INTO1 SANTA’s new tune “I’m from…” was launched digitally on Nov. 25, 2022. SANTA made his debut in 2020 as a member of WARPs UP, a boy band manufactured from Japanese and Chinese language members. In 2021, he joined INTO1, a limited-time-only boy band, by way of his involvement within the Chinese language TV present CHUANG 2021.
Since then, he has been lively within the Chinese language leisure scene. SANTA started sharpening his dance expertise from an early age, and he has gained numerous dance contests. These embrace “STREET DANCE KEMP EUROPE,” one of many world’s prime dance battle contests, for which he grew to become the youngest winner ever.
In “I’m from…,” whose lyrics he wrote himself, he opens his coronary heart, sharing his emotions about how far he has come by chasing his goals. He spoke to us at size about his new tune, what he’s been doing in China, his household and colleagues, and his future plans.
Congratulations on the discharge of your new tune, “I’m from…” What are your emotions on the discharge of the only?
Thanks! The theme of “I’m from…” is how I used to dwell and what I’ve discovered from it. The tune’s title, “I’m from…,” refers to the place I got here from. I’m the place I’m in the present day due to the assist of my household, my buddies, my colleagues, and every kind of individuals. I poured that gratitude into this tune, and when creating it, whether or not it was writing the lyrics, creating the observe, or filming the video, each step was one thing that I may by no means have carried out alone, so I felt that very same sense of gratitude by way of the method of constructing the tune. I actually am simply stuffed with this super sense of thankfulness to everybody.
Did you begin feeling this sense of gratitude to these round you through the course of your personal creative actions?
I believe the impression I make on different individuals now could be “that’s the man who got here right here to China from abroad.” I used to be additionally a dance world champion, so I believe individuals have that floor level-view of me, like “that’s the dance world champion.” Nevertheless it’s exactly due to these successes that I spotted “I wish to work exhausting to convey pleasure to the individuals round me.” This tune is about that need, so I wrote the lyrics together with a lyricist and included recollections I’ve of my family and friends.
Within the lyrics, you additionally specific your thanks to every of your dad and mom.
I really feel like I’ve been blessed with household and buddies, and that’s how I’ve gotten to the place I’m in the present day. At first, my dream was to be the most effective dancer in Japan. After I took that title, I wished to turn out to be the most effective on this planet. I gained a dance contest within the Czech Republic once I was 17, taking the title of world’s finest, however I truly wasn’t all that joyful. On the time, what I saved pondering was simply “I wish to hurry again to Japan and inform my household.” I wished to see them get away in tears of pleasure once I informed them. I wished to inform my buddies and listen to them bragging about me. That was once I realized why I’d been working so exhausting to succeed. The factor that led me to coming to China and attempting to turn out to be even larger is similar — if I make it large, it’ll make my household and buddies joyful and so they’ll stay up for what I do subsequent. That, in a method, is what drives me.
I see. In order that’s why you’ve gotten the one line in Japanese, “arigato.”
Proper. That expresses my gratitude within the native language of the individuals who’ve supported me. My household has been behind me since I used to be born, and my buddies have supported me since I met them, so this “arigato” expresses my due to them.
Did it take a very long time to write down the lyrics? Do you’ve gotten any tales in regards to the writing of the tune?
So far as writing the lyrics, I’m at all times jotting down my emotions of gratitude. With this tune, I wished to sing about my entire life, so choosing which particular person occasions to make use of within the lyrics was tough. Translating Japanese immediately into Chinese language would additionally sound a little bit unusual, so I had to consider the right way to phrase issues.
One line that makes a specific impression was “It’s not simple to chase your goals.” As you touched on, it will need to have been actually exhausting to beat the language barrier and work abroad. How did you handle to do this?
Chinese language has been extremely exhausting for me. I actually struggled, and I’m nonetheless studying. [Laughs] Nevertheless, I by no means considered that in a unfavorable method. I believe most individuals who’ve studied a international language will know what I’m speaking about, however the extra you come to grasp what persons are saying, the extra you come to love them, and the extra you come to grasp their nation. So, for me, it wasn’t an disagreeable battle. Within the line “It’s not simple to chase your goals,” what I used to be speaking about was how solely a handful of individuals can obtain their goals — and this additionally applies to once I was a dancer — so reaching your goals isn’t any simple matter. It’s a must to work exhausting, and even then there’s solely a slim likelihood that your exhausting work will probably be rewarded. Nevertheless, I just like the time I spend attempting to attain these tough goals, which I believe is why I can maintain going.
You started sharpening your expertise as a dancer because you have been a younger boy. Have you ever at all times taken on tough challenges?
Yeah, I can’t stand to lose. [Laughs] For instance, once I seem on TV typically they’ll introduce me as “the world’s primary dancer!” However the actuality is that “the world’s primary dancer” additionally means “the dancer that’s misplaced probably the most instances on this planet.” That’s how usually I’ve misplaced. I’ve gained contests much less usually than I’ve misplaced them.
What sorts of issues did you battle with?
Once I was a dancer, the toughest factor was making ends meet. Victories in avenue dance contests don’t include hundreds of thousands of yen in prize cash. In order that was exhausting. It was like, I’d produce outcomes, however I wouldn’t have any cash. [Laughs]
Folks usually discuss your sensible successes, however you’ve additionally skilled setbacks alongside the way in which.
What led you to determine to not stay a dancer however to do what you’re doing in the present day?
