Project Lotus may sound like some Cold War code name Ian Fleming dreamed up, but it’s much more than mere spy hijinks. It’s a plan to bring the next great girl group to the world.
Jon Niermann, former topper of Disney’s Asian ops and currently prexy of Electronic Arts Asia, has teamed his Hong Kong-based FarWest Entertainment with Brit songwriter and producer Eliot Kennedy (Spice Girls, Take That and SClub7) to create a pan-Asian, English-singing group of five women between the ages of 18-25.
The impresarios know that it’s the music that matters, so they recently held a weeklong songwriting camp at Peter Gabriel’s Real World studios in the U.K., inviting songwriters such as Gary Barlow and Shaznay Lewis to pen some ditties.
Selecting the performers is the next step. Besides using Facebook, YouTube and the Project Lotus website (projectlotus.tv) to cull applications, they’ve set up live auditions in Mumbai, Manila, Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul and Hong Kong.
Some 25 finalists will be trained in Hong Kong, and the process of whittling them down to five will be filmed for a TV series produced by Brian Grant.
The Project Lotus TV series is set to air in February, with the group’s first single skedded for an April release.