INTO1 Rikimaru is one of the most talented artists in Asia and we can prove it: he sings, he dances and writes songs. Also, he created choreographies for names like SHINee and BOA!
Now he’s returning with a new song “UP and DOWN”, which was inspired on his own life, and the Great Wall of China. Do you wanna know more about him, his trajectory, dreams and future plans? We prepared this interview for you! 😉
“Up and Down” has a powerful meaning in many ways. Please, explain your new song to your fans.
Actually, I made this song with my producer in March 2022 and I released a short dance video of this song on my SNS on May 2022. So, to make sure people won’t get tired of this song, I made some changes, hope you can enjoy it.
What about the lyrics? Which part of the music do you think expresses the most what you want to say in “UP and DOWN”?
This song is about myself, and as I mentioned in the lyrics, life has ups and downs. Everyone has their own goal of life, but people won’t get satisfied about what they already got, we are easy to be depressed when we can not get what we wanted. I had that experience too. But now, I feel really good because China found me, my life story has a new start from there. I met a lot of awesome persons there, and also got the chance to show myself in front of so many people. I also got my favorite place which is the Great Wall. It is really long and huge, I don’t think I can finish walking the whole Great Wall in my life. It is like the goals in life which never end. And also the Great Wall goes up and down too, exactly the same as what life looks like to me. I feel some connection between me and the Great Wall.
Listening to the music, it seems like you are telling your fans to be stronger no matter how hard life can be, because life has ups and downs. Why did you choose this theme for your comeback? Any special reason?
This song has special meaning to me, I just want people can see it as sooner as possible.
What inspired you for this song?
One part of my life.
Tell us more about the choreography. How was the creation process? Any details fans should know?
I made this dance last year. At that time, I hadn’t danced for over half a year, I had really craving for dancing. I also wanted to show people that I danced after so long. So I made it and uploaded on my SNS account. But after I saw it again and again, I was not satisfied about it. So I changed it at the day before the music shooting day. I really want to say sorry to my back dancers, because I changed almost 70%.
The demonstration dance video reached a lot of people! How do you feel with the recognition you are receiving?
I never feel satisfied with my works, it doesn’t matter if people said how good my work is, I can hardly agree with them, I always focus on the bad part. However, I am still happy and thankful to people watching my video.
We can see you really enjoy funk. And we have to say: AMAZING! How did you have your first contact with funk? How it was?
When I was in college learning Portuguese, I was curious about what kind of music Brazilian listen to. So I checked it online, and at that time I saw Naldo’s <Amor de chocolate> music video. The vibe of this song was catchy, and the music video was exciting. I never met that style before. So I just take a try to dance Brazilian music in my own style. Fortunately, the video got a little hit, got lots of comments from Brazil to encourage me, it made me want to make more dance videos to respond their support.
Why did you decide to use Brazilian music at CHUANG2021?
I wanted to do something different from others. Because I am from Japan and I can speak English, people might predict that I was going to do music in Japanese or English. I wanted to surprise them so I chose the song in Portuguese.
Do you have plans to incorporate funk in a possible future project?
To be a singer is my goal right now, so in the future, if possible, I want to collaborate with Brazilian artist.
Do you want to collaborate with any Brazilian artist? Who?
Pedro Sampaio, Anitta, Glória Groove, Luísa Sonza, Ludmilla…
Who is your favorite Brazilian artist?
Anitta, Leo Santana, Luisa Sonza, Glória Groove, Pablo Vittar and Pedro Sampaio.
We heard you already came to Brazil. Why did you came and how was the experience?
I was so surprised, because I dind’t think I could go to Brazil so soon. I made a dance video called <Abusadamente> and it became a little bit hit on YouTube, then I got an offer from Brazil. When I actually arrived in Brazil, I thought I knew Portuguese, so I could communicate with them, but I was so naive, they speak so fast that I hardly understand them. That made me want to learn harder.
You listen to our language in the songs you enjoy, so… Maybe are you learning Portuguese? Do you know our language?
I learned Portuguese when I was in college. And then I liked the Brizalian music, so I also learn some Portuguese from music.
What’s the easiest and the most difficult part in learning Portuguese?
Most of the Portuguese words are quite similar to English, so it is easier for me to remember. But the grammar is so difficult, in different situation, such as man or woman the words after it will change. That makes me so confuse.
What about Brazilian culture: what do you like the most?
The Funk rhythm. When you are depressed, listen to that, it can make you so happy. And is the kind of song that you would like to listen with your friends.
Do you have plans to come to Brazil again?
I want to go tomorrow if I can! I’m sure there are many much more talented artist than I can image. I want to collaborate with them.
Now let’s talk about your career.
Was dancing always a passion for you? How did you realize you were a talented dancer?
I have never thought that I am talented, but I still feel glad and thankful when I heard people say this to me. That makes me want to work harder and harder so I won’t let them down.
When did you realize you should be an artist?
I decided to be a dancer when I saw the performance of Michael Jackson. Then, while I was working as a choreographer, I realized one day that I wanted to dance in my own song. I wanted to show people myself in various areas.
You created notable choreographies for Taemin, BoA, SHINee, NCT 127… How was your experience? Tell us more about it, please.
I had seeing lots of K-pop before I work with them. So, when I knew that I could choreograph for them I was so excited. At first, I wanted to give them all I could do. However, on the contrary, it over the dance very soon. Then I changed a lot until I and also the artist got satisfied. After working with them, I was convinced that they were really awesome artists, and they also were so hard working that made me want to try more and more. Especially SHINee, the group that made my singer dream become stronger.
What’s your main dream as an artist?
I want to write my name upon the page of world art as an Asian. I do not care about which country I am from, I want to be someday the proud of Asia.
What can we expect for the future? Spoiler?
I want to find a style that I haven’t tried before, and also to people like it.
To finish, let’s make a game with quick questions and quick answers! 3… 2… 1! START!
- 2 artists which inspires you: Michael Jackson, Kendrick Lamar
- Your favorite movie: Harry Potter
- The most precious moment in your career: Now
- Cats or dogs? Dogs
- Your favorite food: Maraxiangguo
- Your favorite season: Autumn
- Someone in your life that inspires you: Michael Jackson
- Tell us 5 facts about you: Shy, idiot, crazy, noisy, like to be alone
- Your favorite hobby: Play with dogs
- If you weren’t an artist, what would you be? Producer
Please, send a message to your fans! Thanks for the interview! <3
Thank you for all the support, I will do more songs about my life, and my perspective of the world in the future. Hope you may enjoy them. Thank you!