JPOP Summit 2015 with Vocal Group Little Glee Monster

Officially debuting last October, 6-member group Little Glee Monster has been winning over listeners’ hearts with their vibrant vocals and harmonies. They began performing at numerous summer festivals, eventually making TV appearances and recording theme songs for anime and commercials like Pokemon XY and Yoyogi Seminar.

Little Glee Monster shares with APA the origin of their group name, why they enjoy acapella and their fascination with American supermarkets.

Please introduce yourselves. Can each of you share a personal talent/hobby?

Hello everyone, we are vocal group Little Glee Monster!

Manaka: I think I’m pretty good at drawing!

Karen: I like dancing. [demonstrates Perfume’s “Spending All My Time”]

Serina: I’m really good at imitations. Like… people and animals. I’ll show you an imitation of a dog. Please close your eyes though. It’s a little embarrassing. [demonstrates dog barking]

Mayu: I really enjoy reading manga on this phone app. I read all kinds, but mostly high school love romances.

Maju: I enjoy people watching and lip accessories.

Asahi: Hm, I really like potatoes. [laughs] I tried french fries in America the other day and they put lots of cheese on it, so it was really good.

How did you come together as a group?

Manaka: There was an audition looking to put together a group of people who loved music and there was an emphasis on vocal skill (as opposed to dance like other idol groups). We all individually came out to try out and fortunately passed.

Where does the group name “Little Glee Monster” come from?

Manaka: “Glee” comes from the happiness we want to give listeners. We want to impress people and steal their hearts. “Monster” represents the presence we want to have on the music scene, but since we’re still growing we thought we’d add “little.”

To create such great harmonies, you need to have good teamwork. How do you develop/grow that?

Manaka: Well, we don’t have any particular special thing we do, but we practice together a lot because we just all love singing. I think it helps that most of us live together. Right now, I live together with Asahi, Mayu, Serina in the dorms.

Also, there aren’t that many young groups who perform a capella nowadays. What inspired you to do so?

Manaka: Well, a capella isn’t something you can do by yourself, right? I think that’s the appeal of a capella. It requires a group and teamwork in order to create all the levels of harmony. So, the 6 of us thought it would be great to try it and we really enjoy it.

Both as a group and individually, Little Glee Monster performs lots of cover songs. Can you share some of your favorite artists?

Manaka: Beatles

Karen: Utada Hikaru

Serina: Christina Aguilera

Mayu: Koda Kumi

Maju: Uverworld

Asahi: Yamaguchi Momoe

As a featured guest at JPOP Summit, what would you like Americans to learn about Japanese culture?

Manaka: I think Japanese people by nature are very helpful like we always try to look out for others whether it be returning a lost item or helping a stranger, so I think it’d be great if people would learn from this aspect of Japanese culture.

Is this your first time in America?

Yes, it is! We really had fun trying new things here.

If you have any questions about American culture, please feel free to ask me.

Since when was everything so big?

Everything as in?

Food! We really enjoyed exploring San Francisco, even visiting the supermarkets. Everything there was just so big like all the fruits and vegetables. It was so cute!

To be honest, I think everything has always been big. Americans tend to like bigger portions. I thought people thought small things were cute? Like how all the fruits and vegetables are small in Japan.

No no no! It’s so much cuter over here because it’s big! Big is cute!

Is that so? [laughs] Well, I bet you’ll be bringing home lots of big souvenirs.

We definitely will. We think our family and friends will be surprised. [laughs]

Just to round things off, do you have any upcoming projects?

Manaka: On September 23rd, our 4th single will be coming out! Please take a listen to it. We will also be going on a Japan national tour!

Please leave a message for your fans.

Mayu: Although this is our second performance overseas, we hope to receive more opportunities to perform overseas and create more GAORAA (Little Glee Monster fan name). We will continue to cover songs and release even more original songs too, so we hope to receive a lot of support from our fans.


Mai Nguyen

Editor-in-Chief at Asia Pacific Arts.
Feel free to send me a note on Twitter to @hellomailee.

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