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STORYWRITER/GO TO THE BEDS serialization Vol.11 CHANBABY [I want to make it a loved group]

GO TO THE BEDS, the group born from the GANG PARADE (under, GANPARE) split under WACK, the same agency as BiSH. Yamamachi Miki, Yumeno Yua, Can GP Maika, Coco Partin Coco and Yui Ga Dockson started activities in April 2020. At the WACK audition 2012 in March the new member Chanbaby joined. Their first live performance with the new lineup took place on May 2nd, without an audience.

Their EP [BLOOD COMPACT] will be released in July 2021, their first national tour <COME AS YOU ARE TOUR> will have 24 lives in 12 cities; we publish Chanbaby’s, who suddenly started in a full throttle, first interview. What kind of changes the energy and somewhat airheadedness of this fresh girl will bring to GO TO THE BEDS. We followed this route and ended with an interview filled with expectations for the future.

Interview and text: Nishizawa Hiroo

Photos: Makura Asami

I actually admired the unprecedented, unorthodox method

It has been one month since Chanbaby’s debut live. Did the feeling of becoming a member of GO TO THE BEDS become stronger?

Chanbaby: Since the live performance, the feeling that I became a member of GO TO THE BEDS became stronger. As if it finally started after I watched the live footage objectively.

How was your mental state when it was announced the live show would be without an audience because of the sudden state of emergency?

Chanbaby: I was anxious until the decision if it would happen without an audience or not but, there was no change to the joy and I was happy that a lot of people could watch it via niconama.

How did you become interested in idols?

Chanbaby: Ever since kindergarten I took ballet lessons, I liked dancing in front of people. I don’t remember well but, during elementary school I was really into SNSD and KARA, so that’s probably how it started.

Did you learn classic ballet at first?

Chanbaby: Modern ballet. During elementary school I started Hip hop. At first I liked cute idols like KARA and SNSD but, after I started learning dance I came to like groups like 2NE1. When the K-POP boom started I decided I wanted to become an idol in Korea.

There are a lot of types of idols. What kind of style of idol did Chanbaby want to be?

Chanbaby: I’ve been thinking about it lately. When I was a trainee in Korea, I thought I wanted to be the black haired type of idol, so to speak, but thinking about it now I really liked 2NE1. That was the only group I actually was really into. Thinking that way, even though I said I wanted to join GO TO THE BEDS, I think there’s something that connects with that. It’s like the opposite of neat and clean, like an unprecedented, unorthodox method. About 3 days ago I remembered I actually admired that.

You talked about it now but, what’s the whole story of you going to Korea?

Chanbaby: When I was in high school I went to study abroad and started to go to an entertainment school. Back then things didn’t work out well so I came back. About one year later when I went again I joined an agency and became a trainee.

From my perspective going to Korea to be an idol is not something one can do unless you are really brave but, how did you decide to do that?

Chanbaby: Because I always wanted to be an idol. I’m the type of person that doesn’t think much ahead, so I thought I just had to go.

You have a lot of courage.

Chanbaby: Is that so? I didn’t have anything else I wanted to do, I’m not smart either. Because I didn’t have anything else I was good at, I thought there was no other option.

Can you speak korean?

Chanbaby: Because I always liked it I started to study by myself but, it was about understanding a bit if I listened to it. When I decided to go I started to learn it, after a while there I became able to speak.

Did you feel the culture and atmosphere of Korea was different from Japan?

Chanbaby: Maybe it was because the place I was in was related to the entertainment business but, everyone said things bluntly, I felt like everyone there had incredible self confidence.

There’s the image that singing and dancing have to be perfect, how was that?

Chanbaby: Indeed there’s this image that singing and dancing have to be perfect, isn’t it? I wasn’t too much requested on those. I joined after properly passing an audition but they really looked at you. Apparently there’s this image in Korea that Japanese are charming, so for example, if I was bad at singing they would let me rap, if I was bad at dancing they would tell me it was ok to fake it with character. I felt the same way about this too but, after joining WACK, recently my way of thinking changed. I have to be able to properly sing and dance what’s in front of me.

After I failed, for the first time, I realized I invested myself in the audition

When did you come back to Japan?

Chanbaby: A little before the corona situation got really bad, around March 2020.

After returning, you didn’t think about stopping being an idol?

Chanbaby: Within myself I didn’t have the intention of stopping being an idol. But because my mother was cheering for me, she was really against me quitting the agency in Korea, so I ended up saying I was done with being an idol. That’s why I didn’t tell my parents about <WACKchin> either, I couldn’t move freely without getting attention. My parents thought I was done with it but I couldn’t bring myself to give up yet. Because there was also the corona situation, I looked for auditions but I couldn’t take a lot of action.

With that, why did you decide to audition for <WACKchin>?

Chanbaby: On June 1st, by chance, someone on twitter liked the <WACKchin> audition and that caught my eye. At that time I didn’t follow any WACK members so I wondered what it was about and opened the URL. After reading the audition overview, it started with not showing your face, so I applied in an impetum.

<WACKchin> continued with several assignments. You applied in the momentum but what made you continue?

Chanbaby: I wanted to be an idol, also I could trust the agency that BiSH was a part of. More than anything, I wanted to pass now that I started it. Maybe it’s because I don’t like to lose.

With the audition progressing, did the feeling of wanting to pass <WACKchin> became stronger?

Chanbaby: At first it was a simple motive but, I started to watch old videos, listen to every group’s songs and when I realized I was hooked. Until then I wasn’t really into much idols but, halfway my feeling of wanting to be a WACK idol became stronger.

What do you think that made you into WACK?

Chanbaby: First the songs were really good. After listening to it once it would stick in my head. After listening to it again I was really hooked. The members are unique and really different so I thought it was good that it felt like they had a lot of freedom.

