mardi 31 janvier 2017


EXILE TRIBE refers to several male bands created and produced by the dancer Igarashi Hiroyuki alias "EXILE HIRO", distinguishing from most of the other "challengers" by the quite clear separation between singers and dancers, which allows each of them to perform beyond the average. In 15 years, at the time I wrote this article for the 1st time, they succeeded this way to become serious challengers to the "Johnny's", male Idols who belong to another Japanese agency leading a nearly monopoly for years (in J-Pop), and are among the few Japanese artists to succeed on the Dance - RnB/Hip-hop genre which established the fame of the K-Pop bands.


For the love of dance

French publication : 30/11/2016.
English version: 31/01/2017.
Last update: 19/02/2017.

Presentations (Exile, Sandaime JSB, Generations)
Similar Artists
Other units


EXILE for the album 19 (2015): HIRO in center with singers Atsushi (sunglass) and Takahiro.

HIRO was at first a dancer of ZOO, dance/funk band with female main voice at the beginning of the  90s who would inspire too TRF. A few time after their disband, he creates on the same model J Soul Brothers in 1999, an all-male band of 5 members with the singer Sasa, another ex-ZOO. For the dance, in addition to himself, he calls Makidai, who trained at the same dance studio, and the 2 colleagues of him in the dance unit "Baby Nail", Matsu and Usa.
In 2001, Sasa leaves the band for a short solo career and then to work as a freelance composer (for mihimaru GT for ex), which causes the arrival of the duo Atsushi-Shun and the renaming of the band as EXILE. Their 2nd and 3rd albums (this one including by the way a cover of the ZOO hit "Choo choo TRAIN" with their famous choregraphy) arrive at the top of the Oricon, with more than one million sales for the last one.
In 2006, Shun leaves too the band for a solo career. Atsushi must rest a bit because of throat trouble and Matsu is diagnosed with a long-running disease. HIRO decides then to hire one more dancer, Akira, known by Makidai and Usa (cf. "Other units" below), and a 2nd singer who will be Takahiro after an audition.

Tada Aitakute / EXILE
Single Tada... Aitakute with the formation period Atsushi-Shun
In 2009, EXILE shelters the members of the Nidaime J Soul Brothers (cf. below) and grows from 7 to 17 people, but always with the duo Atsushi-Takahiro as lead singers, even if the 2 ex-singers of the Nidaime participate to the chorus and have some solos, especially when they cover the songs of their former band.
In 2013, HIRO leaves the band as a dancer but is still counted among them, as a producer through his agency LDH (for Love Dream Happiness). Maybe in prevision of the retirement of the other starting dancers, and to reach a new public too, he adds 5 dancers in 2014 on audition: Iwata Takanori, Shirahama Alan, Sekiguchi Mandy, Yamamoto Sekai, Sato Taiki. They are "enthroned" by HIRO in the well-called MV "New horizon". By the way at the end of 2015, Makidai, Matsu and Usa  retire as regular dancers but stay too active (DJ, members of sub-units PKCZ, Gekidan EXILE Matsu-gumi or also Dance Earth Party... see below). The band includes thus nevertheless officially 19 members.
EXILE is thus a "self-made" band who can hardly be called a "boys band", even if it turns close to that with regard to its management since the step back of HIRO. It would be more exact to call it a "dance revue". Atsushi wrote several of the band's songs.
The band's style goes from the dance-club to the latin pop, including funk, RnB or ballads.


1st performers:
- Tada aitakute
- Michi
- Lovers again
- I wish for you
- ...
- Galaxy Express 999
- Won't be long
- ...

Discography (selection):

Our Style / EXILE
03/2002: 1st album. Includes tracks from the "First" J-Soul Brothers, re-recorded by Atsushi and Shun.

12/2003. 3rd album, 1st sold over 1 million; includes Together, 1st cover of Choo Choo Train...

01/2005. Best of the 1st period of EXILE (Atsushi-Shun) ; includes Heart of Gold, Let me Luv U down (feat. Zeebra), 1st cover of Choo Choo Train...

03/2006. Last album with Shun as singer; includes Scream (feat. GLAY), Careless breath (anime Black Jack)...

03/2007. 1st album with the arrival of Takahiro as singer and Akira as dancer; includes Lovers again, Michi, a cover of Won't be long...

03/2011. Includes I wish for you, 24Karats stay Gold... and several covers in the version w/DVD (zone 2).

03/2015. 1st album since the retirement of HIRO as dancer, and with the formation of... "19" members ; includes New Horizon, Exile Pride, Dance into Fantasy...

