[PART 1] Special Interview with Global Unit Cross Gene to Commemorate their Debut.
Cross Gene is a Asian-Global unit with members from the 3 countries Japan, Korea, and China. From their debut in the summer of 2012 in Korea, they quickly became popular and gathered attention in Japan, but this March they have their long-awaited Japanese debut. After having prepared for more than two years, I spoke with them about their debut single Shooting Star and their thoughts on starting to spread to Asia and the world with their debut.
-We want to meet the fans as soon as possible
Q: Introduce yourself and say what you definitely wouldn’t lose to the other members in.
Seyoung: I’m Cross Gene’s Miracle Gene Seyoung. An appeal I have that’s different from the members…I’m the only one who’s been in the military (laugh)?
Sangmin: I’m Cross Gene’s Organic Gene Sangmin. I specialize and rap and dance, so I think performing and dancing are my fortes.
Shin: Hi, I’m Cross Gene’s Presh Gene Shin. My attractive point is…(to the members) Should we do it together (laugh)? (To the members (I’m tall))I’m tall (laugh).
Yongseok: I’m Cross Gene’s Mypace Gene Yongseok. I’m…young. I’m the youngest, so because everyone’s older I receive their love. Except for Takuya (laugh).
Yongseok: It’s because Takuya’s scary (laugh).
Sangmin: After all, it’s his responsibility to pull everyone along. There are also times when he’s scary.
Yongseok: He’s the scariest.
Takuya: It’s not like that~ (laugh)!
Yongseok: …After all that’s not correct (wry smile)
Takuya: I’m Cross Gene’s Gorgeous Gene Takuya. What I can appeal with better than the other members is that I’m even taller than Shin (laugh).
Q: From last year’s profile you grew an each didn’t you.
Takuya: I’m still growing. I want it to stop already, though (wry laugh). Also, I hate to lose, for example in games and sports.
Casper: I’m Cross Gene’s Wild Chic Gene Casper. I’m from Shanghai, China. My appealing point is that when I do something with all my might, I’m strong-willed.
Q: You’ve waited for a long time for a Japanese debut, but now that it’s close what are your thoughts?
Takuya: Our debut is regrettable a little late, but to that extent, our feelings of wanting to debut in Japan have gradually gotten stronger, so we’re truly, and we feel “at last we’ve been able to come to here.”
Sangmin: They’ve been waiting for a long time, so we want to meet the fans as soon as possible.
Q: For Seyoung this Japan debut is your real debut, but are you nervous?
Seyoung: For me just about everything is a first, so of course I’m nervous. However, the members show a lot of concern for me, and now I am somehow getting used to it. They truly worry about anything and everything for me. Casper shows me dancing, Shin shows me facial expressions and things about the cameras, for example…I haven’t been able to do anything well yet (wry laugh).
Q: Shin’s photographing is his specialty, isn’t it.
Seyoung: He has a lot of facial expressions.
Shin: No no, it’s just teaching it that I’m good at, in reality I’m not that good (wry laugh).
Q: At the “Big” event in February, you stood on stage in Japan for the first time in a long time, since last summer’s showcase, but what kind of feeling was it?
Casper: While we were looking for it for a long time, for the sake of the event we practiced every day. It was a long time since the previous event, but we were extremely happy to be able to meet the fans this time.
Q: You first introduced your new debut song at the same event’s Kobe performance, but how was it?
Yongseok: Even though it had been a long time, we had a great stage and were very moved, and being able to meet the fans after a long time was fun.
Seyoung: For me it was my debut, we also sang our Japanese debut song, so we were half nervous and half excited. For me being a singer is my dream, so being able to stand on stage is a really happy thing, isn’t it. However, the moment I stood on stage, I was very nervous and my head went blank. I don’t know how nervous the other members were, but I felt more nervous than I expected. I could barely see in front of me.
At the beginning the original choreography was surprising
Q: What are your thoughts on meeting your fans firsthand at the handshake event?
Takuya: Given that there were fans that cried upon meeting us, we were deeply moved.
Casper: I was conversely laughed at a lot (laugh).
Takuya: It was a feeling like “don’t cry please.”
Sangmin: For me as well, when I meet fans now, spontaneous laughter appears. It’s because everyone comes to have a lot of fun.
Casper: If even though the fans are crying, Sangmin is laughing, it becomes “why are you laughing?” doesn’t it (laugh)?
Sangmin: My fans weren’t crying.
