In a market that is overcrowded with too many J-pop artists, a group needs to have what advertisers call their “unique selling proposition”. Well this group certainly has that down pat as they can boast of a day job before and after they perform: making and serving sushi.
The girls of Aidoru Kyoshitsu (“Idol classroom”) actually work part-time at a sushi restaurant in the Naka Ward of Nagoya, and the owner of the restaurant is their manager who dreamt of both running a food establishment and getting involved in the music business. 36-year-old Noriyuki Umemura used to be a singer-songwriter in Tokyo until six years ago, he had to go back home to manage his family restaurant, Sushi Dokoro Goichi. But he still wanted to be involved in something musical and so he started auditioning girls for a group he wanted to form back in 2008. Girls from the Aichi, Gifu and Mie Prefectures joined the auditions until he was able to narrow it down to the ten current members of the group, with ages ranging from 16 to 25.
The girls perform every Sunday at the restaurant, as well as at shopping centers and festivals. Umemura writes and produces their music and they have enjoyed a modicum of success in the mainstream, as their second single entitled Boku wa Kimi ni Koi wo Shita, (“I fell in love with you”) reached number 42 in the charts as per Oricon. Now if only they can incorporate the sushi making into the performance, they will definitely capture even more attention.
[ via Asahi Shimbun ]
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