09/2016. Last Best of to date, for the 15th anniversary of the band; includes most of the hits cited above.

Sandaime J Soul Brothers (三代目 J Soul Brothers)

"San-daime" : les fans of Naruto would have guess it, this is really the "Third J Soul Brothers" ! Indeed, we saw in the EXILE part dans the "First" were Nothing else than the former name of EXILE before singer Sasa left.
The "Second" or Ni-daime J Soul Brothers is created in 2007 with Shokichi and Nesmith as singers and dancers (recruited during a dance audition for EXILE, cf. above) and 5 pure dancers (橘ケンチ-Tachibana Kenchi, 黒木啓司-Kuroki Keiji and Tetsuya, then Naoki and Naoto) recruited on purpose. But it is a commercial fail and the band is fusioned with EXILE in 2009.
The "Third" appears in 2010 through a specific audition: the singers Imaichi Ryūji and Tosaka Hirōmi are then joined again by Naoki and Naoto (leaders), as well as by Iwata Takanori (also EXILE since 2014), Yamashida Kenjirō, and ELLY as dancers.
Their 1st singles reach the podium the Oricon and their 3rd album "Miracle" ranks 1st in 2013, starting a rising fame which explodes in 2014 with the hit R.Y.U.S.E.I. and its famous choregraphy called "Running man", which exceeds 6 months in the Oricon, grants them an invitation to the 65e NHK Kôhaku uta gassen and reaches in 2015, the Top 3 in karaoke !
Their Music Video S.A.K.U.R.A. worths too a watch if your fan of chambara movies ;-)
They are more in a RnB and Electro-Club style.


1st performers:

- Hanabi
- R.Y.U.S.E.I.
- ...


- Galaxy Express 999
- Can't take my eyes off you
- ...

Discography (selection):

01/2014. 1st Best of, includes 24Karats Tribe of Gold, Hanabi, a cover of Can't take my eyes off you...
01/2015. The album which includes RYUSEI, and also EENY. MEENY. MINY. MOE! , COSMOS, SAKURA...

03/2016. Includes Summer Madness, Storm riders (Madmax 3), Unfair world (drama Unfair)... as well as a cover of the famous anime Galaxy Express 999.


Created in 2012,  it includes 7 members selected and formed since 2011 by the agency LDH: singers Ryota Katayose and Ryuto Kazuhara, dancers Alan Shirahama and Mandy Sekiguchi (who joined EXILE too on an audition in 2014), Hayato Komori, Reo Sano, and Yuta Nakatsuka added just before the 1st single in Major.
They are at that time the youngest of the EXILE Tribe, born around 1993 and their look is closer to the Asian "boys bands" standards. They met success since the beginning with singles on the podium of the Oricon,  and their 1st two albums in 1st place !
Their music is more oriented RnB and ballads, with some exceptions more club like Sing it loud. They performed on opening of One Piece : Hard Knock Days (see here).
They are moreover the 1st of the agency to perform a solo live in West (Paris, Londres, New York, Los Angeles... in 2015). 


- Hard Knock Days (opening One Piece)
- ...

Discography (selection):

11/2013. 1er album, includes Hot Shot, Brave it out...
02/2015. Includes Sing it loud, Always with you...

SPEEDSTER [CD+3Blu-ray] [Limited Edition] / GENERATIONS from EXILE TRIBE
02/2016. Includes Ageha, Evergreen, Hard Knock Days (opening One Piece)...

Similar Artists :

Japan : ZOO, Miura Daichi, W-inds,  Crystal Kay, Kôda Kumi... Singing style only : Hirai Ken, Dream Comes True (nu-soul), Kubota Toshinobu, AI (RnB, funk)...
World: EXILE mainly get inspired from American old school popmusic, from the Jackson 5 to Timberlake as well as Boyz2men or Earth Wind & Fire... The Sandaime and Generations look more after recent stars of this genre (Bruno Mars...), of dance club (Guetta...) and K-pop.

Chibi Opinion :

For EXILE, Atsushi makes excellent vocal performances; the Sandaime singers are a bit below but participate more often to the dance part. These chores alternate minimalism on ballads (in MV, the dancers rather play some small scènes) and high-skilled team dancing for EXILE or EXILE Tribe, as well as solos of break dance, especially amoung the youngest. Because of the importance of the choregraphies in these bands, I am obliged to recommend to invest in the Blu-Ray versions, including the MV, even if it is a bit more expensive (check if there is a specific world zone). The videos have a quite cinematographical standing, sometimes even a bit "too much" ^^' .
Cultivating a class and party-heaters, even clubbers, image on screen (MV, coproduced movies, series...) as well as on stage, they succeeded in taking a special place in the Japanese media, particularly since the success of the Sandaime, and appear regularly in ads, variety shows, and in the famous Kouhaku of the NHK. Even if you don't like the musical style or the "boys bands", you must know that some of their choregraphies became memes of the otaku and pop cultures !

