'Up, Up & Away: The Blush Story'
Blush was formed by FarWest Entertainment in 2010 with the intent of popularizing an Asian vocal act in both the United States and Asia as well as the rest of the world. They were formed through a selection process called the Project Lotus whom were tasked with finding 'Asia's Spice Girls'.
Five representatives from South Korea were selected to be judges and trainees who traveled to different parts of Asia including China, Japan and India. One of the judges was rock singer Yoon Do Hyun of South Korean rock band YB.
In 2011, Blush - Alisha, Nacho, Angeli and Victoria - had opened and performed alongside many artists including B.o.B, Far*East Movement, Black Eyed Peas, Justin Bieber, Jessie J, Diana Ross and other artists alike.
Blush has released nine singles, the two most popular (according to YouTube views) being 'Miss Out' (441,000 views) and 'Undivided' (425,000 views) as of May 2013.
Having released the single 'Ain't Nobody Got Time For That' this past January, 2014, and with a new single 'Every Woman' releasing this month. Indeed, Blush have partnered with Dr. Susan Love to donate all proceeds from their single to her Breast Cancer Foundation in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Oh, and let's not forget that Blush's debut album is coming out in November! So, of course, Exclusive Magazine knew it was time to sit down with this incredible new band!
Chatting recently with all four of the lovely ladies, I first wondered what made each of them want to enter the reality show, Project
Lotus: The Search for Blush in the first place back in 2010?
ALISHA: "I graduated high school in Summer 2010 so it was already in my plan to use my upcoming gap year to
search for opportunities to follow my dreams of being a singer and dancer. I was so determined to reach
goals as far as Beyonce could go and it was such a blessing that the competition Project Lotus, which was
casting and looking for an Indian girl singing in English, happened the same time! I've always followed
American TV shows like Making the Band or America's Next Top Model and wanted to join a competition
to follow my musical goals."
ANGELI: "I grew up with music. It's is my passion. My first love. I've always dreamed of performing, traveling the world and sharing my
music and I still can't believe that I am doing all of that with Blush."
NACHO: "I was just a dancer before I joined the competition Project Lotus. My mom owns a dance studio back home. so dancing was
my first love since I was lil' kid. and I always wanted to sing but unfortunately it was hard for me to find a professional vocal
coach in my city, because I'm from the country side in Japan. So without a knowledge of singing I joined this big singing
competition. It was a totally different world that I went into. So I was scared at the beginning, but somehow in my heart, I felt that
this competition will change my entire life. So I was right, because I got where I am today," she smiles. "I'm blessed to be part of
VICTORIA: "I had just come out of my contract as a solo artist in HK for a few months, and I wanted to give myself one
last chance at singing and performing professionally before finding other ways to pay the bills. My parents
have been extremely supportive of my endeavors but I didn’t want to just live off them the rest of my life.
So I gave myself one more year and I was very fortunate that I was approached by Project Lotus on my
YouTube channel to audition."
Being executively produced for your upcoming debut album (November) by Quincy Jones and
Damon Elliot is HUGE, but at what point did you know this would happen? Or was it part of the initial
ALISHA: "You never know who you will run into in Los Angeles, because its full of musical artists, producers and many
more big names in the industry. You always have to be attentive of who's around and we were lucky to have
an opportunity to showcase our talents and what our group stands for to Quincy Jones and Damon Elliot ... and even his mom, Dionne Warwick. You never know what can happen, because every day is so different. Luck
and hard work created the opportunity and we are so lucky it was us who happened to be in the right place
and the right time."
ANGELI: "It's such an honor to work with amazing people in the industry, especially people who have a lot of experience and influence.
Every people we meet along the way thought us lesson that helped us to become better artists."
NACHO: "Ya know what, I didn't even think about it honestly," she laughs. "It was a pleasure working with those two. Such
amazing producers and such a honor learning from them. I would say anything can happen anytime if you
are in the right room with the right people."
VICTORIA: "Actually, when we became Blush, we didn’t know that Quincy Jones or Damon Elliott would be part of our
Blush family! We met Quincy of a courtesy meeting that we thought would last 15 minutes, but turned out to
about over an hour. Once we started singing a few of our tunes for Quincy, he didn’t want us to stop! We
were kinda like his personal jukebox ... and the rest is history. He’s Uncle Quincy now!"
