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With OHL, the Japanese band that aims for the world!

On the occasion of the release of its first independently produced album, "PEACE ONE", the band OHL agreed to answer our questions. The opportunity for its seven members to project themselves onto the European and global market!

groupe pop japonais OHL

KRM – You started in January 2021 and this is your first French, and even European, interview! How do you feel ? Did you think you would be able to interest international audiences in less than three years?

KANNAWe are very happy to think that the people of France can get to know us, OHL, a little better! It's been two and a half years since we formed, but the three new songs were written and composed by the band members, with a lot of attention paid to the tracks, melodies and lyrics. We hope everyone listens to the new songs!

membre du groupe OHL Junya

KRM – Can your success, which goes beyond Japanese borders, be explained by your active presence on social networks? One of your TikTok videos is approaching five million views, while on Instagram, one of your covers is approaching 30,000 views… Is using these platforms the key to success today?

JUNYAI was totally surprised that our activities reached so many people on TikTok and YouTube, media that are seen by people all over the world. Thankfully, we have almost 100,000 followers on both TikTok and YouTube, which makes us feel lucky to be doing it in this day and age.

NAO - The dramatic growth in translation functions has made it easier to transmit Japanese culture and music, and easier to communicate with people overseas, which has led to an environment where we can be recognised by people from all over the world. Tiktok and YouTube in particular are mediums that have helped us to further improve our activities. We will continue to use it as a tool to bring OHL's music to more people.

membre du groupe OHL NAO

KRMUsing these platforms allows you to be even closer to fans. Do you view your audience as an eighth member? You also organized a fan meeting in August. What does the support of your fans bring you on a daily basis?

NAOWhen things don't go well at a live performance or when I'm feeling down, the first thing that comes to mind is the presence of PIECEs (OHL's fandom name).

No matter how hard and painful things are for OHL, they believe in us first and foremost that we can get recognized to the world, and they follow us. As long as there are PIECEs being there for us, I am encouraged every single day and I will continue to stand on stage and give the best performance I can now.

RYUSEIWe are a private company, so it is easier for us to project the opinions and thoughts of our fans. The fans think about our activities in the same way as the members, so in that sense I think the feeling of being the eighth member is stronger than in any other group!

We are with our fans when we feel happy and when we feel frustrated, so one day we want to show everyone how we look on a bigger stage, and want to share that joy together!

Receiving everyone's emotions from the stage is what I live for now.

GEN membre du groupe OHL

KRMSpeaking of motivation, what pushed you to work in the music industry? Your beginnings are special since you have already just created your own label.

GENWe started the private company with the aim of creating a warm community where musicians like ourselves, who can't rely on anyone and are often overlooked by society, can support each other. Because we operate on our own, we don't have to worry about financial constraints, and we don't have to compromise for anyone. It would make us happy if we could eventually provide a free music production environment that transcends genres. Recently, I have felt a growing number of fans who appreciate OHL not only as an "idol" but also as musicians. It is gratifying to see this diversification.

KRMWasn't it risky to go freelance? How has your way of working evolved since then?

JUNYABefore forming OHL, I belonged to an independent group without any agency, and we had to handle staff duties ourselves. After that, we decided to form OHL, and at first, we were signed to an agency, but what I felt there was a lot of restrictions and it was difficult to move freely, both in a good and bad way. With the limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, our activities were also restricted. At that time, GEN proposed, "Why don't we do it ourselves?" and we decided to start our own company.

To be honest, I had conflicting thoughts, but I believed that by doing it ourselves, we could expand the scope of our activities and do it without regrets. Taking into account the opinions of other members, I made up my mind to accept GEN's proposal and felt motivated to work hard.

Now, we are truly enjoying doing what we love. I think that what we want to do is reflected in our songs and performances!

KRM - “Liminal” designates a limit, that of perception. And in the field of psychology, it is the threshold required to provoke sensory excitement. Music is an art provoking many feelings in the listener. Why did you choose on this word for your group name?

GENThis concept actually came from someone who supported us before the group was formed. Each member of OHL shares the common experience of facing setbacks at some point.

The seven members came together as a last chance. Along with our fans called "PIECE" and everything and everyone involved, we aim to connect the "100 potential abilities" and deliver entertainment and music that surpasses our limits. With this intention, we named ourselves ONE HUNDRED LIMINAL.

KANNA membre du groupe OHL

KRM - Let’s enter your musical universe. You have already produced 3 MVs, each with a different style but with its own signature: that of modern pop, combining moments of softness with more impactful passages. The difference is obvious with the “Japanese pop” style that we know from the old groups. Where do your musical influences come from? Why did you choose a more modern pop?

KANNAIf we were only active in Japan, it might be natural to adhere to the style of "Japanese Pop." However, because we genuinely love music, we want to incorporate our own unique colors and atmosphere. I believe that the songs that are currently charting worldwide are the sounds that many people are seeking and want to listen to. So, I feel that OHL's music is a blend of those elements while incorporating our own style.

SHURUFrom a musical influence perspective, we always keep the international market in mind when it comes to creating our music. It may be related to the fact that our style is considered to be contemporary and aligned with global trends. Although it may sound grandiose, we strive to present a unique musical approach that has not been attempted before, aiming to uplift the Japanese dance-vocal market.