Casper: I wonder if it was Takuya’s fault they were crying (laugh).
Q: Your Japanese debut song Shooting Star has a different color than your Korean debut song La-Di Da-Di, but what was your impression the first time you heard it?
Takuya: “If we do this song at lives it’ll definitely be exciting, huh.” The melody is bright and has a bright atmosphere, so I thought I wanted to have fun with it at lives.
Shin: I thought “this is good.” It had a very fun and bright atmosphere, and it had various colors. We have members from 3 countries, so showing different colors is our strong point, but in the music as well we could represent Cross Gene, so I thought it was a good song.
Q: The dance is also quite unusual, wasn’t it.
Takuya: It is unusual!
Q: What were your impressions the first time you saw the dance?
Sangmin: It’s new.
Yongseok: It’s novel!
Takuya: At first…(laughs thinking about it)when I saw it, it was incredible. This time as well Kento Mori choreographed it for us, but it got more uncommon. The first Shooting Star we saw and the Shooting Star now are quite different, though (everyone laughs). Learning it was difficult for us, but gradually good choreography appeared, and finally we were able to do something good.
Seyoung: I think it was hard for all the members of course, but for me especially I had a lot of trouble remembering the poses (wry laugh).
Q: How was recording in Japanese?
Yongseok: What was difficult about recording was…at first we didn’t understand the meaning of the lyrics in Japanese, right? Therefore because we had to try translating and singing, that was definitely harder than when we did the Korean version. While trying to properly make use of the song’s atmosphere, we also have to convey the lyrics’ meaning to the fans, so that was also hard.
Q: Does Takuya help with the Japanese?
Takuya: (jokingly) Say I helped you~ (laugh).
Shin: It’s scary so I won’t say anything (laugh).
Yongseok: (nervously) He helps…
Takuya: Isn’t that the truth (laugh)?
Shin: (in a small voice) Be careful…he can get angry later.
Yongseok: (dead serious) He helps us!
Members: (roar of laughter)
We want to make use of the differences in China, Japan, and Korea culture in our dance and singing.
Q: Were there any episodes during the music video filming?
Shin: This time the dance uses swords. It was our first time using swords, so sometimes it was our fault, and sometimes it wasn’t, but the swords would suddenly break, and we stopped filming over and over. We’d wait for it to be fixed, and then start again…because of that, it was an episode of not being able to laugh (wry laugh).
Q: The choreography is like sword fighting, but were there any hardships?
Takuya: Yes, the swords were extremely heavy. However, the only one to swing it easily was Casper.
Casper: Because I’m muscular, it seems like I’m doing it easily. However, in reality it was very heavy.
Q: In reality, when you performed it you were a little worried, weren’t you.
Casper: It’s hard, but you have to persevere.
Q: Before saying that, **someone** said “Casper’s dance is amazing.”
Casper: Truthfully, when I was learning from my teacher, it was going slowly. However, when I was learning dance, I would properly see and remember even minute differences. And then, while learning that dance, I’d think about what I wanted it to express. However, when I learn it once I also forget it quickly (laugh). Dance feels like a fun game to me. I always go to the office every morning at 10, then go home at midnight, but during that time I practice various things from rap to dance. This world has violent competitions, you have to work hard (laugh).
Q: I heard that Sangmin is good at acrobatics…
Sangmin: Recently, as well as learning combinations from things I’m already studying, I’m studying judo combinations techniques. I also have failures during practice, but that also gives experience, and before long the seeds of the great efforts from there bear fruit.
Q: Please tell us the goals of Cross Gene from now on.
Casper: Our group is, in both dance and music, special no matter how you look at it. For example, our dance is something that other groups haven’t been seen doing, so it probably seems a little peculiar. However, our group dares to do dances other groups don’t do, and we want to things that no other group before now has done.
Yongseok: First of all, we want to spread Cross Gene’s name. Not just within the genre of K-Pop. We are an Asian-Global Unit, therefore we want to create a unique Cross Gene color.
Seyoung: That’s right. Making use of being gathered from various countries, we want people say “ah, that’s Cross Gene’s song” when they hear our music, and know of our existence.
Takuya: I think we are truly a unique group, gathered from Japan, China and Korea we are a global group, and making use of that in our singing and dancing, we want to be able to show our own unique style.
Shin: Tying Korea, China, and Japan together has nothing to do with it, showing the world Asia’s music is my dream.
Sangmin: And then, with members from 3 countries, making the world one is our goal.