UNIVERSAL MUSIC THAILAND AND IAM RECORDS PARTNER TO LAUNCH LYRA
All-star Thai Pop Phenomenon Set To Introduce The New Sound Of T-Pop To The World
Eponymous Debut Single Launches Globally Today
BANGKOK, 09 October 2020 – Universal Music Thailand, a division of Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, today announced the exclusive global signing and launch of all-star Thai girl group LYRA, in partnership with leading Thai music company IAMRecords, marking the beginning of a new collaborative relationship between the two companies.
In recent years T-POP has become a hugely popular genre within Thailand and increasingly on a global level, as more and more young people have access to idol groups and songs through streaming and social media. IAM is Thailand’s leading artist management company and label and is home to Thailand’s most popular girl idol group – BNK48, which has more than 78 featured members. IAM’s official YouTube channel has more than 1.4 million subscribers and has achieved more than 1.2 Billion video views, since launching in 2013.
Formed from the ranks of the idol group BNK48 – LYRA is the culmination of a rigorous selection process lasting more than a year, a process which eventually saw six of the most talented members of the group, hand-picked to form a new and completely different act. The chosen six entered the cocoon of an intensive music camp from May to June this year, working with Thailand’s best producers, choreographers and stylists, emerging from this process transformed into LYRA. The process has also seen them also work with some of Thailand’s leading creatives, including; music producers Montonn Jira and Richard Cracker, Thailand’s leading stylist & Vogue Fashion Editor Ms. Pook Jongkol, and renowed fashion designer, Millin.
The official line-up of members; Pun, Jennis, Noey, Fond, Niky, and New was unveiled today with the reveal of the band’s eponymous debut track “LYRA”, which is available to stream now across all platforms.
In making the announcement, Paul Sirisant, Managing Director of Universal Music Thailand said, “We are delighted to partner with the team at IAM to officially launch LYRA, and to bring the unique sound of T-POP and Thailand to the world. Over the past few months during lockdown, we have witnessed an incredible metamorphosis and we look forward to working closely with our UMG label partners around the world to introduce LYRA to audiences globally.
Nattapol Bawornwatana, COO, Independent Artist Management/IAM Records said, “It has been a great journey working with Universal Music Group (Thailand) on this joint venture. Both companies are respectful for each other strengths and together we are stronger. I am also very proud to see our Artists transformed into LYRA, the hard work that they and our team has put in over the past year has paid off.”
Setting LYRA apart from other pop groups, including their alma mater BNK48, is the ‘inside-out’ approach to their transformation from T-POP idols to artists in their own right. Rather than looking to outside influences – either within Thailand or from Western pop – LYRA has instead built their sound and style based on what was already within the individual members of the group: their talent, their desires, their ideas.
Producers Jira and Cracker turned to traditional Thai instrumentation to form the backbone of the track’s sound. While what emerges from this approach is an entirely new and unique, it is clear that it has deep roots in the musical cultures of Thailand. On the surface, the track sounds like a revolutionary approach to using this instrumentation. Yet, in fact, it is an evolution of traditional Thai music. The use of the distinctive melodic range of instruments such as the khaen and the pin falls well within the scope of Thai tradition, but LYRA’s debut track supercharges the evolutionary process by fusing it with everything that is great about modern hip hop: its insistent danceability, its unyielding attitude, and its instantly memorable hooks. In doing so, they have probably just redefined the future sound of Thai pop music, transforming the traditional into the contemporary.
Moreover, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if LYRA’s sound soon spills out beyond the borders of Thailand and fills the airwaves internationally, in much the same way that Reggaeton, bhangra and K-pop sounds have crossed into the Western pop markets in recent years.
LYRA have arrived on the music scene at a time when freedom of individual creative expression is both a hot political topic and a technological inevitability. The younger generation have grown up in a world where people have been free to speak their minds on social media, with many young people carving out lucrative careers doing just that on YouTube. With every aspect of their creative process emerging from LYRA’s members – from choosing the band name to determining their choreography – LYRA’s approach represents this generation perfectly, allowing them to connect to their audience as individuals, transforming the traditional relationship between girl groups and their fans.