Interview with the Pinku! Project
Pinku! Project is J-pop/anime dance idol from Toronto and our members are Peach Pinku, Baby Pinku, Berry Pinku and Cotton Pinku. They perform at Anime Conventions and also upload video from home.
The First Pinku! Project Mini Concert at Anime North 2011 @ Toronto Congress Centre, May 28th 2011 and will appear at Doki Doki Ottawa First Date Concert in G-Anime 2012 @ Palais des congrès de Gatineau, January 28th 2012.
When did your group form?
The 1st generation Pinku Project officially started on May 2009.
How did you find each other and did you all have similar interests?
I(Peach Pinku) used to dance to J-pop music with my friends just for fun and it sort of became a routine for the first generation members so we decided to do it with more commitment and that’s how we started Pinku Project. Two of the members had to leave the country, so Baby Pinku asked 2 of her classmates if they’d be interested to join and the second generation began. The second generation Pinku Project had a mini concert at Anime North 2011 and the two members decided to leave to concentrate on their school after the concert. Coincidently, the 3rd generation members were in the audience for the mini concert and they sent me a message later and I asked them if they’d like to become Pinku Project members since they were already dancers and into J-pop and the rest is history.
How often do you rehearse and do you do your own choreography?
We meet up at least once in three weeks for practice. When it’s close to an event, we meet up more often. We haven’t done our own choreography yet but Berry Pinku arranges formations and changes moves according to our needs. She’s the dance teacher of Pinku Project.
Tell us about your favorite J-pop groups and anime.
We love Hello Project. What we are doing now basically started from our love for Morning Musume. It started from Morning Musume and Berry’s favorite is still Morning Musume, Cotton likes Yuuka from S/mileage and I am a huge Momoi Halko fan. Baby is the only one who love anime more than idols. She watches new anime every week.
How did you come up with the names Peach, Baby, Berry and Cotton?
One day, Baby came up with the Pinku name idea. She suggested that we name ourselves after our favorite shade of pink.
How are you received at your performances?
At first, we started dancing to our favorite songs at home. Then, we decided to do it in front of people and realized that people actually enjoy what we did. Some J-pop fans are naturally drawn to us and they were our initial audience in mind when we started performing in public. But, we’ve had quite a bit of people telling us, they don’t know anything about idol culture but they still like Pinku Project and they started to listen to idol groups that we danced to. Now, we are trying to spread the idol culture as well as the idol fan culture that are both unique from Japan to people in Toronto.
Do you write your own songs or have plans to in the future?
We haven’t wrote any songs ourselves yet but we are going to surprise you soon+ _+)/
I do not know of any idol groups in North America. Are there others out there doing what you do?
I find North American culture to be very different in terms of idols and pop music and I haven’t seen any idol group here yet but J-pop idols and K-pop idols are visiting US and Canada and though it’s still new here, it is slowly getting popular so maybe more people will know about this kind of music and style and maybe someday there will be Asian style idol here, too!
There are a quite a few Youtube dance groups determined to make idols but I believe they wanted to debut in Japan not in North America.
What do you think of the success that Idol groups like AKB48 have had in Japan?
While some people criticize AKB48’s manipulative way of marketing, I still like AKB48’s success. Idols in Japan don’t necessarily have to be a brilliant songwriter, a great singer/dancer or even a beautiful person. They are more of entertainers who exist to make you smile and who will try their best and hardest just for your smile. I find that very charming and I think the reason why idols are so popular in Japan.
I am scared how big AKB48 and its sister groups have become and how they totally dominated Japanese music industry. That’s another story though.
What do you hope to do with the Pinku! Project in the future?
Pinku Project members started Pinku Project because we love idols so much but we can’t meet them or see them here in Toronto. We want to enjoy the idol culture with people who feel just like us. During the time we perform and connect with idol fans here, maybe we will find our own style instead of just covering existing idols. I hope Pinku Project will be an original and unique idol group in Toronto and we will represent new style of idol culture born in North America.
How important is it for you to interact with your fans?
Well, we think fans are part of the whole project. Idol culture isn’t just good music or fun dance but it’s how fans enjoy and interact actively with idols. Because we are pretty small scale, we try our best to reply every message and remember the names of fans we’ve met. We call them Pinku Otaku and we consider them part of Pinku project.
Where can we find out more about Pinku! Project?
Pinku Project started on Youtube and it still is our base ground.www.youtube.com/pinkuproject
We also have a Facebook page where we post photos and any kind of updates.
Thanks for reading this and have a PINKU day!