[News]Open auditions to be held for new Asian girl group

Wonder Girls watch out. A new Asian girl group is on the way.

FarWest Entertainment -- a production company helmed by former Walt Disney Company (Asia Pacific) president Jon Niermann -- and a group of Asian partners are behind a fledgling girl band enterprise called “Project Lotus.”

The concept behind “Project Lotus” is simple.

Get five talented girls from Korea, Japan, China, India and the Philippines. Pair them up with Grammy Award-winning producers Eliot Kennedy and Brian Grant. Give them songs composed by prominent song writers like Take That’s Gary Barlow. Get it all down on film and drop it on the world.

Grammy Award-winning producers Eliot Kennedy (left) and Brian Grant (center) are set to compose songs with Canto-pop singer Jonathan Wong for a new Pan-Asian girl group.

In the midst of pre-auditions, FarWest and team are busy culling talent from a variety of outlets, including the Internet, where hopefuls can upload their audition videos onto Project Lotus’ website (www.projectlotus.tv), Facebook page or their YouTube channel.

To date 850 girls have sent in their clips. The number could more than double by the Aug. 2 submission deadline.

Applicants need to be Asian women aged 18 to 25 who can speak English and sing and dance. Clips should feature hopefuls singing an English-language pop song.

According to production manager Laura Conway, video clips are just the beginning of an extensive auditioning process that includes country manager-hosted tryouts. Producers will also tour Asian cities to scout out candidates from performing arts schools, modeling agencies and local management companies.

“The candidates who are successful will be invited to attend a live audition in their capital city,” Conway explained via e-mail. “This audition will take place in front of a panel of celebrity judges.”

A group of 25 finalists, five from each country, will then fly to Hong Kong to take part in a six-week training process. One girl from each country will be eliminated every week until only five are left.

The resulting footage is slated to air in February and March. The album release is set for April.

“TV deals are currently in negotiation,” said Conway. “We intend that the television show will be broadcast throughout the U.S., U.K., Australia, and Asia.”

Of their desire to target an international audience of girls aged 6 to 14, Conway said: “We believe that the timing is right for singers from Asia to make it big in the West.”

The Korea Herald
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