If she wasn’t a pop princess, she would be a government minister. Plucked from obscurity, Melody Nurramdhani Laksani was relieved of her agricultural studies to become Jakarta’s reigning princess of bubblegum pop.
She was not a particularly talented singer, nor was she an amazing dancer. It was her sweet earnest face and innate charm that caught Yasushi Akimoto’s eye.
Yasushi is the legendary producer who conceived this: take the J-Pop princess formula, multiply by 48, build a dedicated theatre where fans can interact candidly with all 48 sweethearts without bodyguards or minders. To further encourage fan investment, CD sales would determine the popularity of the girls on rotation, giving fans the power to decide the final lineup.
The result of this experiment was AKB48, an instant smash hit with the Japanese public. Their incredible success have led to the formation of sister groups across Japan and Asia.
Melody leads the army of 47 other girls in the super pop group JKT48, the first of the international spin-offs from the pilot project in Akihabara, Japan. Next in line to built their dream team of super teens are Taiwan, Manila and Bangkok.
The hit-making machine has become a space for these young teens to blossom, a stage that allows them to transform from dust to diamonds and discover their true worth. Superstardom is the cherry on the cake.
As one of its spokespersons says, it’s has “open their eyes to know the impossible to be possible.”
‘POPcorn Dreams’ is part of our newly launched channel in collaboration with Discovery Channel. Spotlighting unique stories across Asian countries like Singapore and Japan, explore more fascinating documentaries here!