Interview with Yukako Tani of YGA
Formed in 2008 YGA (Yoshimoto Gravure Agency) is a J-pop idol group consisting of 10 members (Tani Yukako, Hanano Yuuri, Hayashi Sanae, Sakurai Rika, Hinata Sayo, Misawa Kana, Kasuga Sayaka, Oomizo Shiina, Wasaki Nanami, and Kato Moemi. Every weekend, YGA runs a live show at Shinagawa Prince Theatre. Their single “Jounetsu Heroine” ranked in 5th on the Oricon chart.
How was the group first formed? Were auditions held?
Our management, YOSHIMOTO KOGYO CO., LTD is best known for comedians. YGA’s initial concept was to form a group a half “variety show” and other half “idol”. I also wanted to be good at talking (MC-ing) and joined YOSHIMOTO Creative College. I applied for the YGA auditions there.
What motivated you to try out for the group?
I also wanted to be good at talking (MC-ing) not only just dancing and singing as other idol groups do.
Working with each other, does it create rivalries?
Yes, it does. I am in charge of the centre position from the very first beginning. Every time new member comes in, I do feel competitive.
Isn’t it difficult to reconcile work with your personal lives?
YOSHIMOTO KOGYO CO., LTD gets us work at sudden notice. We check out our official home page and jot all show dates down in notebook. This style is new to me and there isn’t much space for private time. (LOL)
You must have a difficult schedule with rehearsals, live shows, recordings and promotion. Where do you find all this energy?
All fans come to our show energize us! I personally love eating. That is how we gain strength.
What is the biggest sacrifice you made to become an idol?
I have very few friends. I was born in Shiga prefecture and moved to Tokyo. I don’t have many friends in Tokyo. I have to cancel private appointments because of work. No one really calls me now…
What are some of the things you like to do in your free time?
I like going shopping, hair dresser and massage. But that’s rare. Usually I end up sleeping all day. (LOL)
What kind of music do you listen to and are there any artists you admire?
I like R&B. I don’t much listen to idol stuff in private time…
Does YGA want to build up its fan base in the US and enter the market?
Seems American entertainment market requires not only good appearance but also solid performing skill and music. I want to polish my skill more and one day challenge US market,
What do you do to prepare for your live concerts?
I can’t play the piano or any musical instruments. But I have a keyboard. I use it to memorize all notes necessary for vocal training.
What songs are your favorites?
I like “YGA’s song” best. I like it because the song reveals YGA very well. Song features all members’ introduction. You can see what kind of members are in YGA.
How do you enjoy making the music videos?
I enjoyed the process of making it very much. I am quite impressed with all camera crews and other staff for creative inspiration,
Which is more of a challenge, the dancing or the singing?
Singing. Every time I sing Solo part I get nervous. It is very live moment.
Your single “Jounetsu Heroine” ranked in 5th on the Oricon chart. That is quite an accomplishment. How did you feel when you found out?
“What??? Did it??? When???” I couldn’t believe the news when I first heard it. (LOL) I also felt very rewarding.
What do you think is the most important skill in being a successful idol?
Expression skill. Being an idol is like being an actress. You energize all fans.
I am sure there are many fans out there who would want to know if you have a boyfriend.
In private time, I behave boyishly. Unfortunately, I haven’t got one. (LOL)
Anything you would like to say to your present and new fans in the US?
We will keep trying harder as one of the idol group in Japan. We will keep trying hard until “idol” becomes a universal language. If any of you have a chance to come to Japan, please come and see YGA live show!
YGA Official Home Page