Aside from the official AKB48 sister idol group MNL48, indie idol groups have been growing in the Philippines. One of them that stands out is the 7-member indie idol group Aidoru Sozai.
Aidoru Sozai — even their name has a good ring to it. The group is a self-produced female Philippines-based idol group formed by Yana Esquillo (Yanachii), Sara Ebba (Saachan), Jash Cunanan (Jash), Hayaka Igarashi (Hayayan), Aira Quinito (Aira), Daysoo Daya (Vivi), and Mika Valencia (Mikachu). The group recently debuted during the Manila Idol Matsuri 2018 held in the TIU Theater in Makati City, Philippines.
They have wowed their audience with their song and dance performances. While this is a common thing for starting idol groups, Aidoru Sozai took it to the next level when they released two (yes, two) original songs: Sora mo Hareru ~ Kono Yume wo Shinjite Yokatta and Ashita Wonderful. The latter is now available for listening on Spotify!
Catnip: How did your group come to be? Why Aidoru Sozai?
Most of us weren’t friends with each other in the beginning, but we were acquaintances through shared interests. We were able to form the group by picking out those who we felt had the passion to be an independent idol, as well as the willingness to make sacrifices for it. We recommended members that had the potential to become part of the group, and our final lineup perfectly matched the requirements that were set out. Thus, Aidoru Sozai was formed!
‘Aidoru Sozai’ itself translates to ‘Idol Material’, which is symbolic of the 7 different traits and charms each member represents in order for the group to be ‘Idol Material’.
Catnip: As an indie idol group, what challenges have you faced so far?
So far it’s been difficult for us to provide quality content because there are certain restrictions on the resources we have. It’s also hard for us to balance school life and idol life together properly, but we have chosen to make this sacrifice in our pursuit of being idols.
Catnip: MNL48 has been getting mixed opinions since last year. Were some of you guys able to experience auditioning to be part of it?
Yes, all seven members of Aidoru Sozai took part in MNL48’s auditions. Each member has had dreams of being idols even before we took part in the audition, and with it being the first sort of ‘J-idol’ type of group being established here in the Philippines, it was natural that all of us would try since there’s never been anything like it here before.
Catnip: This is in relation to my previous question. As an indie idol group, has the formation of MNL48 affected you guys as a group?
First and foremost, MNL48’s auditions were part of how some of us became familiar with each other, despite half of the group already being acquaintances through the Internet via common interests, like idols! Seeing the reception of the general public to a J-pop idol inspired group, it has made us feel that the idea is definitely possible in the Philippines. Locally, things like K-Pop or Western music are the norm, so it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but we think people are slowly but surely warming up to the variety that Japanese-style idol culture offers.
Catnip: We are curious about your future plans. Can you name some of them?
We are currently releasing a revamped web-series called Loveso Channel, which is a segment based show where people can get to know the members of Aidoru Sozai better. We are also planning on future song releases, as well!
Catnip: Do you have a message to aspiring and current independent idol groups?
You can do it if you try — so try your hardest. Remember why you decided to take this path. Of course being an independent artist of any kind takes a lot of hard work, passion, and determination. Being an idol also means certain guidelines have to be followed. We hope those who wish to follow their dreams look to us for inspiration and see that anything can be accomplished with determination.
So that’s about it. I look forward to Aidoru Sozai‘s upcoming performances. I would also like to take this opportunity to say congratulations to the girls for a successful debut. Keep those idol dreams high!
Pictures of LoveSo (Manila Idol Matsuri 2018) photos uploaded and used with permission. Additional photos from Aidoru Sozai (Facebook)