RIDE ON TIME (also available on Netflix!).
What struck me about this group wasn't just their talent (and they are talented) but the way they are connected as a unit. The way all seven of them work, move, and vibe as one is something truly unique and rare.
“Everyone in the group has their own strengths, personality and style and we are all applied to the group’s success,” Chaka (Miyachika Kaito), the group’s leader has said. “It’s helped make it so that Travis Japan, as a whole, is greater than the sum of its parts. We’ve always conducted ourselves in this way, and it’s helped strengthen our bond as our group has developed over the years.”
As a fan living in Los Angeles, I was excited to hear that they made the move here and that I would be able to follow their Hollywood journey literally in the front row!
They did an incredible job at the World of Dance competition earlier this spring, which lead them to the most recent Championship Week last month. Not only did they place in the top 10 worldwide (in addition to Top 5 for the U.S.) but they also took home the coveted prize of Ultimate Crowd Favorite!
“Getting to participate in the World of Dance Championships was a brand-new and exciting challenge; not just for the 7 of us in Travis Japan, but also for the whole Johnny & Associates family,” Chaka said in a statement to the international press. “Not knowing what would happen each day of the competition or what such esteemed judges might think of our efforts made us really nervous at times, but it was always abated by the roar of the crowds and the thrill of being back on stage.”
“The experience we've had here will forever be our treasured memory and a weapon we hone through the course of our ongoing 'Hollywood TJ' adventure in the United States,” Chaka continued. “Thank you so much to everyone who supported us through those three days, and who continues to cheer us on this journey to our dreams!”
But the World of Dance isn't the only feat Travis Japan has managed to accomplish during their short time in LA. They also got themselves on America’s Got Talent where they impressed the judges not just with their talent but also their personalities. Noel completely won their hearts with how innocently sweet and humble he was as he stepped up to speak English for the group (they're still learning). Even Simon broke his normally stern British exterior to smile at them.
Performing an English rendition of their first original song "My Dreamy Hollywood" you can tell how bad the guys want this for themselves and how grateful they are for every opportunity they've managed to obtain.
And they’re now semi-finalists!
“It has been scary but amazing!” Chaka said in a recent interview. “It’s something that (as an act under Johnnys & Associates) hasn’t really been done before, but now we’ve gotten to introduce ourselves to millions of people all across the United States! Every one of us was equally committed to showcasing who Travis Japan is and it really came out very well! We’re very happy!”
For US fans of Travis Japan who are unable to attend the taping (and vote in person), there are a few ways to do it. NBC Insider (the show's network blog) has made it super easy, though it is different than previous seasons. All you have to do is head to the AGT app or go to NBC.com/AGTVote.
The process for both is relatively simple, but to make it easier I’ve developed a handy step-by-step guide - it’s the same process whether on the site or the app.
STEP 1: Register.
STEP 2: Select your favorite (mine of course will be Travis Japan).
STEP 3: Choose number of votes (up to 10).
STEP 4: Submit!
Seriously it’s that simple, and if you’re a visual learner (like me), I’ve also included images below.
Along with the Live Shows, AGT voting opens every Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET (beginning August 9) and closes on Wednesdays at 7 a.m. ET. You're limited to 10 votes per method of voting.
I can’t wait to watch their story continue to unfold. I honestly believe Travis Japan has something truly special and that once they have their official CD debut they’re going to take not just Japan by storm - but the world.
This article was originally posted to the blog "Life In Cartoon Motion." Reposted with permission.