9bic is an idol group based on the concept of contemporary princes.
Having performed at the Toyosu PIT for their first anniversary, and having an upcoming show at the PIA ARENA MM for their second anniversary, their momentum shows no signs of slowing down.
In Part ONE, we got to know the background of each of the members and asked them about their new song “klaxon,” but in Part TWO, we will take a close look at their past two years of activity as well as the upcoming “2nd Anniversary Live -9BICARide-” to be held in August!
Two years of relentless efforts
──It’s been two years since your debut. What do you feel when you look back?
Keiichiro Ichikawa Being an idol is not an easy job (laughs). People tend to think that just because we look all sparkly and shiny, we’re being cried out for, but it was much harder than I imagined.
Ryoga Shiki To be honest, it was really tough at times, wasn’t it?
Keiichiro Ichikawa Our debut live was a success, and we thought that we were going to keep riding that wave, but the next day, when the audience was completely empty, that was a little tough…
Ryoga Shiki Nonetheless, there are many things that I’m happy about. For example, when our gig at the Toyosu PIT on our first anniversary went really well, or when we were able to complete the national tour. It feels like we’ve been working so hard that two years have passed before we realized it. Thankfully though, it’s been a busy two years.
──Specifically, what kept you busy?
Keiichiro Ichikawa We have individual and group lessons, and I also have solo work outside of 9bic. We all have personal challenges we want to tackle as well, so our schedules end up being quite full (laughs).
──So, you take private lessons as well.
Minato Kunugi I sometimes take dance lessons. When I have a desire to improve, I concentrate on it. The yellow boy (Satsuki) is amazing. He’s been practicing on his own this whole time.
Satsuki Kariyase Psst, that’s a secret! Isn’t it cooler to practice hard secretly?
Kotaro Futaba I play the piano. I often practice in the morning, so I live like an aristocrat (laughs).
──It was mentioned earlier that the past two years have flown by, but how’s the pace of your activities?
Keiichiro Ichikawa Yes, I believe so. The PIA ARENA MM in Yokohama is already scheduled, and I think things are going well. When 9bic first started, the two producers told us that we would achieve results in two years. I was thinking that if we couldn’t go beyond the status of underground idols in two years, there was no point in continuing, but now we have managed to establish the “9bic” genre. We’re making steady progress and I think we’re getting solid results.
Minato Kunugi When I think about it now, the people around us laid out the rails for us. Thanks to them, we’ve reached an amazing place. From now on, I would like to be more proactive in expressing my opinions and taking action.
Getting personal fans to follow 9bic!
──On August 3 and 4, you will finally be performing at “2nd Anniversary Live -9BICARide-.” When were you told that the venue would be the PIA ARENA?
Kotaro Futaba It was during our show in Tokyo at the Toyosu PIT on our national tour. We were so surprised that we all fell silent.
Minato Kunugi Arena” didn’t ring a bell, so we couldn’t even react (laughs).
Satsuki Kariyase We never thought we’d be on stage in an arena-class venue.
──Please tell us how you feel about the “2nd Anniversary Live -9BICARide-.”
Kiyoharu Rikka I joined the band after the other members, so I’ve only been active for about a year and a half, but I never even considered that I would be performing in an arena so soon. I was already quite amazed when we performed at the Toyosu PIT, but the capacity of the PIA ARENA is four times larger than that. It’s not every day you get to experience something like this, so I’m really glad I joined 9bic.
Ryoga Shiki I think it’s amazing to be an idol. In a normal life, it would be quite something to have 10 people say “I love you.” But as an idol, you can have hundreds or thousands of people tell you “I love you.” It’s pretty unbelievable, isn’t it! When I think that 12,000 people who like us will gather at the PIA ARENA, I feel very grateful.
──Have you already started preparing?
Keiichiro Ichikawa We’ve already decided on the theme, setlist, and a new challenge. We are now preparing for the final stages of everything. There was a possibility that we might not be able to do certain acts due to COVID, but it turned out to be possible.
──I’m curious to hear about your new challenge.
Keiichiro Ichikawa Every time we reach a new milestone, we take on a new challenge. For our first anniversary, Kiyoharu and I did a stage combat, Minato and Ryoga did acrobatics, Satsuki composed music, and Kotaro challenged himself on the piano. This time, we will actually be performing as a band! We’re working on it really hard, and we want to show the audience something good.
──In 2021, 9bic will be entering its third year, what kind of year do you want it to be?
Kiyoharu Rikka We are going to do our 2nd anniversary live-show in an arena, so we would like to be able to do our 3rd anniversary in an even bigger place. We’d like to work harder together and appear on TV as well.
Keiichiro Ichikawa I’d like to do a Zepp tour. Perhaps Yokohama Arena as well.
Kotaro Futaba I want to do more work on my own. I want to appear in more magazines and challenge myself as a radio personality. I’d like to expand the scope of my work even more.
Ryoga Shiki I’d be happy if we could get a lot of work from outside, and if each of us could become more famous as individuals…
Keiichiro Ichikawa Wouldn’t it be ideal if we could bring the fans we gained there to 9bic?
Minato Kunugi Let’s all work hard on our individual jobs and increase the audience for 9bic.
Satsuki Kariyase Keep the momentum going and have fun without getting injured.
Minato Kunugi That’s right (laughs). I want to keep on doing it in peace!
Satsuki Kariyase I hope we can celebrate our third anniversary while keeping safety first.
A truly handsome man never chooses his clothes!?
──So, to wrap things up in a typical HARAJUKU POP JAPAN way, can you tell us about your fashion preferences?
Kiyoharu Rikka I’m not a big fan of anything too formal, so I like to wear clothes that are easy to move around in, like sweats. However, Kotaro and I are said to have the lamest fashion among 9bic members…
Kotaro Futaba I have no particular preferences, and I don’t mind anything as long as I can wear it (laughs). Even if it’s a weird T-shirt, no problem. It’s like I’m trying to create a contrast to when I wear my costume.
Minato Kunugi I also have recently come to the point where, if I can wear it, I don’t really care (laughs). I don’t buy many clothes, so I just wear what I have been given from work.
Satsuki Kariyase I don’t have a good sense of fashion, so I sometimes copy the complete personal outfits of artists I admire. That way, I won’t mess up (laughs). Also, Ryoga knows some trendy stores, so I consult him for reference.
Ryoga Shiki I like elaborate clothes, but it tends to make me stand out on the streets (laughs). I like clothes with frayed threads, combinations of fabrics, and other unusual designs.
Keiichiro Ichikawa I admire clothes like Ryoga’s that appear fashionable to anyone who sees them. But I think it could become too much if there were two people like that in the group (laughs). I like to dress in a rough style. In summer, I’d wear a T-shirt and denim jeans. It’s nice to have classy fashion that you could wear while walking next to basically anybody.
TEXT: Ayaka Sakai
A six-member men’s idol group based on the concept of “contemporary princes.” In addition to working as idols, they are also active as YouTubers under the name “hakoirimusuko.” In the spirit of today’s youth, they use TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram, with a total of over 1.5 million followers on social media. Their popularity among teenagers is soaring!
『9bic 2nd Anniversary Live -9BICARide-』
Enjoy live broadcast and replay VOD of 『9bic 2nd Anniversary Live -9BICARide-』 performance!!
2021/9/11 13:30(JST) ~
2021/9/12 13:30(JST) ~
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