Me N Ma Girls: The new voice of Myanmar (video)

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Me N Ma Girls_1With the gradual opening of Myanmar, a new cultural era is dawning, and one part of it is pop music culture. The change in the country can be seen in phenomenons such as the Me N Ma Girls, dubbed the “Spice Girls of Myanmar” in reference to a popular Western girlie band.

The Me N Ma Girls pop group could be described as the new face of Myanmar in popular music. They’ve already won a lot of fans at home and pocketed a record contract in the US, but it would have been unthinkable a few years ago.

The girls are the first ever all-female, all-singing pop/hip-hop group and dance ensemble from Myanmar. Founded in February 2010 by Australian dancer Nicole May and Myanmar marketing expert U Moe Kyaw, the band’s original members are Ah Moon, Cha Cha, Htike Htike, Kimi and Wai Hnin (who recently left the band).

Originally named “Tiger Girls”, their first album, Year of the Tiger Girls (2010), consisted of ten songs, all but one “copy tracks”. meaning popular foreign cover songs with substituted Burmese lyrics). As college educated composers and musicians in their own right, the band and May sought more artistic freedom, split from Kyaw in February 2011, and took the name “Me N Ma Girls”, a play on “Myanmar girls” and an indication of the group’s belief that the young women of Myanmar should stand proud and make change together.

Their second album, Mingalarpar, released in December 2011, featured a dozen tracks, the only non-original song being a four decades old local classic, as an authorised tribute to the country’s strong traditions. The band became internationally recognised for their fight against censorship in Myanmar, and debuted their country’s first overtly political song “Come Back Home” in May 2012.

In June 2012, the band signed with Power Music of Los Angeles, California, the first such signing for any pop/hip-hip band from Myanmar to a US label. Their first foreign gig took place in July 2012 in Singapore, and a US tour including performances in New York followed in spring 2013 after recording their new single “Girl Strong” in Los Angeles in March.

On June 16, their documentary “Miss Nikki and the Tiger Girls” played at the Sydney Film Festival and was chosen as a top-10 finalist for the Foxtel Australian Documentary Prize.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

With the gradual opening of Myanmar, a new cultural era is dawning, and one part of it is pop music culture. The change in the country can be seen in phenomenons such as the Me N Ma Girls, dubbed the “Spice Girls of Myanmar” in reference to a popular Western girlie band.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Me N Ma Girls_1With the gradual opening of Myanmar, a new cultural era is dawning, and one part of it is pop music culture. The change in the country can be seen in phenomenons such as the Me N Ma Girls, dubbed the “Spice Girls of Myanmar” in reference to a popular Western girlie band.

The Me N Ma Girls pop group could be described as the new face of Myanmar in popular music. They’ve already won a lot of fans at home and pocketed a record contract in the US, but it would have been unthinkable a few years ago.

The girls are the first ever all-female, all-singing pop/hip-hop group and dance ensemble from Myanmar. Founded in February 2010 by Australian dancer Nicole May and Myanmar marketing expert U Moe Kyaw, the band’s original members are Ah Moon, Cha Cha, Htike Htike, Kimi and Wai Hnin (who recently left the band).

Originally named “Tiger Girls”, their first album, Year of the Tiger Girls (2010), consisted of ten songs, all but one “copy tracks”. meaning popular foreign cover songs with substituted Burmese lyrics). As college educated composers and musicians in their own right, the band and May sought more artistic freedom, split from Kyaw in February 2011, and took the name “Me N Ma Girls”, a play on “Myanmar girls” and an indication of the group’s belief that the young women of Myanmar should stand proud and make change together.

Their second album, Mingalarpar, released in December 2011, featured a dozen tracks, the only non-original song being a four decades old local classic, as an authorised tribute to the country’s strong traditions. The band became internationally recognised for their fight against censorship in Myanmar, and debuted their country’s first overtly political song “Come Back Home” in May 2012.

In June 2012, the band signed with Power Music of Los Angeles, California, the first such signing for any pop/hip-hip band from Myanmar to a US label. Their first foreign gig took place in July 2012 in Singapore, and a US tour including performances in New York followed in spring 2013 after recording their new single “Girl Strong” in Los Angeles in March.

On June 16, their documentary “Miss Nikki and the Tiger Girls” played at the Sydney Film Festival and was chosen as a top-10 finalist for the Foxtel Australian Documentary Prize.

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