Move over K-Pop. Here is T-Pop.
Thai girl group Lyra, backed by the world’s largest music label, Universal Music Group (UMG), hopes to tap into its dedicated fan base and match the success of South Korean artists who have made âK-Popâ. an international phenomenon.
âWe have high expectations. We want to bringâ¦ T-Pop music to the world, âsaid 20-year-old Lyra member Jennis Oprasert.
Last year, UMG teamed up with Thailand’s Independent Artist Management (iAM) to launch the six-member group, after auditioning some 80 girls and young women from popular idol group BNK48.
“It’s a gamble,” said Paul Sirisant, who heads UMG in Thailand. But he thinks originality will make the group successful.
The group trained for months remotely via Zoom and then lived together in a house after plans to travel to Los Angeles were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.
“We saw them transform into artistic themselves which is great, but there were a lot of tears,” Sirisant told Reuters.
Navigating BNK48’s musical style passage hasn’t always been easy.
“It’s not an easy race at all,” said Natticha ‘Fond’ Chantaravareelekha, 18.
âThe dance, the musical genre is different. I’ve never done this before, but even though it’s hard, I’ve loved (doing it) since I was a kid, so I’m ready. “
Their self-titled debut single has over 6.5 million views on YouTube after about two months online.
âWe incorporated Thai elements by including sounds from two traditional instruments,â another member, Punsikorn ‘Pun’ Tiyakorn, 20, who also proposed the band’s name.
Fans at home and abroad have lent their support.
“I will support them until the end,” said Danaiphat Singto, 23, as he watched a video of the group’s performance in Bangkok. “I really want them to reach a global audience.”
The group is part of a wave of Thai musicians who are attracting the attention of the public and investors abroad.
Thai-German singer Jannine Weigel was the first artist to sign with RedRecords, a venture between UMG and low-cost airline AirAsia.
The first signs of success already have labels that are planning new groups.
âWe plan to have more groups with Universal,â said Nataphol Pavaravadhana, COO of iAM.
âIt will definitely be different from Lyra. Maybe indie. Stay tuned.”
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