Indeed, what was it like meeting Quincy face-to-face
for the first time?
ALISHA: "We were told we would have a quick 15 minute courtesy meeting with him so we were very starstruck
amazing energy and aura. He's a legend as an artist/producer and an amazing mentor for such big great
artists. We sang for him and he kept asking us to sing more and more for him like his personal
jukebox. Clearly we were doing or sounding right and voila! Sparkles flew and now he is our musical Uncle
Quincy Jones," she smiles.
ANGELI: "I was starstruck! But he was so warm and welcoming at his home and even offered us some guacamole! We call him Uncle
Quincy. He is out mentor and we love him dearly," she also smiles.
NACHO: "Well, ya know, Quincy is the boss of the music industry. Pretty much everybody learns everything from
this guy. My mom and dad are big fans of M.J and Quincy. I was so nervous meeting him for the first time and all I was thinking about before I saw him was what if I say something rude or what if I do something
wrong front of him," she laughs. "But he is an amazing, warm person. Super chilled out person. He made my nerves go away. He has big heart and welcomed us. So he is the role model who I look up to today and every
single day! I love my Uncle Q!!!"
NACHO: "It was really nerve wracking, but just like how we call him Uncle Quincy today he was just like that when
we first met him! Cute, warm and bubbly! He told us he could say bootie in all our languages! And he sure did know how to say it!"
You recently came Detroit this month as part of the Janoskains Got Cake world tour, but was this the first time you have toured live as BLUSH in our fair city?
ALISHA: "I believe it was our very first time to Detroit and the crowd was spectacular and so memorable. The energy
of the Michigan crowd still sticks in our minds today while on this Janoskians Got Cake tour. The crew and
production team are amazing too. It's
becoming a wonderful exciting tour for all of us to enjoy and
ANGELI: "Yes, and we couldn't wait to spread the "Blush Crush"!
NACHO: "Yes!!! Very first time actually performing in Detroit!!! People out there are sooo cool and warm and
welcoming! You guys knows how to party too," she smiles. "I loved performing for you guys!!! We will definitely come back to
Detroit for sure!!!"
VICTORIA: "Yes it was! It was our first time to Detroit! We couldn't wait to play for the crowd in Detroit and we gave them
the Blush Crush!"
The tour runs from September 19th on thru to October 25th so I assume your suitcase's will be overstuffed with outfits galore for this long tour?
ALISHA: "Luckily we have become such experts on packing being 4 girls and together for now nearly 4 years. We
have traveled so much around the world and been on many month long tours we
have mastered hand washing
and being super stylish with so little," she laughs. "It's always difficult being a girl having your
straightener and your makeup with you at all times! Oh gosh, those take up the most space," she winks, with a bright smile.
ANGELI "Tell me about it! I mean 4 girls!! We brought a lot of stuff with us but what's worse is we also shop at
almost every city we go to. Soooo yea," she laughs.
NACHO: "This is the sick part of tour! Suitcases," she smiles, "because this is our longest tour we ever been to! I wasn't sure what to bring as the weather changes in every city. So this time each of us brought two suitcases! So we won't be dying being hot or cold," she laughs.
VICTORIA: "Oh yea! It's probably the first time we’ve toured with two big suitcases each and plus some. Scheduling
laundry is quite an event in and of itself! Through the years we’ve also ended up naming our outfits which
helps a lot with packing and pulling out looks from the case last minute!"
Being the only Asian artists to have their first two singles debut in the Top 3 of a US Billboard chart
is highly impressive but
does it mean you have to work harder now on your live act, perhaps?
ALISHA: "We always try to work harder than before or previous shows/years. We are constantly in rehearsals and
in meetings discussing how we can improve our show and technique. We always want to grow everyday,
because I believe real success doesn't have a destination. Its understanding that it's a journey."
ANGELI: "We always work hard and always make sure we are 100% on all the time. I mean if you love what you do
you always wanna give your best every time."
NACHO: "Yes we were sooo happy to be on the US Billboard Charts. When we found out about that news our boss got us a cake and
celebrated together while we were in rehearsal," she laughs. "It didn’t make us feel different from before. We just keep working on our
sounds everyday. Life is a learning process so it made us work even harder to get where we wanna be."
