Meet the Charming TOZ!
The members of the new Japanese group talk about their debut mini-album, fandom name, experiences on BOYS PLANET, and more!
Please introduce yourselves and share what special traits or skills you each contribute to the group!
ANTHONNY: Hello guys! I’m TOZ's parent-like leader, ANTHONNY!
YUTO: Hi! I'm TOZ's wink machine, YUTO, full of unexpected charms.
HARUTO: Hello, my name is HARUTO, and I’m the comedian, always happy and in charge of making everyone laugh.
TAKUTO: Hello, I’m TAKUTO, the youngest of TOZ.
For those who have never heard your music before, how would you describe it to them? How would you finish the sentence “TOZ is ___” or TOZ’s music is ___”?
“TOZ’s music is addictive.” The whole album is fresh and has the power to give everyone energy! It’s filled with so many songs that you will never get tired of and [will] want to listen to again and again!
Do you have a fandom name yet, and if not, are there any fandom names you are currently considering?
We don’t have an official fandom name yet, but we are in the middle of deciding the most unique name that fits us well, so please stay tuned! Note: Since this interview was conducted, TOZ did choose their official fandom name: TOPAZ!
What word or phrase best describes FLARE?
“Diverse.” Our album has five songs, and each song is completely different, each having [its] own refreshing taste.
How does FLARE represent TOZ’s identity?
The songs in our album are completely nonidentical from each other. Each member in our team has contrasting charms and talents, and we think that’s our strength and specialty.
Can you share a “TMI” story from making the “Magic Hour” music video?
On the day we shot the music video, it was very sunny, and since we were filming on the rooftop of a building, it was so bright and hard to open our eyes. That scene took a pretty long time, because we couldn’t open our eyes at all due to the sunlight!
What was it like filming a debut music video? Did anything surprise you about that process?
As it was a first-time experience for everyone, the idea of [making] our own music video was exciting but also nerve-wracking. On the day of shooting, we had some difficulties, but it was so much fun! One thing that surprised us was when we filmed at an abandoned supermarket. Just when we were concentrating on shooting, we saw a ghost! It was 3 a.m., so it was super scary.
What were your experiences like on BOYS PLANET? Did your time on the show change how you perform or how you think about idol life?
ANTHONNY: Many people participated in BOYS PLANET from various countries and environments, and they each [had] their own style and way of thinking, so I think we learned a lot from that experience!
HARUTO: My experience on BOYS PLANET was fantastic, and I made so many good memories that I’ll remember for the rest of my life! It was a great opportunity for me to grow in many different aspects. The most memorable thing I learned is that only you yourself [are] responsible for setting boundaries and limits. You never know until you’ve tried, and this I learned while pushing myself to the limit during the missions. Although I’ve always given my best in preparing any performance, I think I’ve come to push myself even harder. In terms of my thoughts about idol life, after BOYS PLANET, I think I became even more ambitious to debut. On BOYS PLANET, the busy schedule, hair and makeup, performing on a super big stage with a cool set, meeting fans… it was kind of like being an idol for a few months, and I loved it so much, so BOYS PLANET made me want to become an idol even more.
YUTO: It was an experience that changed my life at once. After going on the program, I felt stronger about this dream than before, and I learned the importance of not giving up until the end.
TAKUTO: It was such a valuable experience for me, and I got accustomed to cameras.
If you had to pick a song that wasn’t “Magic Hour” to be the main single off of FLARE instead, which song would you choose to promote, and why?
ANTHONNY: I choose “DUNK,” because I think it can attract many people, due to our different charms!
YUTO: I choose “CHIPS.” It's a lovely, cool song that fits our mood, so even [though it’s not] the title song, I think we were able to express ourselves well.
HARUTO: I choose “CHIPS.” “CHIPS” is actually my favorite track on the album, and I think it is totally title-track-worthy. The song is very funky, and the beats really make you want to dance. I’ve been listening to it a lot already and am still not tired of it at all, and I like the choreography. I hope we can perform it live and show it to everyone soon!
TAKUTO: I choose “Peach Peach,” because it is a good song.
What seniors do you look up to the most in the music industry?
ANTHONNY: For me it’s BTS! After working hard for a long time, [they became] a group that everyone in the world knows; each member has a different charm; and I really admire how they deal with music!
YUTO: Recently, SEUNGMIN of Stray Kids. SEUNGMIN has SEUNGMIN's own cute vibe, [and] he's a very charming person who shows an unimaginably charismatic side when performing, so I think he's cool.
HARUTO: I look up to and respect every artist in the industry, because every artist has their own unique style, charms, and talents, but I think I personally look up to Mr. MARK from NCT as my role model. He first caught my eye through his visuals, fluid dancing, and unique rap skills, but after surfing the internet and watching tons of interviews [and] behind-the-scenes videos, I learned that he’s a very hardworking and passionate person and that I really like his personality.
TAKUTO: I look up to JEONGHAN of SEVENTEEN.
How do you handle nerves before a performance?
ANTHONNY: I'm the type who gets nervous easily, especially when it's important, but I can relax by getting a strong pat on the back!
YUTO: This is how my grandmother taught me: I relax by writing the Chinese character "human" three times on my hand and then “swallowing” it.
HARUTO: I always get nervous before a performance, and what I do is talk out loud and give myself a pep talk. I usually say stuff like, “Think about all the people you’re performing for! Isn’t it exciting? Go kill it!” Or “Think about all the time you [put] into this. Don’t waste it. Believe [in] yourself now. Go get ‘em.” It always gives me an adrenaline boost and blows all the nerves away, so please try it!
TAKUTO: I think of [our] fans. Then I naturally get relaxed.
What are your short-term and long-term goals for TOZ?
For now, our goal is to become the most successful idol group in Japan. And ultimately, our aim is to become globally successful and give joy through our music and performances to every person around the world.
Lastly, is there anything else you want to say about yourselves or your music?
We hope you have gotten even a little bit interested in TOZ and our music! We will do our best to meet everyone's expectations and work hard, so please continue to give us your love and support!
Answers have been lightly edited and condensed for clarity. Photo courtesy of YY Entertainment.