Other units

EXILE TRIBE : it is the super-band gathering these  differents male bands when they perform together. Will you be able to distinguish them ?

Discography (selection):

08/2014. Includes The Revolution, 24Karats Tribe of Gold, cover of Choo Choo Train, Can't take my eyes off you, Won't be long, of the famous anime Galaxy Express 999...

Some singers of EXILE TRIBE have too a solo career ,under the names of EXILE ATSUSHI, EXILE TAKAHIRO, EXILE SHOKICHI rather oriented ballads and slows. The young lady who plays the "Precious love" of Atsushi, Hirose Suzu, became very famous since then, in ads using sometimes some scènes of the MV, then in numerous movies and animes (Bakemono no ko: The Boy and the Beast).
In July 2016, Atsushi started an additional activity by creating a rather pop-rock band, Red Diamond Dogs, with a 1st single accompanying one of his own solo tracks, then a 2nd single on their own in January 2017. 


- Itsuka kitto (drama Hi wa Mata Noboru)
- Precious Love
- ...

Discography (selection):

12/2014. Includes Precious Love...

EXILE THE SECOND : it is a "revival" of the Ni-daime J-Soul Brothers, firstly called The Second from Exile but without Naoki and Naoto, already quite busy. It allows the 2 singers-dancers Shokichi et Nesmith to some more singing time but it remained not very active until 2016 where it seems to take a new start with this renaming and the support of Akira.

RATHER UNIQUE : a hip-hop oriented unit formed by 2 dancers of EXILE, Makidai and Usa, with another dancer, Akira (!), a MC, SOHJIN, and DJ Shibuchin, active from 2003 to 2006, when Akira joined EXILE...

OKAXILE is the name given to EXILE in some live MV when... the humorist and TV animator Okamura Takashi infiltrates the band of who he is a huge fan ! And he knows well the choregraphies ^^ !

In 2011, HIRO launches the E-girls, female equivalent to EXILE TRIBE, by gathering different bands of his agency on the same concept of separation between singers and dancers.
Before the creation of E-girls, Flower and Happiness were back-dancers of EXILE TRIBE and he added in particular the 4 singers-dancers of Dream, an Idol band who was losing momentum when he signed her in his agency. Since then, the E-girls got promo times during the tours of EXILE TRIBE and danced in feature of "DJ" Makidai. One can see all of them in the EXILE PV "Exile Pride - Konna sekai o aisuru no tame" in 2013.
Sometimes they are thus seen as members of the EXILE TRIBE, but anyway they will have their own article on this site ;-)

In 2014, the label rhythm zone hosts the project of the dancer Usa, DANCE EARTH PARTY, which allowed him the year before to make a collaboration with Crystal Kay, alog with 2 other EXILE, Tetsuya and Nesmith (Inochi no rythm) by Universal, this time with 4 members of EXILE (Naoki and Mandy in place of Nesmith) as dancers and the 4 girls of Dream for the tune Peace Sunshine. The project continues with various formations.
For the movie High & Low in 2016, for the 15 years of EXILE, which follows 2 series starring the members of EXILE TRIBE and E-girls in a story of gang rivalty, 1 collaborative unit between EXILE (Takahiro) and GLAY (Hisashi, guitare) is ressuscited for the soubdtrack: Ace of Spades (with a colleague of Hisashi from the band rally, Miyagami as drummer, and finally with TOKIE, bassist in particular of RIZE) created originally in 2012. They release in particular a single with  PKCZ (Primal Knowledge ChamberZ), a sub-unit oriented remix hip-hop created in 2015 and including HIRO, the DJs Matsudai and Daruma, as well as the rapper Verbal, from m-flo, who had already collaborated with Flower...
One could hear too Doberman infinity, a rap band from the same agency LDH and The Rampage from EXILE TRIBE, a young unit rather hip-hop formed by 16 young men selected during several auditions, including 3 singers, and 4 dancers trained in New York, who officially started in January 2017. Here is a short introduction in 1 tweet and 3 videos including their 1st single 😉:

●Get Readyto RAMPAGE
— THE RAMPAGE OFFICIAL (@therampagefext) 23 janvier 2017


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