Cutesy all-girl trio Babymetal on standing out from the pack

Cutesy all-girl trio Babymetal on standing out from the pack
From left, Yui-Metal, Su-Metal and Moa-Metal.

As their group name suggests, Babymetal are a bundle of contradictions.

And therein lies the magic formula to their showbiz success.

Unlike their fellow bubblegum J-pop and K-pop counterparts, the Japanese doe-eyed teenage trio with funky stage monikers - 15-year-old vocalist-dancer Su-Metal, dancers-screamers Moa-Metal and Yui-Metal, both 14 - defy pigeonholing.

They might dress and act cutesy (read: perfectly plaited pigtails, red ribbons in their hair, matching schoolgirl outfits), but watch them deliver their fast and ferocious headbanging tunes and it is evident that they identify more with Evanescence than AKB48.

Granted, none of them play their own instruments - on their live tours, they are backed by a band decked out in skeletal costumes - but surely, to be able to dance and synchronise hand gestures to power metal is a rare feat in itself.

Formed in 2010, Babymetal have released four singles to date.

One of their biggest hit singles, titled Ijime, Dame, Zettai, sold 19,000 copies in its first week, debuting at Number 6 in the Oricon Weekly Singles Chart.

Ahead of their first full-length concert in Singapore later this month, the girls tell M in an e-mail interview that they hold their unique identity in J-pop close to their hearts.

"We are aiming to be the 'one and only' group in the J-pop scene (who do what we do)," said Su-Metal.

"When it comes to influences, we are influenced not just by Japanese and overseas metal acts, but J-pop acts too.

"One Japanese rock band we're particularly fond of is Seikima-II.

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