T-ara Looks to Differentiate from KARA, SNSD in Japan


T-ara held a press conference before their first-ever Japanese showcase on July 5th, discussing their strategy to differentiate themselves from other K-Pop girl groups in Japan. The seven girls said, “We’ve learned a lot by monitoring SNSD and KARA’s Japanese promotions. But we’re a bit different in that we’re planning to meet our fans not just through music, but also through a number of different channels, including TV dramas, films, and variety shows.”

In order to do so, T-ara focused on mastering the language first. Already three months into taking private Japanese classes, T-ara is now conversational in Japanese. They studied late till the night before Tuesday’s press conference, as Eun Jung was even able to introduce herself in fluent Japanese, saying, “I’m the pure and innocent Eun Jung. We are T-ara, who’s capable of both singing and acting.”

Their overall concept in Japan, however, will not be much different from their Korean one. So Yeon said, “Just because we’re expanding to Japan, we didn’t plan our promotions with their different culture in mind. We plan on bringing the same charms the Korean fans liked about us.” Hyomin added, “We’ll show the strength K-Pop by stressing our own Korean style melody.”

Despite their confident comments, the girls still seemed quite nervous about their venture into an entirely new market. “Now that we stepped into the showcase hall, I’m realizing we came to Japan. Since this is our first performance in Japan, we feel very nervous and tense,” Eun Jung said. Ji Yeon added, “Our initial goal is to break into the top positions on the Oricons. We’ll do our best to meet your expectations.”

T-ara just recently signed a Japanese management contract with J-Rock for more than 350 million yen (4.3 million USD), officially kick starting their promotions in Japan. Last week, their latest Korean single “Roly Poly” swept all Korean music charts upon release.

Source: Sports Seoul