PSYCHIC FEVER from EXILE TRIBE is back with a bang with their latest EP, PSYCHIC FILE II. PSYCHIC FEVER is the seventh group to debut from the renowned Japanese artist collective EXILE TRIBE. The group consists of seven members, KOKORO, WEESA, TSURUGI, RYOGA, REN, JIMMY, and RYUSHIN, who all come from different backgrounds with various personalities and skills. With all these distinct individuals working as a team, an explosive chemistry is ignited when they are together, thus the name “PSYCHIC FEVER.”

Recently, the group has gained momentum as audiences from across the globe are starting to recognize it. In their journey to further develop and grow as a group, they were set on exploring different realms of sound in their seven-track EP. To learn more about the group’s latest release, EnVi spoke with PSYCHIC FEVER in an exclusive email interview.

A New Chapter

When you’re trying to grow out of your comfort zone, there will be struggles to overcome. This new EP allowed the group to challenge themselves in various ways. “We wanted to show a new side of ourselves, so we wondered what we could bring out of ourselves,” explained TSURUGI, on why they decided to push themselves for this album. Meanwhile, JIMMY shared with us that working on this EP let them try out different directions of singing and choreographies. However, the team remained mindful of each other to ensure the group would enjoy the new changes while still pursuing their best qualities. He elaborated further, “We have many members who can do many different things, so we were able to draw out new possibilities for ourselves. The concept of PSYCHIC FILE II is about experimentation and challenge, and I hope that the contents are in line with that theme.”

An Era of Growth

However, by pushing themselves to further lengths, they were able to improve their artistry and skills. When asked how they’ve grown during the creation of this EP, KOKORO proudly started off, “First of all, we definitely have improved a lot by testing a limit or two! Because this EP allows us to challenge ourselves in a genre-less way, we are always breaking out of our shells, and we hope you will feel our raw and real selves.” REN also noted that this EP’s music takes on a completely different tone than their previous one: “We have learned the importance of expressing ourselves with a wide range of music.”

On this topic of growth, WEESA also mentioned how the group has grown not just in terms of musicality but also in a more personal way. During the period of time between promoting their previous EP and putting together this new EP, the group was able to visit various countries to perform. In these travels, the boys had the chance to interact with local artists and cultures from different cities, which helped the group develop a wider perspective. As they spent more time together on these trips, they also developed a stronger bond with each other. 

A Cohesive Creative Direction

Besides their catchy comfort songs, the group is known for their distinct styling and choreographies. This cohesive tie between music, choreography, and visuals is a reason for the group’s massive appeal. In addition to their attention to implementing a thorough concept in performance and creative direction, the group’s greatest weapon is its “strong individuality and the fact that no two members are alike,” said KOKORO. Because of this, they are able to showcase seven different styles and energies in their projects. 

“I think it is more important to understand the music, choreography, and visual themes than to make sure that everyone’s choreography is in sync,” JIMMY explained. Although synchronization and cleanliness are important factors in performance, the mood and message of the song won’t be completely delivered without a pinch of personality. “For example, for this type of music, this choreography should be good; and if we’re doing this choreography, then the costumes or clothing should be a certain way as well to make the dancers look best.”

RYOGA went on to share that when it comes to choreography, the group tends to find a middle point between their group’s core identity and what’s fresh these days. “Choreography is not just about what’s popular at the time, but we try to incorporate our own roots as well as the trends of the day,” he clarified. “In particular, we recently released ‘Just Like Dat’, which was created with a 2000s sound in mind, so it also includes choreography with a bit of nostalgia.”

A New Journey Begins

This year, the group is also set to embark on an Asian tour to promote their new EP and greet their fans, ForEVERs. In this tour, the group will perform a mix of their most well-known songs and their newest tracks. “Our first priority is to make sure that everyone who comes to our shows enjoys themselves,” said RYUSHIN when asked what the group has been doing in preparation for this tour. “We know that there are many people who will be seeing us perform for the first time, so we want to make it a show that will make them want to come back again.”

Besides watching the live performances of songs across their discography, the boys hope that seeing them live on tour will allow audiences to get a peek at each member’s individuality and the different personalities that come together to make PSYCHIC FEVER. Aside from singing and dancing, the boys are excited to show their strengths and uniqueness on the stage. REN in particular, is excited to bring out his beatboxing skills in their performances, “I want to bring a completely new way of presentation and new entertainment, and I want to bring out the excellence of beatboxing to everyone who sees it.”

Keeping the Harmony

With the group hitting the road and spending countless hours together, it’s important for them to have a great understanding of each other in order to retain harmony throughout the tour. Given their different personalities and interests, spending that much time in close proximity to each other could definitely cause conflict. Hence, PSYCHIC FEVER find it important to communicate with each other and be open to their feelings. “During the rehearsal period, each of us is sharing our opinions and working on the tour, so there are many things that can happen, such as conflicting opinions or not being able to attend rehearsals due to scheduling conflicts,” shared KOKORO. 

It’s a shared value between all members that putting effort into appreciating and understanding each other is what keeps their bond strong. JIMMY continued, “When discussing or making decisions, we take the members’ opinions into account and proceed one by one with everyone’s consent, which may lead to new ideas and values, which are naturally shared by all members.” 

Building an Offline Connection

With well-loved hits, appearances in festivals, and an exciting tour on the way, the group has conquered many new milestones recently, yet they continue to stay driven to achieve new ones.  A shared one, however, is to go on a world tour and perform on bigger stages in the future. “I would like to perform in more countries, and I would like people to see our performances. I would be happy if seeing us performing on the world stage can energize you, even if only a little,” RYOGA told us earnestly.

RYUSHIN also shared that they’re eager to perform more so that audiences can feel the difference in energy and power that the group radiates in live performances, especially when global audiences tend to have only seen them through videos online. “It would be a shame for us to see our performances end after just seeing them on social media,” he explained to us, “so next time we would like to perform in various countries because we think that if everyone who knows us could see us in person, they would like us even more!” 

When You Love What You Do

A driving force that keeps the group going is their shared, genuine love for music and performing. “I have loved music ever since I can remember and have wanted to be an artist since I was little,” WEESA shared with us. This is not just for WEESA; the members have all found their love for music since they were young. “I knew I wanted to be an artist when I was in elementary school. Back then I only danced, but when I was about 19 years old I started rapping as well, and here I am today,”  RYOGA recalled.

The boys also feel a sense of joy and happiness in being a musician. Through watching their performances and how they talk about their artistry, one can clearly see that the group truly loves what they do. “I like it the most when I am on stage. It is the only place where I can express myself, and I am so happy to see the smiling faces of my fans!” said REN, pointing out that bringing happiness to ForEVERs is one of his favorite parts of being a musician. To KOKORO, being a musician “means that we can connect with everyone around the world in a way of expression that transcends the language barrier of music.” He added: “We will continue to light the fire in our hearts while facing our dreams.”

As the group continues to work earnestly to grow consistently towards their dream, they never forget to also spread their positive message to the world. “‘Love Dream Happiness’ is our motto!” TSURUGI explained to us, letting us know that in everything they do, they try to remind people to spread love, keep dreaming, and share happiness. “We believe that our raison d’être is to bring enjoyment to as many people as possible through this theme!”

Want to read more about artists you should keep an eye on like PSYCHIC FEVER? Check out our Artist Spotlight with Keina Suda HERE!