In August alone, I traveled back and forth between Nagoya and Tokyo several times. I have been active in Nagoya for a long time, but I feel that people all over the country have “rediscovered” me once again.
MITSU (50), DJ and leader of “nobodyknows+,” describes his current state of mind. 4 MCs, 1 The five-member male hip-hop group “nobodyknows+” was formed in 1999 by fellow clubbers in Nagoya. Eighteen years after their big breakthrough in 2004 with their signature song “Kokoro Odoru,” the group is enjoying a resurgence in popularity, especially among young people.
The trigger was a one-shot performance of “Kokoro Odoru” posted on the popular YouTube channel “THE FIRST TAKE,” which received over 5.7 million views within a week of its release on June 10. As of September 5, it had received over 23 million views. The five members, who are now experiencing their newfound breakthrough, spoke candidly about their 18-year journey.
After participating in the Kohaku in 2004, we were exhausted by the production of music and our schedule. At that time, we wanted to do music at our own pace, not at the pace of a label.
In line with MITSU’s suggestion to “go at our own pace,” the group left the label they had been working for in 2009 and chose to continue their music activities in their hometown of Nagoya, while holding their own “day jobs” such as working at an izakaya, as a farmer, and as an apparel maker.
We shared the feeling that music that comes out of our daily lives is more natural and better” (HOKUROMAN HAN RICE!!!).
Music with these members is the most enjoyable (laugh).
(Yasu Ichiban?) “We work concurrently at our respective jobs, but we get together to compose music and perform live. It was in May of this year, when they were forced to take a hiatus due to the COVID-19 crisis, that they were approached about “THE FIRST TAKE,” which would lead to their second breakthrough.
I was asked by an acquaintance from my label days if I would like to participate in “THE FIRST TAKE”. I turned him down at first. At first I refused. None of us knew what it was or whether it was popular or not.
But when I asked one of the young part-timers at my store, she told me that I should definitely go on the show.
I was skeptical, but the response to my appearance in “THE FIRST TAKE” was more than I had expected.
The teacher at my child’s kindergarten told me I was young (laughs).
I was only told by an old man in my neighborhood at my farm, ‘Your weeds are growing, it’s hard work’ (laughs)” (Nori da Funky Civilezas).
(Laughs) “My grandpa just hasn’t seen the video, that’s all.
When asked about their future plans, they responded in a very typical manner.
I can only be thankful that we are able to perform in front of everyone and that our work is going well, but I’m worried that we will get too busy again and MITSU-san will say he wants to take a break (laugh)” (Nori) (laughs).
Unlike in 2004, we would like to tour the whole country over the next 10 years or so, so that we can bring energy to many people at our own pace this time” (Crystal Boy)
In 10 years, we’ll probably get another big break, won’t we?
The exciting sounds and words of “nobodyknows+” will continue to resonate through the ages.
From ” FRIDAY“September23,2022issue
PHOTO： Shinji Hamasaki