Girl bands strike a chord with fans

By WANG SONGSONG in Tianjin | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-11-06 07:52
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Members of POKER, a self-founded girl group, give a media interview in Beijing in May. [Photo/China Daily]

Independent acts thrive on a high level of interaction

Many aspiring girl bands lack financial backing and promotion from a major record label or entertainment company, but this fails to dent their enthusiasm for performing.

They also have low budgets — paying for their own equipment, travel arrangements, meals and venue hire charges, among other expenses.

Performing much of their own music, they dream big in the hope of making a hit on the music charts.

Many members of such bands enjoy performing, singing and dancing in their spare time, and gaining a wider audience, but they are happy waiting to find fame and fortune.

Emerging independent girl bands are part of a growing trend in China. They perform in front of new audiences for the thrill of it, relishing every moment.

In Tianjin in September, seven girl groups, including one called POKER, performed a three-hour show. Their audience comprised only about 40 fans, but they cheered wildly for their idols, just like the most-devoted groupies chasing blockbuster acts.

Self-funded girl groups in China have gained wider attention and popularity in recent years, offering their young members an opportunity to showcase their talent.

Originating in Japan, independent girl groups run and manage their careers themselves.

In 2005, Yasushi Akimoto, a Japanese record producer, lyricist and television writer, established the all-female group AKB48 by selecting 24 members from some 7,500 candidates. The band gained fame throughout Japan.

Those who failed to be selected for the group did not abandon their dreams of becoming idols. They returned to the community theater scene, organized their own performance teams, and continued to pursue success.

On stage, band members typically stand less than 2 meters from their fans. There are many interactive segments during performances for bands and their supporters. For example, idols sometimes leap from the stage, trusting fans below to catch them. Such high-level interaction is not commonplace among mainstream groups.

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