Friday, September 11, 2015

Japanese Idols Invade Singapore! BPM15Q's Memorable First Overseas Live


SUPER HIGH TENSION! Those were fitting words to describe the atmosphere at idol unit BPM15Q's first overseas performance in Singapore. Winning over many new fans with their unique brand of yume-kawaii music, the duo were amazing and talented performers, eliciting loud, rapturous cheers from the crowd whenever they took to the stage during the two days.


The Japanese "New-age DJ Vocal Unit", comprising of seasoned idol Ichigo Rinahamu (formerly of BiS and Akishibu Project) and Hokkaido-born music producer/DJ Nicamoq, performed at the first Moshi Moshi Nippon Festival held in the little, cosmopolitan city-state over the weekend. They were guests of the idol-voting app CHEERZ, having garnered the highest number of votes in an event organised by the app.

Organised by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's talent agency, ASOBISYSTEM, the Moshi Moshi Nippon Festival is on a world tour this year, aiming to promote Japanese pop culture globally and attract tourists to Japan. It has already toured Bangkok, Taipei and Los Angeles to huge success, with future stops planned in London and Paris.

The first MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2015 in Singapore

It was around three thirty on a hot, sweltering Saturday afternoon when we got our first glimpse of the idols. A crowd began to gather as both girls, dressed in pastel-coloured dresses, ascended the mini stage.

"Oi! Oi! Oi! Oi!" shouted Rinahamu and Nicamoq as they both extended their fists into the air, rallying the crowd to chant along, each one commanding a side of the stage. Everyone was in high spirits and the mood was elevating. It was the first time watching BPM15Q perform for most in the audience and we were all eagerly anticipating what was in store.

"Let's go to the club! (クラブへ行きます!)" Nicamoq exclaimed aloud as fast, pulsating electronic music in the background fired everyone up.

The idols launched off into their first song, Doki Doki Pa Ri Ra Ru Ra (ドキドキパリラルラ). Rinahamu and Nicamoq would extend their hands to the audience during the chorus, which would be met with a similarly vehement response. The lyrics were penned by Rinahamu herself and they were supposed to reflect "a glittery dream in a world under the influence of a magic spell".

This song had everything from a festival dance-esque segment where the two would dance around in a circle to one where they would be raving together with the audience and throwing their hands in the air.

"Hi! My name is... Ichigo Rinahamu! Yay! 苺の国の姫様、りなはむだよ!えっとね、Strawberry Princess! Yay!" the ever-exuberant Rinahamu greeted the audience after the end of the first song. Her English interspersed with Japanese was met with cheers of delight from the ecstatic crowd.

"Let's enjoy! Rinahamu is very happy! SUPER SUPER HYPER ENJOY! Yay!"

"So Re Na! So Re Na! So Re Na!" Rinahamu and Nicamoq would cry out and the audience would cheer back fervently.

"My name is Nicamoq desu です. Yoroshiku onegai shimasu (Nice to meet you) 宜しくお願いします!" Nicamoq addressed the audience next, in rather fluent English, to an overwhelming response from the crowd.

"As it's our first time performing in Singapore, we'd love to feel welcome! We felt tremendously happy when you did the 'Oi! Oi!' cheers just now. Could you do more of that?" she added in Japanese (translated to English).

The Singaporean crowd appeared to be able to understand her words and roared back in strong affirmation. "Oi! Oi! Oi! Oi!"

Hot off the energy from their first song, they jumped into the second track, Surechigai Boku to Kimi no Tsuushin (すれ違い僕と君の通信), which means "talking at cross-purposes", with lyrics also self-penned, by Nicamoq this time. They each held a hand to their ear, shaped like a telephone, with their thumb and little finger extended, illustrating the song's message as they sang and danced along to the music.

It could be described as a surreal mid-tempo song with elements of bliss and fantasy in it. The rhythm was catchy and drum beats dropped at the right time, interspersed with velvety-smooth and light vocals and even a bit of dubstep at the chorus. Crowd interaction was high throughout as the enthusiastic audience tried to follow the dance moves on stage, led by an ardent Japanese fan.

All good things have to come to an end though and BPM15Q wrapped up their mini stage performance on a high with their eponymous track, BPM15Q! It was a vibrant and upbeat electronic anthem with really heavy drum beats. Every single member of the audience was bouncing up and down zestily, clapping along in high spirits in the build-up to the chorus.

"Ichi! Go! Kyu! (the group name "15Q", pronounced in Japanese)" the crowd would echo aloud during the chorus every single time. "Nomitai! (Want to drink!)" they would cry out again as the idols struck their signature "drinking" pose on the stage. "Oi! Oi! Oi! Oi!" Those were the chants which filled the air and gave the stage such a fiery and lively atmosphere during the final song.

