Blush is the world’s first Pan-Asian female supergroup, composed of five stunning, multitalented young ladies from five different countries: Victoria Chan (China), Alisha Budhrani (India), Natsuko Danjo (Japan), Ji Hae Lee (Korea), and Angeli Flores (Philippines). The girls made their official Manila debut at a press conference held recently at Tosca in Dusit Thani Hotel Makati.
The group was formed from the culmination of the continental talent search called “Project Lotus,” the brainchild of founder/CEO of FarWest Entertainment Jon Niermann. The concept has been brewing for almost six years, finally coming to fruition just last year.
In “Project Lotus,” the girls were “enrolled” in a development academy, where they emerged as the best of the best among hundreds of young hopefuls from all over the region.
Based in Hong Kong, Blush has been working with some of the biggest names in the Western music industry in putting together their dance-pop repertoire, some of which they heartily demonstrated for the press. Their first single to be released was a ballad called “Holding On To A Dream.”
“For me, it’s always been about taking Asian talent and blending it with Western producers,” Niermann tells Super while waiting for the girls to finish their photo shoot. “That experience that the girls had about building up artists in the West would help Asian artists become successful there, and that’s always been one of our big goals. The interest that we got was much bigger than we thought.”
Blush’s latest single, “Undivided,” features a rap cameo by Snoop Dogg and ends with the girls singing “I love you” in their own native tongues. The animated video for the song, released just recently, was created entirely via the iPad Brushes application. Also included in their impressive roster of collaborators are Tiesto, Benny Benassi, Alex Gaudino, Sander Kleinenberg, and many more.
Their main selling point, apart from their being a novel idea? “They’re real. I mean, all five girls can sing,” stresses Stacey Niermann, Jon’s wife and Blush’s manager. “They were chosen not just for their talent, but for their attitude, their work ethic, their willingness to work as a group and to be ambassadors of their countries.”
Most of Blush’s songs will be in English, but will also offer some in Mandarin, Korean and Japanese. The girls will be performing around Asia until May, after which they’ll be jetting off to Los Angeles to showcase their talents to the US population.
First stop, Asia. Next, the West. Sounds like a good plan; we’ll wait and see if they succeed in their ultimate quest for world domination.
Check out the official Blush website at www.blushband.com.
Meet the girls of Blush
Super got to hang out with the girls while they were doing a photo shoot for Penshoppe. Each girl might have her own charm and personality, but there’s one thing all of them have in common: They’re completely obsessed with mangoes. “I have never tasted a fruit as juicy and sweet as the heavenly mango,” Alisha gushed, and Ji Hae admits to having eaten it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner ever since they got here.
Ji Hae Lee
Bio: Ji Hae is a graduate of Hoseo University, where she studied law. She was also a contestant in the Korean show “Superstar K.”
Most memorable “Project Lotus” experience: “A few weeks ago, we performed in Hong Kong in front of thousands of people … It was a really huge performance and I was so nervous, but we enjoyed it a lot.”
Role model: “I wanna be like Beyonce—she’s really good at singing and dancing. So multitalented!”
Dream duet/ collaboration: “Aside from Beyonce, I would like to sing with a lot of Korean artists.”
What makes you blush: “Well-built and good-looking guys.”
Describe yourself in one word: “Psycho!”
Angeli Mae Flores
Nickname: “Mango Girl”
Bio: Angeli’s no stranger to singing tilts, having been a finalist in local shows such as “Star For A Night” (in which Sarah Geronimo nabbed the title) and “Pinoy Idol.” She comes from a very musical family, and looks up to songbird Regine Velasquez.
Most memorable “Project Lotus” experience: “Performance day is my favorite part of the entire experience. Feeling ko kasi nag-iiba ako whenever I’m onstage.”
Role models: “My parents. Sila talaga yung nag-inspire sa’kin para gawin lahat nito.”
Dream duet/ collaboration: “Oh my gosh, Alicia Keys talaga. It’s because of her that I’m now taking up piano lessons!”
What makes you blush: “When a guy is sweet.”
Describe yourself in one word: “Happy.”
Nickname: “Queen V”
Bio: Heavily influenced by musical films, Victoria was already singing “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” at 3 years old. She has also studied various forms of dance, such as ballet, tap dancing, Latin and ballroom. She had been a solo artist in Hong Kong before joining Project Lotus.
Most memorable “Project Lotus” experience: “Meeting so many girls from different countries and walks of life.”
Role model: “Angelina Jolie. I’m so inspired by the work she’s done, and it touches my heart that she puts her fame and influence to good use.
Dream duet/ collaboration: “John Legend—I’ve interviewed him once, and I really like his songs!”
Describe yourself in one word: “Determined.”
Bio: Natsuko started dancing at age 3 at her mom’s dance studio, and has joined (and won in) dance contests with her crew called “SpongePants,” named after her favorite cartoon show. She loves hip-hop and R&B, and is into rock-style fashion.
Most memorable “Project Lotus” experience: “I’ve never taken any voice lessons before Project Lotus, so it was really great that I was able to take so many vocal classes. I also learned a lot from the experience; I really appreciate it.”
Role model: “My mom. She’s a classical ballet teacher.”
Dream duet/ collaboration: “Lil Wayne! I would also have to say Music Soulchild.”
What makes you blush: “When people tell me that I’m cute.”
Describe yourself in one word: “Crazy. Not bad-crazy, but good-crazy.”
Nicknames: “Little Ali,” “Ali B,” “Ali Mama”
Bio: Born and raised in Hong Kong, Alisha has had an impressive dancing resume, having been a backup dancer for Asian artists Coco Lee and Eason Chang. She had finished high school just last year and is currently on her “gap year.”
Most memorable “Project Lotus” experience: “It would have to be the finale … because it was just crazy. We were all so stressed and nervous about what was gonna happen! Also memorable was the first performance we had; there were seven Indian girls and I was the youngest in the whole group, so it was really scary!”
Role model: “As a woman, it would be this Indian actress named Priyanka Chopra—she’s beautiful and I just love her style.”
Dream duet/ collaboration: “I’d love to do a duet with Beyonce, but because I have this huge crush on Bruno Mars, I hope to get to meet him and work with him one day!”
What makes you blush: “Cute kids and cute boys who have a nice six-pack … Or someone who looks like (Portuguese footballer) Cristiano Ronaldo!”
Describe yourself in one word: “Open.”