Interview: Psychic Fever discusses their viral song ‘Just Like Dat’

Global sensation


By Marissa Chin

Interview: Psychic Fever discusses their viral song ‘Just Like Dat’

Before K-pop and, most recently, the T-pop wave, there was J-pop. As the second largest music industry in the world (just behind the US), Japan has been at the forefront of trends and musical production which have inspired mainstream Asian artistry to this day. Indeed, the very concept of idol culture was created in Japan. Think stylised choreography, lightsticks and the idol training system. K-pop visionaries, such as Lee Soo Man of SM Entertainment, were heavily inspired by these that they were used as templates to form the basis of what K-pop is today.

The latest iteration of J-pop’s unparalleled artistry is Psychic Fever, a seven-member boy group born out of Japan’s iconic music collective, Exile Tribe. Debuting in July 2022, the act consists of Kokoro, Weesa, Tsurugi, Ryoga, Ren, Jimmy, and Ryushin whose ages range from 2004 to 1997. 


Exceptionally trained in dance, vocals and rap, Psychic Fever have amassed a large online following and achieved acclaimed success in a short period of time. Most recently, they won the 2022 Genie Music Awards’s Next Generation Global Award in South Korea and Asia’s Rising Star at Thailand’s Digital Awards 2022. Hot off their P.C.F 2023 tour, the group is on a rapid rise in fame—but in January 2024, they skyrocketed to new heights of popularity from their latest release. 

Titled Just Like Dat, the retro hip-hop track with its groovy Miami Bass went viral on social media and entered the Viral 50 Hits on the Spotify in Malaysia and Singapore. The hashtag #JustLikeDat has also garnered 61.2 million views on TikTok to date and inspired a fervour of dance cover challenges. 

Ahead, we speak to the seven members of Psychic Fever to talk about their reactions to the song’s huge success, the creative process behind Just Like Dat and how the group is transcending J-pop. 


Congratulations on the huge success of Just Like Dat! How do you guys feel about the song completely taking off, especially for international listeners?

Weesa: Thank you so much! We have been active overseas, and we are very happy that our music is being heard in countries we have never been to. We hope that people in many countries will listen to our new songs as well as Just Like Dat, even if they have never heard of it before.

Ren: This is the first time we have reached so many people overseas, and the fact that we have received so many comments that are not in Japanese has reaffirmed this for me. Many people responded not only to the singing but also to the dancing, which was the reaction we were looking for, so it was very motivating.

Jimmy: It is one of our dreams to be active globally, so we are very happy that our dream is coming true! I also loved seeing the videos of many people singing and dancing to it on social media.



Did you guys anticipate that the song would go viral online?

Ryoga: I did not expect the song to spread like this, I was very surprised. However, we usually ensure to release songs with an unconventional sound that can be listened to at any time, and I think that we were able to reach many people this time with that goal.

Ren: Actually, I kind of expected this. We were highly motivated from the production stage, and we had a conversation with JP The Wavy, who produced the song, that it would surely sell. We were quite confident because the atmosphere of the song was completely different from our previous songs.

Jimmy: We did not expect that so many people from overseas would listen to us. I think we were able to generate so much enthusiasm thanks to the power of social media and our own fandom ForEver, which was beyond our imagination. At the time of songwriting, we did not write songs specifically for the Japanese market, but rather for people all over the world, so we are very proud that so many people have appreciated our music.


@icantdanceinpublic I just find my favorite Japanese boy band 🗣️🗣️🗣️ #PSYCHICFEVER #PSYFE #psychicfeverfromexiletribe #jpop #kpopfyp #jpopfyp #fyp #jimmy #JustLikeDatChallenge #PSYCHICFEVER #99_9_Psychic_Radio #JustLikeDat #99_9MHz #adsthr ♬ Just Like Dat feat. JP THE WAVY – PSYCHIC FEVER from EXILE TRIBE


Based on the reactions on social media, many people were surprised that Just Like Dat is a J-pop song! In your opinion, what are some preconceptions people have about J-pop and how is Psychic Fever redefining the genre with songs such as Just Like Dat?

Kokoro: All of us have different tastes, and we are trying our hand at a wide variety of music without being bound by any one genre. It is a personal challenge, but we would like to express ourselves in the genre of Psychic Fever  which transcends the boundaries of J-pop.

Tsurugi: We believe that our music is one of a kind. With that, we are able to expand the possibilities and the range of J-pop. At the same time, I think it is very important in the future music scene that we are able to redefine J-pop to the world!

Weesa: Of course, J-pop is the core of our music, but each member is influenced by various genres of music, and I think this also plays a part in influencing our music. Psychic Fever wants to be a group that is not bound by any boundaries, but rather is flexible and ever-changing.

Ryoga: We often collaborate with local artists in various countries, and that is why it is our goal to be genre-agnostic. Our role is to create a genre-less style while staying true to our roots in J-Pop.



The choreography for the song looks super fun too! As Ryushin had taken part in the choreography, what were some things that you considered when making the dance?

Ryushin: For this song, I choreographed the song together with Kaita and Kaz the Fire from Riehata Tokyo. I think the key point is that we included movements that were popular in the past. Both the composition and choreography recall the popular songs and atmosphere of the past, so that new viewers can feel nostalgia while seeing a group that they have never seen before! 


@psyfe_official #JustLikeDatChallenge#JustLikeDat 🫳 #PSYCHICFEVER #99_9_Psychic_Radio #99_9MHz #BuzzTracker ♬ Just Like Dat feat. JP THE WAVY – PSYCHIC FEVER from EXILE TRIBE


You also collaborated with JP The Wavy for the song and your EP, 9.99 Psychic Radio. Was there a specific reason you wanted to collaborate with him? 