<WACKchin> assignments were online for the most part. It was hard to perceive you were competing against someone specifically, it must have been hard to feel the reaction.

Chanbaby: Until the niconama streams started, because we would just upload videos, etc., I’m not sure if I should say this but, I didn’t feel I was giving my best until then.

With niconama we can concretely see communication, so it felt like there was more of a reaction.

Chanbaby: I actually failed at the first judging. There was something like a luck battle. It was a showdown of 3 minutes of self promotion, the viewers would vote and in the end Watanabe-san would draw which one would continue. I won on the votes but I lost on the lottery. I was really frustrated then. I was chosen as the staff or Watanabe-san pick of who they wanted to see more of but I was really frustrated. Until then because I had auditioned before, I didn’t really feel like I was giving all my best but, after failing, for the first time, I realized I invested myself in the audition.

I thought GO TO THE BEDS had something I lack on

You participated in the WACK 2021 audition as a candidate. How it was decided you were going to the training camp audition?

Chanbaby: Watanabe-san invited me during the 15 min interview on niconama. He said “I’ll show you how Japanese training camps are” (laughs)

How did you feel when your participation was decided?

Chanbaby: I watched the movies about the auditions but, when he said “I’ll show you how japanese training camps are”, I replied strongly with “I’ll live up to it”. Speaking honestly, I might have thought lightly of it. When I was a trainee in Korea, I was in an environment where I would practice from early morning to late night every day, so maybe I thought it would be fine.

How did you feel after actually going?

Chanbaby: Every day I was anxious. On the first day it rained a lot, the waves sounded really loud. When I started to think about things at night I couldn’t sleep. When I thought I might be eliminated I couldn’t feel at ease. Also, there was something I realized after going. I knew I didn’t have confidence in myself, but I didn’t realize it was this much, I discovered a lot of things.

On the first day interview with Watanabe-san you said you wanted to join GO TO THE BEDS. What made you think that?

Chanbaby: I couldn’t properly answer that question but, it was because I thought they had something I lack on. Before going to the audition I thought I wanted to join because they were cool but I knew it was a group where everyone had long careers, I thought I couldn’t possibly join it but I replied with the hope of it.

It’s a weird topic but GO TO THE BEDS members themselves were the most surprised, they said “no way” (laughs).

Chanbaby: When it was announced I passed they really doubted me like “Were you serious?” (laughs)

You were paired a lot with GO TO THE BEDS member Coco Partin Coco during the audition camp. Being a pair, how did you feel, what did you think?

Chanbaby: Until then I didn’t really look up to people but, I thought Coco-san was really cool. On the day we did the short skit with the full body tights, after returning from the interview we had practice for the performance judgment. When we didn’t have much time left I started to get really impatient. When I was really anxious she got close to me and said “It’s ok” “get it together”. I really trusted those words. Also when there were 3 teams for [pretty pretty good], I started to cry and couldn’t start practicing. I went like that to the interview and when I still couldn’t start rehearsing, Coco-san called me. She said “You do the shrimp jump higher than anyone else”, I thought I would put all my power into this and faced the performance judgment.

This year on the last day of audition you had to write a letter to yourself. This was an assignment that was non-existent so far, but what did you think when you wrote it?

Chanbaby: That time I started to write with the remaining candidates at night. Everyone started to write right away but I didn’t know how I should start. It was really hard to write it for myself. First of all I just started to write watching all the footage of performances and interviews so far. I started by writing about looking back at the audition camp.

You wrote “This letter is for Moshimoshichan of today but when you read it in the future, what you went through in this audition, I hope it connects to confidence in yourself”. What did you feel when writing this phrase?

Chanbaby: No matter the results, I didn’t want to forget the things I was taught in this one week. I wrote the letter so that when the future me read it again, it would make me remember how things were.

I want to make it the number 1 WACK group

How did you feel when your name was called for GO TO THE BEDS?

Chanbaby: I was almost absentminded. Before my name was called, (CA)NON’s name was called for PARADISES (candidate name at the time was Cola), I was really happy for her. When I thought it was amazing and spaced out, my name was called next. It felt like I regained my consciousness 0.3 seconds later.

After being absent minded, did joy come forth?

Chanbaby: Of course I said because I hoped for it but, I didn’t think I could actually join them so I was really surprised. I had the feeling I wanted to join WACK but, I didn’t think I could join GO TO THE BEDS. Perhaps before happiness I felt astonishment. I was so surprised I ended up wandering around. Like from which stairs I should climb.

Ahahaha. You were that startled.

Chanbaby: I was panicking a little.

Indeed, GO TO THE BEDS is the group with GANG PARADE members with the longest careers, so the singing and dancing are high level. Do you think that joining GO TO THE BEDS means there are expectations for you?

Chanbaby: I wonder if there’s expectations about me…..

You wouldn’t join if there weren’t expectations (laughs).

Chanbaby: Right now I’m desperate to catch up with everyone. The difference in skills is huge, I think maybe the expectations are about my growth from now on.

What kind of member do you want to be in GO TO THE BEDS?

Chanbaby: When I’m with the members, they know which points I lack on, so I want to improve those one by one, and be someone that is constantly growing. It would be nice if I could keep improving forever.

Can I ask for your resolution from activities from now on?

Chanbaby: I obviously want to improve my technical level, I want to have myself pulled together so the group can be better, I want for the 6 of us to really become a group. That’s my main wish for now.

Finally, what kind of group do you want GO TO THE BEDS to be?

Chanbaby: I said that during my debut live show, but I want to make it the number one group in WACK. I really like GO TO THE BEDS, so I want to sell, I want to be the coolest, but I also want to be the group people like the most, I want to make it a loved group.

Translation by renai

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