SHURU membre du groupe OHL

KRM - Now that you are independent, you control the creative process from A to Z. What are each of your strong points? Are there steps in the process that you prefer, or on the contrary, that you prefer to delegate?

SHURUWe, especially the members involved in composing, have various musical sensibilities that are different from one another so I consider this diversity as a strength because it allows us to approach each song in different ways. While incorporating our own style, we believe that we can constantly create unexpected music without being restricted by genres.

Personally, I am skilled in rap and lyric writing, so I rely on the other members' strength in melody. Moving forward, I hope to continue creating OHL's music in this way

KRM - You have just released no less than three singles as well as an album, all in a very short time! Why did you choose a busy schedule instead of spacing out the outings?

GENThere was also an option to release it with the conventional sense of speed, but when considering the 3rd one-man live "THE PIECE 1," I felt anxious about the lack of freshness and dissatisfaction in the production. That's why we decided to produce three songs in a hurry. Honestly, it was tough (laughs), but now I truly feel that it was worth it to make them even if we had to push ourselves. And above all, it was fun.

KRMThe first of these three releases, “Periodt”, is described as a follow-up to the single “Addictiv Luv”. Are “SENSUAL” and “Change Ma Life” in this same lineage or, on the contrary, have their own stories? If so why ?

GEN"Periodt.", "SENSUAL", and "Change Ma Life" were all created with the same theme of "love," but each was based on different backgrounds and stories. While KANNA, SHURU, and I were in charge of the melody (composition) for all three songs, we divided the lyrics to express different worldviews. Among them, "Periodt." and "Addictive Luv", which I was responsible for the lyrics, share the common theme of portraying the worldview of a "love-weakened" man who has become addicted to love. As the title suggests, "Periodt." is a song filled with the desire to break free from the addiction. Contrarily, while the melody has an addictive quality to it... (laughs)

KRM“PEACE ONE”, released on September 3, is your first mini-album. Were the three previous singles planned in this opus? Is making this record independently a victory? What were your expectations of your audience?

SHURUTo be honest, it did take quite some time for us to deliver our music to our fans in the form of an album (laughs). However, as we continued our activities, we gradually clarified what our music is all about and wanted to deliver something that we were satisfied with to everyone. So, we believe that the process so far has been necessary time for both us and our fans. This mini album, which we prepared eagerly, has already received positive feedback from those who have gotten their hands on it. Our hope is that those of you who became curious after reading this article will feel our charms through this mini album "PEACE ONE" and come to our live performances. We hope it becomes a trigger for you to experience our music.

KTA membre du groupe OHL

KRMYou spoke earlier about your last concert “PIECE 1”. How did the organization go? How did you feel as you got back on stage?

JUNYAIn our first one-man live since becoming independent, we made the decision to give our all as a group and put on a live performance. The songs performed during the performance are also a statement of our determination to change and take the next step. The mini album includes songs that have taken a completely different direction from our previous songs and songs that express our gratitude to the fans who have supported us thus far.

KTAActually standing on stage and experiencing it, it felt like time flew by in an instant! They say "fun times pass quickly," and it's true. Any anxiety or nervousness disappeared the moment the show started! I think the preparation period gave us confidence, and I feel like it will be a valuable experience for our future. During the performance, I strongly felt, "I really love music, and I don't want this incredible time to end." It was the most powerful live experience I have ever had.


KRMHave you ever thought about performing outside of Japan? In which countries would you like to perform in the future and why?

RYUSEI - I really want to try it all! I want to go to France, of course, but also to all countries in Europe, and also throughout Asia and The United States, where Michael Jackson, who was one of the inspirations for me to start dancing, made his mark, is also a place I would love to perform. And I would also like to have a live performance in South America. Well, I guess that covers it all (laughs).

In Japan, when it comes to street performances, there are many that are based on improvisation, such as solo acoustic performances. In that sense, I feel a bit envious of countries like South Korea where street culture, including dance, is thriving. And with the rise of dance-vocal cultures, led by K-POP, in other countries as well, I would love to go and perform and get people to discover us too!

KRM - In your bio, you mention that each of you has talents beyond music and that you want to use them. What talents are these?

JUNYAI can do video editing, so I eventually want to be able to handle every aspect of OHL's music videos, from concept to editing, on my own.

KTAI am in charge of styling the group's costumes, and I do sewing and painting as well, all self-taught and through trial and error! It may be rough around the edges, but I would be happy if you could appreciate those aspects as a reflection of our own touch. I also handled the costumes for our recent one-man show, so please check them out!

KRM - To conclude this interview, do you have any last words to address to your fans as well as to our readers, who are discovering you today?

JUNYAThank you so much for reading our interview.We are able to be found by people overseas and have the opportunity for interviews like this because of the continuous support from PIECE, our fans.. Thank you so much for making our presence valuable. From now on, we are embarking on a new challenge and competition. It would make us happy if you continue to support us as you have done before.

KANNAThank you so much for this wonderful interview! And to you, the amazing reader who is taking the time to read this article, thank you for reading this far! And thank you for getting to know OHL!

In the future, we hope to expand our activities and reach out to fans overseas! We will definitely come to meet all of you someday! We want to bring our music to you!

If you're interested, please check out our social medias and stay updated!

Thank you once again!

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