VICTORIA: "We’re extremely grateful that our songs have done so well on the Billboard Charts, but that's not our only
goal. We’re on a journey where every event, performance and possible accolade to be received is
important. There is no end to this journey, we can always do better than the last performance. We just so
grateful to all our fans out there that come our to our shows and show us the love and support, that even if
we have a bad day, it gives us the strength to work even harder, if we’re on tour, in the recording studio,
whatever we may be doin'."
OK, time to relax and have some REAL fun! Out
of you all, who is the one ...
1) ... who always runs late? (and what excuse is usually used?)
ALISHA: "Everyone has their off day ... it's
usually, "I didn't get the message"," she laughs.
NACHO: "Me ... Nacho," she laughs loud and proud. "I don't make excuses at all. There is no way for me to look for excuses because they
know," she again laughs.
VICTORIA: "Nacho ... she’s "getting ready"."
2) ... who is the messiest on tour?
ALISHA: "In all my defense, it absolutely cannot be me," she winks and smiles. "I'm super OCD," she laughs again.
ANGELI: "1 and 2 is Nacho! Haha, I love you!!"
NACHO: "Me ... Nacho, again," she again laughs. "I don't know how, but I know how to make a mess in 2 seconds," she breaks into laughter again.
VICTORIA: "Nacho ...!"
3) ... who complains the most? (and about what, usually?)
ALISHA: "Everyone has their opinions, but
I sure like to voice mine quite often. Only if it's constructive
though. Otherwise I'll shut up," she laughs.
NACHO: "Oh this is not me for the first time," she laughs. "I would say Alisha!!"
VICTORIA: "Alisha … schedules always changing."
4) ... who eats the strangest food on tour? (and what is it?)
ALISHA: "For me I would say Victoria or Nacho. When we went to Europe, Victoria was eating black/blood
pudding or something? It sounded really off to me, but I totally respect peoples food choices. Probably something I wouldn't try though," she laughs.
ANGELI: "I would say all of us as we all grew up in Asia and we all have weird food that we eat. The good thing is
we all share and we all like it. So I think we are all weird when it comes to food," she also laughs.
NACHO: "All of us!!! We have different tastes. We all eat weird stuff," she laughs. "I mean, we love food ... period," she adds, with yet another laugh.
VICTORIA: "Depends on how you define strange! We’re Asian, so we generally eat what is considered strange food
anyway," she grins.
5) ... who is always the one most glued to social media on her phone/iPad?
ALISHA: "We all sadly tend to have our heads down on our phones a lot when we are eating at restaurants. It's sad,
but we have to keep in touch with our fans ... they
need us," she smiles and gently laughs.
ANGELI: "We all have to do social media!! We love it cause its the best way to reach out through our fans across
the world," she smiles.
NACHO: "Alisha!!! She is the master of iPhone and Mac laptop," she laughs. "She knows everything," she smiles again.
VICTORIA: "We all are! If we’re waiting for anything most likely we’re all on our phones, posting on FB, tweeting or instagramming. We’ve caught ourselves many times being socially anti social!"
Finally, and yes we ask EVERYONE this, we here at Exclusive Magazine LOVE penguins, so
do you also?
ALISHA: "I love penguins too. I have been told that when one penguin loves another, it has to find a pebble and
hand it to the other penguin to show his/her love. I have this personal experience where I got a pebble
from a dear friend," she laughs. "I find it pretty adorable and cute. I've never seen a penguin in person and I would love to
see them one day as they
look super cute in 'Happy Feet'," she smiles.
ANGELI: "So the other night we were watching the movie 'Taken' on our bus and it was so good that we were all so
pumped that everyone started jumping around and doing karate. Haya!!!"
NACHO: "There is a girl in Singapore. She's been a Blushie (we call our fans Blushies) for a long time. She always brings us sweets
when we go to Singapore," she smiles. "She knows what's up!!! We love food too much!! And we always make stupid jokes!!! We are
always laughing!! People always look at us like we are crazy people," she laughs.
VICTORIA: "I’ve seen the cutest little Penguins waddle ashore on Phillip Island in Melbourne Australia. It’s a bit of a
tourist attraction, you sit by the beach just before sundown. You can’t touch and you can’t take pictures,
but as the sun sets, you’ll see one then two then loads of them pop outta the ocean heading for home on
the Island. They’re about 30cm or 12inches tall. So cute!!"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
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