After each performance, both Rinahamu and Nicamoq would thank the audience for their passion and zeal, speaking about what a fantastic time they had and how overjoyed they were at being able to perform in Singapore. The fans were able to understand and connect with the idols well. Everyone was able to interact convivially and personally.

The idols would go on to perform the same songs tirelessly for a praiseworthy total of four times over the two days of the festival. Among the many other activities the idols took part in included debuting an all-new yukata-inspired costume on Saturday evening, during their second mini stage performance.

They also learnt a new mix (chant) from the fans for the song Doki Doki Pa Ri Ra Ru Ra (ドキドキパリラルラ) which they promised to bring over over to Japan. It was the uniquely Singaporean "eh wah eh wah" club chant, which had absolutely no meaning.

Nicamoq: "What does it mean? (意味は何?)"
Crowd: "No meaning! (意味がない!)"

On the second day, their performance on the main stage, which they had rehearsed very hard for, was a breathtaking visual spectacle of light, sound and dance. It felt as if we were in a BPM15Q concert as they performed to a packed hall, on the same stage where CAPSULE and WORLD ORDER stood the night before. The crowd was energetic and overflowing with unbridled enthusiasm.

Just looking at the pictures would leave you gaping in awe.

After each live stage, they would also hold a photo session at the CHEERZ booth, which always attracted a long line teeming with eager and impassioned fans and members of the public. Everyone in line was excited to meet the two girls. Whether you were a fan or not, they would have won you over with their charm and vivacity. Many special memories were preserved in time at the CHEERZ booth.

In addition, Rinahamu even surprised local idol fans by performing nerve, the track which she helped lift to fame during her time as a member of the now-disbanded idol group BiS, at the LIVE DAM karaoke booth on Sunday afternoon. Many ardent supporters swarmed the area and did their best impression of nerve along.

She also performed Romantic Ukare Mode, a song that would be familiar to many idol supporters, to much delight from the crowd.

Finally, around five thirty on a hot, humid Sunday evening, it was time for BPM15Q's final performance. Rinahamu and Nicamoq emerged from backstage and made their way up the mini stage as fans ushered each other to the front. "Let's have fun!" "SUPER HIGH TENSION!" "Yay~!" Rinahamu and Nicamoq rallied the crowd in simple English as they broke into their first song.

An air of electricity enveloped the entire area as everyone danced along to the all-too familiar songs which they had became acquainted with. The iconic "Eh wah eh wah" mix also made its presence known and the idols promised to introduce it to their Japanese fans too. Rinahamu even surprised some of the fans by giving them a pat on the head during the performance.

As they wrapped up their two days of performances, both idols earnestly thanked the fans for their fervent support and for making their first overseas live such a fun, memorable and enjoyable one. They had made many wonderful memories with everyone and they would definitely love to return to Singapore and perform again. At the same time, they encouraged their fans to attend their lives in Japan.

Everyone huddled in front of the stage to take a group photo together before BPM15Q said their closing line, "We are BPM15Q. Thank you. (私たちはBPM15Qです。ありがとうございました。)" and waved goodbye. It had been an unforgettable two days and the splendid memories made will definitely reside in a special place deep down in our hearts.

However, it was hardly the end. Some fans had ordered pizza for BPM15Q in a tongue-in-cheek allusion to their publicity photos, which showed them eating pizzas and "smoking". There was a pizza party and everyone was invited!

Rinahamu and Nicamoq accepted the invite and emerged from backstage to meet the fans again.
They were presented with a selection of pizzas and Rinahamu picked pepperoni. Nicamoq graciously declined the pizza as she was not feeling hungry at that time.

Pizza party!
(Source: 叫び-sakebi-'s Twitter)

Everyone had a memorable time with BPM15Q. Some might not have heard of them before their performance but one thing was for sure- they had undoubtedly won many fans over by the end of the two short days.

BPM15Q and fans
(Source: 叫び-sakebi-'s Twitter)

For more pictures, do check out the Flickr photoset below!

20150905-06 BPM15Q at Moshi Moshi Nippon in Singapore

We definitely hope to see BPM15Q back again in the future! Hopefully, this signals the start of more Japanese idols making their way to Singapore too! We wish BPM15Q all the best in their future activities and upcoming first single release.

We'll be in Japan to catch them again some day so keep checking Tanoshii World for when we do!

Do like our Facebook page for more highlights from Moshi Moshi Nippon Festival 2015 in Singapore in the weeks ahead!


Presented by Tanoshii World
Article by XDantheManX Online
Photos and videos by Nakitty Channel, Roaming Dog, REASONATE:Visuals, Nubhan Abdul Aziz and Eugene Chua

Tanoshii World is a new collaboration project between XDantheManX Online, Nakitty Channel, Roaming Dog and REASONATE:Visuals. We will continue to bring you the same high-quality coverage of Japanese pop culture events in Singapore.