After huge success with King & Prince in Japan, UMG signs Johnny & Associates boy band ‘Travis Japan’ to Capitol Records for global debut

In H1 2022, one of Universal’s biggest selling artists worldwide, alongside the likes of stars BTS and Olivia Rodrigo, was Japanese boy band King & Prince.

The group’s CD sales were cited as a key driver (alongside BTS’ physical music sales) behind UMG’s overall YoY physical revenue growth of 16.6%  (13.4% in constant currency) in H1.

The talent management company behind Japanese superstars King & Prince, (signed via Universal Music Japan), is Johnny & Associates.

Founded in 1962, Johnny & Associates is one of the most prominent talent agencies in the market, claiming to be “a pioneer of techniques, strategies, and technologies now commonplace to the Asian talent management industry”.

On Thursday (September 29), UMG revealed that it’s expanding its relationship with the Tokyo-based agency, via the signing of another Johnny & Associates-managed boyband, called Travis Japan, to Capitol Music Group, with plans to launch the group globally via a Capitol Records release in October.

UMG says that Travis Japan have been active since 2017 with their current seven members, performing original songs and live concerts in arena-scale venues.

They were formed when Travis Payne, Michael Jackson’s choreographer, was asked by Johnny & Associates to help them form a group that would be able to grow on a global scale.

Commenting on the group’s deal with CMG, Payne said: “I’m thrilled for Travis Japan and their new music! It’s been a long time coming, but we’ve finally made it happen. So excited for the world to see.”

UMG says the group has spent time in the United States,  and “further improved their performance and English language skills”.

They participated in the World of Dance competition and qualified in third place. They scored fourth at the US level in the team division, and ninth at the world competition held in July.

Their success at the competition was followed by an appearance on America’s Got Talent, performing their song, My Dreamy Hollywood, in English, and making it through to the semi-final stage (see below).



The group’s success at World of Dance and on America’s Got Talent  “caught the attention of Capitol Records and UMG”, according to Universal, with the decision then made “to sign and release their music globally”.

“Having worked together to achieve enormous success in Japan in recent years, we are pleased to expand our working relationship with Julie and the great team at Johnny & Associates, and to welcome Travis Japan to the Capitol Music Group & UMG family.”

Sir Lucian Grainge

Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO, Universal Music Group, said: “Having worked together to achieve enormous success in Japan in recent years, we are pleased to expand our working relationship with Julie and the great team at Johnny & Associates, and to welcome Travis Japan to the Capitol Music Group & UMG family.”

“I’m thrilled that Travis Japan is joining the CMG family, and that we’ll be collaborating with Johnny & Associates to help bring the band’s vision to a global scale.”

Michelle Jubelirer, Capitol Music Group

Michelle Jubelirer, Chairman and CEO, Capitol Music Group, added: “I’m thrilled that Travis Japan is joining the CMG family, and that we’ll be collaborating with Johnny & Associates to help bring the band’s vision to a global scale.

“American audiences were captivated by Travis Japan during their appearances on America’s Got Talent and in competition at the World Of Dance championship, and we’ll be looking to build upon that momentum as we plan for success.”

“I’m delighted to welcome Travis Japan, an incredible next generation boy band from Johnny & Associates, one of Japan’s top talent management agencies, to UMG and Capitol Music Group.”

Naoshi Fujikura, Universal Music Japan

Naoshi Fujikura, President & CEO Universal Music Japan, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Travis Japan, an incredible next generation boy band from Johnny & Associates, one of Japan’s top talent management agencies, to UMG and Capitol Music Group.

“Additionally, it gives us great pleasure to promise them our complete support as they continue to build their ground-breaking careers globally. We look forward to celebrating their success with their fans worldwide!”

“Today, for the first time ever, we are so thrilled to announce Travis Japan’s worldwide debut with Capitol Music Group.”

Julie K. Fujishima, Johnny & Associates

Julie K. Fujishima, President Johnny & Associates, Inc, said: “Ever since the founding of our company 60 years ago, we have created and sent our boy bands off in Japan.

“Today, for the first time ever, we are so thrilled to announce Travis Japan’s worldwide debut with Capitol Music Group. We are excited to embrace this new chapter of our legacy and overcome new challenges and accomplishments that come along our way.”

“We hope to take you all on this exciting and amazing journey and deliver our Johnny’s entertainment spirit to fans all over the world!”Music Business Worldwide

Leave a Comment