From catwalk to concert

Su Hmuu Naing

Girl groups are something of a rarity in Myanmar, yet a few barely managed to hit the big time only to vanish into limbo later. But “Supermodels”, Myanmar’s very own 3-member girl group, has proven to stand the test of time. Their debut album came out in 2012, with music videos just launched last month. Myanmar Eleven recently caught up with the three gals – Su Nandar Aung, Khaymar, and Pan Ei – for a rare insight into their success recipe. 

How did “Supermodels” come into being?

The three of us became friends while attending a modelling course at Ma Moe (Tin Moe Lwin)’s Talents & Models. We did a lot of modelling together in fashion shows. Later we decided to form a girl group just as K-pop was taking hold of [the country] and we are all interested in music.

Were there any difficulties when you were starting out as a girl group?

There were many problems. But none of them was a big deal really. Some fans are critical of us because we look like K-pop groups. I believe we stand out in our own style. Originally we wanted to call ourselves ‘Bebob’, but ultimately opted for ‘Supermodels’ during a charity concert in Rakhine State in 2011. It was a big concert and broadcast on TV. Our fans find it easy to recognise us by this name. That’s why we’re called so. ‘Supermodels’ is a song composed by Thar Thar for our group. As it is an upbeat song, we tend to perform this song in concerts. 

What’s kept all of you together? 

Right from the start, our group has been formed by three friends who share the same ideas and interests.  We believe mutual understanding and sympathy and a sense of fairness are the most important values that have kept us together that long. We always make a decision together about every agreement.

Each of us has our own rights and the right to carry out solo activities. We are doing just that. But we are in for a long haul. The group activities are separate activities. Also we don’t have any contracts between us.

What’s in the pipeline?   

We have performed many concerts lately. We just released the music videos for our debut album early last month. We are also preparing for our new album. Besides group activities, each of us goes solo with activities.

Tell us about your second album.

The album will feature two solo songs by each member besides six group songs. As they are solo tracks, we can play around the tracks as we like. Most of the group songs are upbeat – the kind our fans like. We have just started work on these songs.

How does fashion come into the equation?

Music is the most important thing. While fashion is half important for solo artists, I think for girl groups like fashion accounts for 70 percent of the mix. I believe the fans want to see fashion and dance besides music in the case of girl bands. That’s why we have to take better care of our fashion than before. As for presentation, we give priority to upbeat music. Choreography for the dance numbers is designed by Jade Dragon dance group.  

Please say something to your fans.

The support of my fans adds to our strength. That’s why their support and advice matter even more to us these days.