Tokyo based boyband Da-iCE (pronounced like dice) have been tearing up dancefloors and their fans hearts for the best part of a decade now. The five members are divided between singers and dancers, which brings a unique musicality and physicality to their performances. So whether it’s their vocal prowess or their slick moves that you draw you in, there’s no denying their talent. That’s why they sell out huge venues across Japan.
While they regularly smash through all sorts of genres, from J-pop to R’n’B, to hip-hop, EDM and more, they’ve been extra busy this year, bringing a brand new experience to their fans. 2020 saw them release back-to-back material every month for six months resulting in a new album “SiX”, plus an incredible ABEMA ONLINE LIVE concert using high tech camera tricks to create a better than live experience.
We caught up with the five members, Taiki, Tōru, Yūdai, Sōta and Hayate, to find out what makes them tick and what we can expect from the J-pop superstars.
What is the meaning behind Da-iCE?
It’s a combination of “DICE” and “DANCE”.
The six sides of the dice are the five members, and the final side is the fans who support us. So those six sides combined, makes Da-iCE.
The “a-i” in the middle of the name contains 愛 (ai) which means love in Japanese, which is what the group is all about.
Tell us about your new album that tops off the last six months of consecutive releases.
This release is a mix of J-pop, K-pop, rock, R&B and funk, all combined in our own special way.
This album not only has hit songs from some popular anime shows, but also gives you a chance to experience 100% Da-iCE.
Tell us about your virtual concerts – How enjoyable was it to create a virtual live concert broadcast? What was the most amazing thing about it?
We had to approach it from a slightly different way to our regular live shows. It felt more like filming a music video than creating a concert.
The most incredible thing was the visual tricks and gimmicks that we used to make the show special, since we were not able to do a regular live show.
Which dance would you recommend for fans to practice at home during lockdown?
The choreography for “amp” is pretty difficult, but it’d really cool if you can get it!
I think the hand clap dance is good because you will sweat a lot if you do it seriously.
(The “hand clap dance” was a big exercise video hit in Japan last year – check out the video here and try it for yourself)
Your song DREAMIN’ ON is featured as the opening titles of ONE PIECE – Which ONE PIECE character are you each like and why did you choose that character?
There are too many… (laugh)
But at the moment, I’d be Oden. He’s the character I most look up to , with his strength and spirit, and his firm resolution. I want to be just like him.
It’s got to be Luffy.
I chose him because of course you have to love the main character.
I also like his optimistic and straightforward attitude.
Have you been to the UK? Where would you like to visit if you get the chance to come to the UK?
I have! I’ve been to London twice.
While I was doing a photoshoot there, I went shopping and did lots of sightseeing.
I really enjoyed it because I love London fashion. One day I’d love to get a suit tailored on Savile Row.
I have never been to the UK! It’s pretty basic, but I want to see Big Ben’s clock at least once.
What kind of exercises do you usually do for your performance?
It’s all about the rehearsal. I take care of what I eat, and do some weight training when I remember.
I go to the gym three times a week – and I stretch!
What is your new year’s resolution? Do you have any new hobbies in 2020?
I would love to complete our postponed arena tour, but more than anything I would like to see a speedy end to the pandemic crisis.
Of course – world peace, but also I am concentrating on being much more online this year. Things like online concerts, online fan meetings, online games.
Which overseas artists inspire your performance? Who would you like to collaborate with on a track?
I’ve been deeply inspired by UK artists, like Jamiroquai and Craig David, and more recently the 1975. One of my dreams is to write a song with the 1975.
Since I was young, I’ve been a fan of Omarion, Chris Brown and Justin Timberlake. I’d love to be a featured singer with an overseas band.
Which Japanese culture would you like our fans to know more about?
Fish, miso soup and natto (fermented beans). I want everybody to know about healthy Japanese food.
Definitely the Japanese food culture. Of course I love sushi, but I’m also a big fan of overseas food!
What is coming up for Da-iCE in 2021?
It’s still difficult to go overseas, but we are trying to continue to make music for the whole world. Check out our music on your favourite streaming service!
I’m praying that we can do our postponed national arena tour safely this year. While we are still glad to be able to release new music, I’m waiting for the day when we can go back to playing live shows.
I’m sure that everyone has been saying the same thing, but we’re all really hoping for a safe end to the current coronavirus crisis. On top of that, we just want to entertain and bring joy to everyone.
Thanks to Da-iCE and to Avex for helping us set up this interview! Keep an eye on their social media, for new releases and the latest news.
Check out the links below and stay tuned to HYPER JAPAN for more interviews your favourite Japanese artists.
6th album: ‘SiX’
Release date: January 20, 2021
Da-iCE ‘SiX’ Teaser #1: https://youtu.be/VcSfa3xqXhc
Official website: https://da-ice.jp