Once I was pushing myself to get outcomes, it was like taking part in a sport. My mindset was easy: “I misplaced. What a disappointment. Subsequent time, I’m going to win.” However once I gained (the dance contest) and went past, then, like I stated earlier, I spotted why it was that I used to be working so exhausting. Now that I do know my goal, it appears like I can strive every kind of issues. It’s like I’ve saved transferring ahead led by the spirit of “I wish to make it larger, and if a possibility presents itself, I wish to benefit from it.” Prior to now, I simply aimed for no matter objectives have been dangling in entrance of me, however now my objectives are these deep in my coronary heart, and I wish to do my finest to attain them. The explanation I put the “…” on the finish of “I’m from…” is that I’m not simply attempting to level to some “location,” like saying that my nationality is Japanese, or that I began out as a dancer, however as an alternative at one thing deeper. That’s the concept I’m attempting to convey by way of that area.
On Twitter, you’ve launched some illustrations that specific the “I’m from…” idea. Did you make them your self?
Sure, these are mine. They have been actually exhausting to make. [Laughs]
It appeared just like the contents of the illustrations mirrored the message of the tune. How did you make them?
First I considered the story, after which I simply began drawing off the highest of my head, utilizing a black pen. Then I zoomed in and drew the following component of the story. Then on the finish I went in and added colour and particulars.
Have you ever at all times been gifted at illustration?
In highschool, I used to be within the Design Info Part, so I studied issues like Illustrator. On the time, my future plan was to make a dwelling as a dancer. I figured that once I grew to become a dancer I’d maintain my very own occasions or announce that I used to be providing classes, so I may avoid wasting cash if I knew how to do this myself. [Laughs] That’s once I began finding out illustration.
Is it essential to you to correctly specific your concepts to others?
Sure. This time round, I informed my life’s story within the type of a tune, however typically I like speaking not by way of phrases, however by way of dance, or artwork, or another medium.
Dancing and artwork are different methods of expressing your self. So, alongside these strains, what does music imply to you?
Effectively, for instance, within the (dance) freestyle battles I’m participating in now, the DJ performs no matter tune they need, and the dancer has to improvise to the music. So if the tune isn’t conductive to what I’d initially wished to specific, I have to match the music. Nevertheless, in conditions just like the “I’m from…” tune, the place I could make the music that I would like, I’m capable of specific issues much more granularly — I can specific issues that I couldn’t specific by way of dance. It’s like I’ve one other methodology to specific issues immediately.
“I’m from…” is an edgy observe with a refrain melody that stays with you. Have you ever at all times been a fan of one of these music?
No, probably not. [Laughs] I hearken to every kind of genres of music. I actually like previous ballads, I like music by bands, I like international hip-hop… That’s why I plan to write down songs in different totally different kinds sooner or later, too.
What evokes you, whether or not in music or in your life?
I discover travelling abroad actually stimulating, however, truly, what evokes me probably the most is my father. He was an entertainer himself.
Oh, is that so?
Sure. So once I was little, he usually took me with him to the radio station the place he had a radio program. I noticed quite a bit there, and I noticed a distinct facet of my father than the one who simply lounged round at residence. [Laughs] So my first stimulus was seeing him at work and pondering, “This job is cool.” He was a comic, so the strategy I took was very totally different, however I aspired to exit in entrance of individuals and talk by way of self-expression. Additionally, ever since I used to be little, I’ve at all times been desirous to win, so I wished to surpass my father. So ranging from there, I’d progressively construct up new experiences and attempt to tackle new challenges, and that’s what bought me right here.
I see. So, what sorts of issues do you recognize about dwelling in China?
I’d must say China’s language and tradition. I began finding out Chinese language after arriving in China, and at first it was exhausting. I didn’t perceive something. However as I got here to grasp extra, I discovered myself capable of perceive conversations between individuals on the road. Or, for instance, once I first got here, if I bought in a taxi and the motive force began speaking to me I’d don’t know what he was saying, however after some time I got here to grasp that they have been saying “It’s scorching in the present day” or “A brand new cafe opened close to right here not too long ago.” I discovered an increasing number of in regards to the tradition and folks’s lives, and it grew to become actually pleasing. That is one thing that I actually recognize about dwelling abroad, and it’s plenty of enjoyable.
That’s one thing you’ll be able to’t actually expertise except you actually get on the market and do issues. I’m positive there will probably be some youngsters who learn this interview and suppose “I wish to work abroad like INTO1 SANTA.” Do you wish to encourage individuals like that?
Sure, I do. There are in all probability readers who wish to work abroad, and, since I began out as a avenue dancer, there are dancers who got here after me, and baby dancers — individuals who knew me again once I was a baby dancer. They’ve additionally seen me throughout all these instances once I wasn’t sweeping the battles, and I’m positive now after they see me they’re like, “it seems to be like he’s actually having enjoyable, now.” I hope that this will spur them on, displaying them that “it’s okay to chase your goals.”
You’ve additionally launched a music video referred to as “I’m from… (Reside Present Video).” What’s that video like?
I’ve very robust preferences about all the things I create, so I thought of what sort of content material the video ought to have, the way it must be filmed, and how much dancers I ought to dance with. There are plenty of props within the background which are tied to issues in my very own life. I believe viewers will get pleasure from it much more if they appear not solely at my efficiency but additionally the opposite parts of the video.
What are your future profession goals and objectives?
I actually wish to give again to the people who have supported me, so I wish to maintain giving again to them for so long as I can. I additionally wish to share what I’ve discovered with others within the hope that I can present somebody, even when just one particular person, with the inspiration and encouragement they may want of their life.
Do you’ve gotten any ultimate message for our readers?
Thanks, from the underside of my coronary heart, on your assist. My new tune, “I’m from…,” is an expression of my gratitude, and I hope you discover it an uplifting tune that gives positivity in your life, so I’d like it if you happen to may hearken to again and again. Thanks!
—This interview by Takayuki Okamoto first appeared on Billboard Japan