When you’ve already seen significant success in your home country, breaking out into the international scene can feel daunting. Definitely, it can be an intimidating endeavor that feels like starting from scratch. Despite this, it’s something that PSYCHIC FEVER from EXILE TRIBE have always been fearlessly aiming to achieve.

Ever since the beginning, the 7-member boy group, composed of KOKORO, WEESA, TSURUGI, RYOGA, REN, JIMMY, and RYUSHIN, have always had their eyes set on having their Japanese roots take hold and thrive on the global stage. From tirelessly touring across all 47 prefectures of Japan to constantly putting out release after release, PSYCHIC FEVER have been honing their skills at home in order to prepare themselves to conquer stages overseas.

In the past year or so since their official debut in 2022, they have already begun setting out to achieve this mission. Indeed, they’ve already achieved quite a lot, including a gutsy decision to temporarily move their activities to Thailand for 6 months as well as cultivating loyal audiences in various other Asian countries. With this, their aim to become globally-recognized artists from Japan and to top Billboard’s Global 200 Chart seems to be a reality already within reach, proving that they’re not a group who are all talk and no action.

In line with their quest of global expansion, Billboard Philippines connected with the members of PSYCHIC FEVER, discussing their latest EP PSYCHIC FILE II, the members’ personal favorite tracks from it, their upcoming Asia tour this May, and more. For the group’s Filipino fans, they also have a special message as well.

Billboard Philippines: Your second EP PSYCHIC FILE II was released earlier this April. Tell us about your experience making the EP. Were there any challenges? What was something new that you discovered or learned during the process?

JIMMY: The theme of this EP is about constantly taking on new challenges and evolving, so this time, we especially featured J-Pop, which is a new genre for us. The melodies were challenging for us, especially the rappers, but we were able to incorporate the core qualities of our seven voices into the songs.

PSYCHIC FILE II was released nearly a year after your first EP PSYCHIC FILE I. Since then, in what ways have you seen PSYCHIC FEVER improve?

WEESA: This time, we also had a session with the rapper NINO and together created the song called “BEE-PO.” In the music video, you’ll be able to see new visuals and performance from PSYCHIC FEVER. As we travel to various countries, you can feel that each member’s experiences led to improvements in our musicality.

PSYCHIC FILE II features 7 unique songs. For each member of the group, which is your favorite track from the EP and why should our readers listen to it?

WEESA: My favorite song is “BEE-PO.” The choreography and lyrics are very catchy, I think so everyone will be able to sing along.

JIMMY: My favorite song is called “Love Fire” because I created the choreography with my best friend MAKOTO from RIEHATATA TOKYO, so I associate this song with a lot of memories, which makes it my favorite.

KOKORO: My favorite song is “IGNITION.” This will be our first ‘towel song’, so I’m really excited to perform it live and spin towels together with everyone.

[Writer’s note: “Towel song” refers to fans holding up an artist’s hand towel merchandise and spinning it rapidly above their heads during a performance.]

REN: My favorite song is “DOKO-NI.” I really love the melody and beat of this song. Other than that, the lyrics are very simple, such as “Where are you now?” which I think is really easy to follow for everyone. It’s a song that makes me want to sing it over and over.

TSURUGI: My favorite song is “Love Fire.” The lyrics are quite cool and passionate; in addition, it has an elegant choreography. Although it may seem like we are ‘trying to keep our cool,’ the choreography and performance style also express a passionate love that cannot be hidden. JIMMY and MAKOTO also pay detailed attention to the expressive qualities in the choreography.

RYOGA: My favorite song is “THE HEAT,” which is the kick-off song for our Asia tour. We hope you will listen to this song a lot while looking forward to our Asia tour and let’s have a great time together in the concert.

RYUSHIN: My favorite song is “FIRE featuring SPRITE.” This song is a collaboration with SPRITE, a Thai rapper – and it uses a mix of English and Thai lyrics. I believe that everyone outside of Japan can enjoy it, and the dance is also very cool and energetic, so please pay attention to that!

Since your official debut in 2022, it can be said that one of the biggest goals of the group has been to be recognized internationally. As a J-pop group, you are already doing that by having performed multiple times in countries such Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and more. You have even collaborated with Thai rapper SPRITE on a song together. For PSYCHIC FEVER, what do you think is the importance of bringing Japanese music to the global stage?

JIMMY: We aim to make people around the world happy with our music without being confined by borders. The group also has diverse roots, so we would like to move from our roots in Japan to the global stage. We hope to make as many people as possible happy with our performance and inspire them to be courageous from seeing us.

Speaking of going international, you are going on an Asia tour this 2024, which includes Music Matters Live 2024 in Singapore as well as multiple shows in Japan, both this May. How do you feel about it? What can your fans, especially outside of Japan, look forward to and expect from PSYCHIC FEVER on this tour?

JIMMY: For this tour, we plan to primarily perform songs from PSYCHIC FILE II and also our previous EP 99.9 PSYCHIC RADIO. There are a lot of songs that we haven’t performed anywhere yet, so please look forward to it. I’m also very excited to perform in Japan and in Southeast Asia.

KOKORO: We will perform in Singapore soon, and we are very happy to be able to deliver our music and live performances across borders, and we hope to expand our circle and the power of our supporters around the world.

You have a lot of Filipino fans supporting you and they are patiently waiting for the group to come to the Philippines. What is something you want to say to them?

WEESA: Thank you so much to all of our fans in the Philippines for your support. We haven’t been to the Philippines yet, so we definitely want to visit and perform live there. We also want to eat the food and experience the culture in the Philippines.

RYOGA: Of course, I’m looking forward to performing in the Philippines, but other than that, I’d also like to try the food and experience the culture, as well as visit the famous places for travelers. Please share your recommendations for the places we can visit!

Aside from the release of PSYCHIC FILE II and your upcoming Asia tour, what is next for PSYCHIC FEVER this 2024?

KOKORO: There are many events that we haven’t announced yet, and we plan to visit countries that we’ve never been to before. We want to continue connecting with our fans ForEVER worldwide through our music and entertainment, so please look forward to our ongoing activities.

WEESA: We will prepare more songs and performances that will be even more enjoyable for everyone, so please look forward to them! And please check our social media and songs.