“The First Take,” an original series from The First Take YouTube channel dedicated to filming performances by musicians and singers in a single take, has made a special comeback to present a performance by the popular K-pop group Stray Kids for their 43rd episode.
Stray Kids, who made their Japanese debut this year, filmed and recorded this episode remotely in Korea, a very first for “The First Take.” The song performed by Stray Kids, “SLUMP – Japanese ver. – ,” is the ending theme to the animated television series Kami No Tou – Tower Of God. It touches upon the theme of trials and tribulations, inspired by vocalist Han’s personal experiences.
Bang Chan of Stray Kids commented “We’re very honored to have been selected to perform on the comeback special. I was initially a little nervous when I heard we were to be filmed singing live in one take from start to finish but I really started to enjoy myself as I got into the song. I feel as though this new experience has helped us take another positive step forward. It’s also made us want to work harder than ever at our art and we hope to show our strengths to a great number of people in the future to come. We hope our live performance video on The First Take will give people encouragement and the motivation to uplift themselves.”
360 Magazine reached out to The First Take’s team to learn more about the channel.
In a nutshell, what is The First Take about?
A YouTube channel that began in November 2019. With the concept, “What is ‘Music’? — approaching music with just one take,” the artists record their songs in one take, with high-quality sound and image. Right now, due to the COVID-19 situation, the artists are recording at home and private studios under the title “The Home Take.” Even in a limited environment, the quality of the contents is maintained.
What inspired the creation of The First Take?
It took a long time for us to decide what kind of image we wanted, the direction that we have now. But along the line, we came across the idea of “having pressure like a fashion show.” This became our keywords. In a really simple setting, not only the performance but from the appearance to some talk after the show… We thought this was really cool. We knew from there that the setting had to be all white, being extremely minimal.
What kind of artists do you hope to have on The First Take?
A professional, who could do one-take performance in high-quality sound and visual. This is the key to differentiate us from all other YouTube channels.
Who do you hope to have on the show in the future?
We know that 30% of our viewers are from overseas, so we are hoping to book more diverse and international artists to appear on our channel. We hope to develop more globally in the coming days.
How can fans access the show?
We wanted to create content that cannot be done on terrestrial channels; music and visual contents that are unique to YouTube. There are various platforms on the web, but YouTube is really active at this moment. Hereon, streaming music will be the mainstream of music business. We wanted to create a YouTube channel that can reach out directly to the audience, where we can introduce great songs and artists, in a way that’s different from a TV music program.
When we recorded “Neko” by Takumi Kitamura of the DISH//, we had this feeling that it was going to work. In fact, we had a lot of great responses, and even though the song was released back in 2018, the TFT version was soon distributed online (from April). I think this is a little bit like how ‘MTV Unplugged’ worked. TFT takes time to create precise planning for the recording with the artist team. As a result, many artists decided to do a specially arranged performance for TFT. Thus the recorded music will have a new value; the video is a documentary of the recording… and the music fans love it. We were unsure about this recording style for a long time, but we can say that we were successful because we decided to do a precise and proper recording.
Since then we started to release digitally in music.
What can fans expect from The First Take?
We try not to give any specific direction. We just tell the artist to “perform like a show.” When the shooting starts, all the staff leave, and it’s just the artist in the white studio. No rules; it’s a completely free one-shot take, so naturally, there’s quite a tension.
For the recording, all we say is “please perform as usual,” and we also don’t tell them what to say to the camera. We ask them to say whatever they feel, in their own words, so some people get really nervous.
It’s not good to say this, but I feel really lucky when something happens like the artist misses the lyrics (laugh). Because it’s a result of doing it with the soul. The artist puts in all of his/her energy and heart, to give the best performance. The pressure takes the artist beyond the limit and even during the song and after the performance, the artist, the staff, everyone there is always moved by it.
We try to keep that special feel of a live performance, even though it’s a recording.
By building such experiences, we can vividly define the overwhelming power of expression that an artist has. We want the viewers to feel, not think, when they are hearing this music. That way, we think they can sense music in higher resolution. We want our viewers to get goosebumps as they watch our YouTube channel.
Watch Stray Kids’ exclusive performance for The First Take here.
STRAY KIDS JAPAN SOCIALS: Official Site | Twitter | Instagram | TikTok | YouTube
STRAY KIDS KIDS KOREAN SOCIALS: Official Site | Spotify | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube
THE FIRST TAKE SOCIALS: Instagram | Twitter | TikTok | YouTube | Twitter