Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Girl group's Blush with fame concert at Sunway Lagoon (3 PICS)

Blush performing as the opening act for Jessie J's March concert at Sunway Lagoon Surf Beach

BLUSH, a Pan-Asian girl group, is fast making waves in the music industry, landing third on the US Billboard Dance Charts in August 2011 with its first single, Undivided, featuring Snoop Dogg.

It was also the first among Asian groups or artistes to have its debut single hit Top 3 on a major US chart.

Blush was formed from a talent search called Project Lotus, helmed by former Walt Disney Asia Pacific president Jon Niermann and Grammy-winning songwriter-music producer Eliot Kennedy, who has worked with Celine Dion, Robbie Williams, the Spice Girls and others.

It was no easy feat to put together Blush as the producers scouted talents in the Philippines, China, Japan, India and South Korea to find the girls they had envisioned in their minds. Vocal academies and dance schools were approached and hundreds of audition tapes were received.

From those, 25 girls were selected and flown to Project Lotus Academy (first based in Hong Kong and then in Manila, the Philippines) for about six weeks where one contestant was eliminated each week.

The girls were put through gruelling vocal, dance and personal training, photography sessions and interviews with Niermann to brush up on their responding skills.

Blush performing as the opening act for Jessie J's March concert at Sunway Lagoon Surf Beach.
The whole elimination process, which began in June 2010 and ended with the finals on Nov 29 last year, was documented and is set to be aired across Asia in May.

The triumphant five girls are Alisha Budhrani from India, Natsuko Danjo from Japan, Angeli Flores from the Philippines, Lee Ji-hae from South Korea, and Victoria Chan from Hong Kong. They outshone the rest with their vocal and dancing abilities, uniqueness and stage presence.

“Each one of these girls can be a superstar on her own. They blend together to create something we have never experienced before. It’s not the same old girl band, boy band,” said Steve Schnur, chairman emeritus of the Grammy Foundation, who co-produced the group’s first recording, Holding on to a Dream.

Indeed, each of the members of Blush brings her own glow to the group.

Alisha, 19, used to be a back-up dancer for Coco Lee and Eason Chan. Danjo, 20, nicknamed ‘Nacho’, too, has dancing experiences under her belt – in fact, she has been dancing for 17 years.

Flores and Lee, on the other hand, came from a singing background. Flores, 21, has been singing since she was 12 and had participated in GMA-7’s Pinoy Idol while Lee, 25, was a former contestant of Superstar K in Korea.

Chan, the oldest of the girls at 28, was a former gymnast and had once attended the junior music choir programme at the Hong Kong Performing Arts.

The girls of Blush: (from left) Alisha Budhrani from India; Lee Ji-hae from South Korea; Angeli Flores from the Philippines; Natsuko Danjo from Japan; and Victoria Chan from Hong Kong.
The girls from Blush are hardly your average pop starlets. Their strength lies in their very distinctive personalities, coming together from different parts of Asia with one common dream – to represent Asia and reach out to the world with their music.

The wondrous thing about Blush is that none of the girls has been changed by thoughts of fame. They are down-to-earth and are not afraid to look silly in front of the cameras.

They jibed at each other and burst into hearty giggles easily, watched over with ‘parental’ pride by Stacy Niermann, Blush CEO and group manager.

She said: “When we started on the talent search for the Blush girls, we had no idea what we would find. But we knew we wanted girls who are talented, vocally strong and ambassadors of their country.”

She added that Blush’s biggest challenge today is spreading its music to fans worldwide.

Based in Hong Kong, Blush has built a series of strong collaborations – from opening for Justin Bieber and The Black Eyed Peas to performing alongside B.o.B and Far East Movement.

The girls were also the opening act for Jessie J at her recent concert held at Sunway Lagoon Surf Beach.

Blush will be releasing its EP next month and is also expected to release its dblebut album in a month or two.

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