Since the departure of Tomohisa Yamashita and Ryo Nishikido, NEWS are set to release their first single as a four members, it was announced on June 12, reports Nikkan Sports, Sports Hochi, Daily Sports Online, and Chunichi Sports.
“We can finally make a start. I’ve been waiting for this day,” Shigeaki Kato said.
“The feeling that it’s about to start is finally sinking in,” Keiichiro Koyama said.
It has been reported “チャンカパーナ (Chankapana)”, meaning “the person I care about or love”, will be released on July 18. It is the group’s first single in 20 months.
“When I first heard the title I was like, ‘excuse me?’, but I like the fact that it makes you want to know what it means,” Koyama said.
The group talked to the media about how all of the members decided it was best for Yamashita to focus on his solo work and Nishikido on Kanjani8, and how the remaining four changed a group threat into a chance.
“I was worried, I didn’t know what was going to happen or where my life was headed,” Koyama said.
“There’s no way I couldn’t be upset. But I turned a corner, I knew it would be a challenge but the four of us could do it,” Kato said.
“I wasn’t worried at all. I’m sure the two had things they wanted to accomplish and it’s a big no for NEWS to make someone stay who doesn’t want to,” Yuya Tegoshi said.
“I was frustrated that the dream the six of us had had was torn apart, but it also made me want it more. I felt like I wanted the four of us to achieve it, and more,” Takahisa Masuda said.
It has been reported even though the four of them had different thoughts about last year’s event, Koyama had said they all loved NEWS and did not want it to end. It is also the reason why the four had spent six months preparing new material. During the time the four would catch up for meals, talk about the new single, and started suggesting more of their own ideas to producers.
“There’s no song we have that has more of us in it than this. Because there are fewer of us, it’s easier for our personality to come through. I’m confident the four-member NEWS can overtake the six-member NEWS,” Tegoshi said.
“There aren’t many four-membered groups in Johnny’s. I want to use it as an advantage. We’ve even made four versions of the new single,” Masuda said.
The group started with nine members in 2003, but Koyama had said this was the last change.
It has been reported a summer concert tour is also being planned.