Travis Japan is a group whom I’ve gotten to know pretty well over the past few months and tonight, they step back onto the stage for the semi-finals of NBC’s America’s Got Talent.


With the glittering glitz of their performances, Travis Japan has a knack for making even the most difficult choreography flow with ease – so it’s easy to forget that they are just seven guys who are working extremely hard – half a world away from everyone and everything they’ve ever known (or loved). 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the group, a quick history lesson. 

Travis Japan was formed in 2012 under the supervision of Johnny Kitagawa (founder of Johnny & Associates, who has produced some of Japan’s most beloved idols) and choreographer Travis Payne. Together, they hand-picked each member based on their dance ability. Children at the time, each one of the guys has been diligent and dedicated to the group’s success – developing a style and flair that’s incredibly unique. A style strengthened by their bond as a group. 

“One of Travis’ best qualities is that when they come up against a problem, they talk things over together and give suggestions as a group,” professional trampolinist Nakata Daisuke said during the filming of the docu-series Ride On Time (while working with the group on the stage production of TORA JA -NINJAPAN-) “You get a wonderful sense of teamwork you’d be hard-pressed to find, even in team sports.”

Every single show of their 2019 production sold out almost instantly and their song “Big Bang Boy” (which is entirely in English) was the theme song for the 2021 production.

Note: I can’t recommend Ride On Time enough. Not only does it give you a peek into the world of Travis Japan, but also many other Johnny’s acts like Snow Man, Naniwa Danshi, and Sexy Zone. It’s fascinating and can be streamed both on Amazon Prime and Netflix.

Now back to our story…

Since coming to Los Angeles in March of 2022, Travis Japan hasn’t seemed to stop working. They performed at the closing ceremonies of Anime Expo, took part in the Rising Japan music festival, placed in the top ten internationally at the World of Dance, AND took home the Ultimate Crowd Favorite Award. All of this was done while not only preparing for AGT but also producing content to keep up with their fans back home.

Spend any amount of time talking with any one of the members, and they will let you know that fans are incredibly important to them.

One of the things that struck me about this group is how humble they are. Idols in Japan are not like the celebrities we have in the states. They don’t throw out phrases like “We love our fans!” Just because they’re pretty words that make someone happy for a split second. When they look at you and say “It’s nice to meet you,” they mean it honestly and sincerely. 

“There is a legitimate connection to what they represent, of hard work and striving for your dreams,” one fan communicated. “They bring happiness and joy.”

The inflated ego that often comes with success is nowhere to be found within this group. You will never hear them say, “We’re so great!” Or “I’m the best at (insert whatever).” Instead, what you have is a group where every single member has basically said “I need to work on this, but (any other Member name) is really great at it.” That’s not to say that they don’t each have their own individual strengths, they just use them to better everyone – not just themselves.

It’s that commitment to one another that’s gotten them as far as it has. THEY made the decision to come to Los Angeles, as a group. THEY got themselves on America’s got Talent, as a group. Win or lose, it’s clear these boys are destined for something truly magnificent.

If you need guidance on how to vote for Travis Japan please see my previous post in English, 日本語, ¡en español!,

I for one can’t wait to see what they’re going to do next. Stay tuned…