Ryushin: JP The Wavy is one of the top rappers in Japan today. When we released our pre-debut single, Hotline, he wrote about us on social media, and through various connections, we were able to collaborate with him.  He fully produced the work, from the costumes to the choreography and recording, and we are very grateful to him for that! I learned a lot, and I think it was an important time for us as a group and as individuals!

Kokoro: We were very happy because we ourselves were listening to him on a regular basis. He was very kind to us from the recording process, and we feel that the work incorporates the power of verbal expression, which is one of the weapons of a rapper.

Tsurugi: He is one of the most globally-active Japanese rappers and also very popular in Japan. We both have a high awareness of creating cool things, and we hit it off to become a supergroup that can dance to hip hop!


As a group that debuted in the era of TikTok, how do you think J-pop has evolved as a genre and industry, and what does Psychic Fever hope to convey with your music?

Tsurugi: J-pop has always been growing closely to the times, but has reflected and evolved under folk songs, and the Japanese culture. There was a time when culture was valued, and at the same time, it changed not only to what we hear but also what we see. It was in this context that we made our debut.

Ren: Japanese music has recently been spreading around the world through social media, and even if you don’t understand the language, you can’t help but hum along to the music, which I think makes it even easier to reach the international audience. We want to deliver not only music, but also dance and singing, which are our roots, and “Love Dream Happiness,” which is what our management company, LDH Japan stands for. LDH has inspired us to dream and become artists, and we are still in the process of pursuing our dreams. Just as we were given dreams, we would like to be the ones to give dreams to people.

Ryushin: I think we live in an age of social media, where people can find out things they don’t want to know, or see things they want to see, in a good way. In this day and age, while it is important to be part of the trend, I also think it is most important for us to be the first to create the trend! We are currently traveling to many countries, and the most important message that we would like to convey right now is to make people all over the world happy with our performance music, and transcend language barriers!




How is Just Like Dat similar or different to Psychic Fever’s sound?

Ryoga: We created the song with a 2000’s sound in mind. We often incorporate elements of J-pop into hip hop and R&B in our music. Working with JP The Wavy has taken the sound that we have been working on and strengthened it even more..

Ren: I think it is something that has never been done before with our music. By incorporating the early 2000’s track feel with more current rap and singing, I think it has become something of a newer style. We are always looking to bring new musicality and performance.

Jimmy: In a way, it doesn’t seem to resemble any of the songs that we have. Since the song was produced by JP The Wavy, it was a good opportunity to try a genre that Psychic Fever had not done before, and to challenge the boundaries of what we had never done before.


You also released your EP, 9.99 Psychic Radio, in January. What does this new musical chapter represent for you guys?

Kokoro: The EP name 99.9 Psychic Radio was inspired by and respects the fact that radio was the mainstream way for music to spread at that time, and was inspired by the image of an imaginary radio station that could only be heard here. We want to deliver a style of radio that only we can express.

Tsurugi: I think it is a new frontier. It was an upgrade for us, partly because we created it with people who were objective about the group. And we were able to get very close to our listeners.

Jimmy: We were able to express that Psychic Fever is an ever-changing group through this EP, with a vocal-only song with Ren, and a cypher song with only rappers. Starting with this EP, we are now trying to express ourselves in many more ways in the future.

Ryushin: I think we got to release a song that serves as our signature! In the past, we had often found it difficult to go forward as we wished, but this time we were able to expand in a very good way, and I think it was an opportunity for us to send out our message with confidence and to gain our own confidence as well.




Just Like Dat is receiving a lot of love in Malaysia and your fans here are growing every day! Can fans catch you live in Malaysia soon?

Kokoro: We hope you will wait for us, we love Malaysia very much! We would like to grow bigger as a group so that we can meet our Malaysian fans as soon as possible. We would also like to hold a solo live concert in Malaysia.

Weesa: Our Asia tour will start in May this year, and we would like to tour in Malaysia as well. We would like to perform at festivals and events in Malaysia. 

Tsurugi: Yes, we can expect that. We love Malaysia so much that we definitely want to go back to perform live and meet you all! Please look forward to it!

Ryoga: I am very grateful. Psychic Fever has only been to Malaysia once, so we are preparing to meet many Malaysian ForEvers more from now on. Please wait for us.

Ren: Of course! We can’t wait to meet everyone in Malaysia and to bring our music, performance, and entertainment to many more people. Since our debut, we have only been able to perform once in Malaysia, so all the members are eager to be back in Malaysia as soon as possible.

Jimmy: We are really considering it positively. We are also planning to do an Asian tour this year, so I hope to have more opportunities to visit Malaysia, as many times as possible! I hope to meet many ForEVER in Malaysia!

Ryushin: Yes, we are looking forward to visiting Malaysia again! I definitely want to go to Malaysia, so please wait and see!



Lastly, what are Psychic Fever’s hopes for 2024?

Kokoro: Through the Psychic Fever Asia Tour 2024 Heat that will start in May, I would like to share the same music and the same space with everyone in Asia, and around the world and have the best time. Please look forward to new music that we will be releasing in the future! 

Tsurugi: For us, 2024 is an important year for us. Every day we feel that our music is reaching many people. This year, we would like to expand the circle of Psychic Fever to Asia, and to the world with more people’s recognition. 

Ryoga: We are looking forward to meeting our fans in various countries and enjoying our music together through our upcoming tour. We will do our best to release another song that will surpass Just Like Dat.


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