From cutie pie to HOT SEXY SIREN
Former Sunday Girl Aisa Senda finds success in colourful hip hop group
By Tan Kee Yun
March 21, 2009
TNP DESIGN: PRADIP KUMAR SIKDAR
PICTURES: UNIVERSAL MUSIC SINGAPORE, REUTERS, FHM
NINE years ago, she gained fame as a member of pop group Sunday Girls.
Along with three other Japanese girls, she belted out cutesy songs about teenage crushes and first loves.
Now, 26-year-old Aisa Senda sports a sexy, urban chic look and complements it with killer dance moves.
As lead female vocalist of hip hop outfit Da Mouth, she sings, dances and raps - all in Mandarin, which is not even her native language to begin with.
And she is not one to hide her curvaceous figure and to-die-for legs.
She recently showed off her ample cleavage for the March issue of popular lad magazine FHM Taiwan.
Speaking to The New Paper when Da Mouth were in town to promote their latest album, Player, Aisa laughed when we pointed out how much she has 'evolved' over the years.
Everything you've seen in the media is her true self, she said, but showing the different stages of her life.
'It's a natural growth process for me,' she added in fluent Mandarin.
'I was a young girl then (referring to her stint as a Sunday Girl), so it was fun singing lively pop tunes that made people happy.
'But I'm already 26 now, I can't play up the cute factor forever. And I really like R&B, hip hop and dancing a lot. Da Mouth is a great combination of all these.'Finding her niche
Prior to finding her niche in the music industry with Da Mouth, the past nine years have not been smooth-sailing ones for Aisa.
It meant relocating from her hometown in Okinawa to Taipei, as well as learning Mandarin from scratch.
After the Sunday Girls split up, she didn't have a core project for nearly three years.
She maintained her presence in showbiz by appearing mostly on variety programmes such as Variety Big Brother, where she was a regular guest on the show and her friendly arguments with host Chang Fei were often very hilarious.
She also took on supporting roles in a few drama series.
'Many people have asked me whether the ride has been tough so far, and whether I have to work doubly hard because I'm a foreigner in Taiwan,' said Aisa.
'Of course, leaving home for another country wasn't easy. But I always believe in being totally focused on any project I take on.
'I enjoy the experience of putting my mind to something and setting out to do it well. If I enjoy it, it's not tough.'
All the hard work has paid off.
Last year, at the Golden Melody Awards, Taiwan's biggest music awards night, Da Mouth pipped hot favourites Nan Quan Mama and Hong Kong rock duo Soler to win Best Singing Group.
Aisa is still ecstatic about their victory.
'We never expected to win at all. The four of us attended the event feeling relaxed and laidback, as spectators do,' she said, her big eyes lighting up.
'Then, when they announced our name on stage, I was so, so happy that for one moment, I couldn't move!
'I thought I would slip and fall when we were walking up to collect our award.'Mixed heritage
Da Mouth has been widely recognised as Asia's answer to the Black Eyed Peas, not just because of their similar musical styles.
Like its American counterparts, the group's composition is colourful and multi-cultural.
Besides Aisa, a true-blue Japanese, Da Mouth includes Canadian-Taiwanese rapper and lyricist MC 40, Korean-Taiwanese-American male vocalist Harry Chang and Taiwan-born Japanese DJ Chung Hua.Confused?
But Da Mouth's mixed heritage actually works to its benefit, said MC 40.
'Growing up, we listened to different types of music and it's good for us because, this way, we each bring our unique influences to the group,' he said.
'Plus, we'll be recording a few Japanese songs soon, to reach out to the Japanese market.
'I realise I don't have to deliberately look for teachers to teach me how to rap in Japanese, because I already have two (Aisa and Chung Hua) around me.'
Appearance-wise, the members' fused cultural identities also make them stand out from the pack.
Harry, with his charmingly small eyes, can easily pass off as Korean megastar Rain's younger brother.
As for Chung Hua, he admitted women find him attractive because they often cannot put their fingers on where he's from.
'Some of them asked me, 'Are you half-Dutch'? Another common question would be, 'Do you have European blood?' he said.
These days, Aisa shuffles between Taiwan and Japan, where her relatives and loved ones are.
She also keeps in touch with her former teammates in Sunday Girls. Two of them, Chika Gnosnima and Tomoko Takagaki, have since left the entertainment scene and returned to Japan.
The other former member, Mai Sato, is still active as an actress in Taiwan.
Although she is undoubtedly the most popular and successful to emerge from the now-defunct girl group, Aisa remains humble about her achievements, crediting her success to Da Mouth as a whole.
'The thing about Da Mouth is, we have a lot of fun when we are performing live, we get really high,' she said.
'Should our fans see us truly indulging in what we do, they will be infected by our energy too.'
Source : New Paper
Edited by =sx.k=, 21 March 2009 - 07:54 AM.