Girl group XG has released the prologue episode (episode 0) of their new Youtube documentary series XTRA XTRA, which details the formation and creative process of the group with footage that dates back to 2017.
In the opening scenes, the voice of member Juria who was 12 years old at the time can be heard saying: “My dream is to become an artist with charisma, great vocal skills, and be recognized worldwide.”
It then cuts to XG’s executive producer and CEO Simon ‘JAKOPS’ telling the viewers although the group consists of all Japanese members, it doesn’t matter how someone classifies XG in terms of genres or music industries because he believes they are paving a new way in the industry.
However, the risk that every pioneer faces, even a great idea can encounter bumpy roads along the way. In the next clip Simon can be seen telling the girls “If we fail, I’ll take all the responsibility.”
Clips of young girls vigorously practicing their singing and dancing can be seen. Each with the eager hope to debut under the agency. Not only XG members, episode 0 includes footage of multiple trainees who were once competing to be a part of the final lineup.
“XGALX is a new label that has spent 5-6 years preparing and creating a new global artist girl group,” says Simon in episode 0. “We are independently carrying out the discovery, development, planning, management and the production of XG.”
He then explains the reasoning behind choosing to base the group in South Korea over Japan. “Our intention from the beginning was to promote the girls in South Korea on various music programs and shows. The sole reason being that Korea has the leading system when it comes to “idol culture.””
About the question of identifying as either a J-Pop or K-Pop group, his response was “We honestly struggled quite a bit with the question ‘Is XG K-Pop or J-Pop?’ While all of our artists are Japanese, and even though we promote and produce content in Korea, we express our message on a global scale by singing and performing our songs in English. Should we define and confine ourselves with a single category?”
In the next scene, Simon explains that he is already aware that people may be uncomfortable with the idea of a group such as XG, and it will be a bumpy road, but it is something that they have all expected and prepared for. “The most important thing is instead of defining what is and isn’t K-Pop, as those who are part of the culture it’s our job to have them accept and enjoy our presence as outliers and newcomers to the K-Pop scene” he says.
Overall, for a 10 minute long episode, it was very informative. I thought that having Simon take the lead in this episode was a smart choice since he gracefully answered a lot of questions and confusions that people had about XG (my own Nante co-workers included). He clearly has a lot of pride in the group that he created, and is willing to be with them every step of the way. Also, the clips that were shown kept me anticipating what to expect in future episodes. Stay tuned for the episode 1 recap!
Check out the full episode on YouTube below.