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“Tink Tink” finding their way into Asian music markets

By: KC

Date Posted: 2001-07-13

An Okinawan female pop duo is fast making inroads to wider Asian music markets. The duo “Tink Tink” is set to launch their very first album, titled simply “Tink Tink,” in two versions. The girls sing the domestic version of the album in Okianwan dialect, the Asian version is in Chinese. Both are scheduled to hit the shelves on July 1.

Tink Tink consists of Sachiyo Sakihama, 22, from Okinawa City, and Azusa Miyagi, 20, who hails from Urasoe City. The album features their original songs including their debut song “Iianbe,” “Yoi-Yoi-Yoi,” “Itsumo Genki,” and “Okinawa Kara no Kaze (Breeze from Okinawa)” in each version.

Since there are many Chinese speaking people from Taiwan and Mainland China living in Okinawa, promoters expect the Chinese version’s success here to be a good indicator of its chances in Chinese speaking Asian markets. Of course, any Chinese, Okinawan, American, or a music fan of any other nationality may want to pop into the nearest CD shop for a sample of this exotic mixture of Okinawan tunes and Chinese language. The duo’s managers believe optimistically that this will be the first stage of Okinawan female pop music conquering the wider world.

Rinken Teruya, a well-known Okinawan musician and music producer, has produced Sakihama’s and Miyagi’s first Chinese language album. Teruya himself with his Rinken Band has toured Asia recently. Sakihama and Miyagi have studied Chinese for a year preparing to launch the Chinese version.

Sakihama says, “I believe this album soon will be talked about much. There has been some Okinawan and Japanese songs that were aimed for promotion in Asian markets, but most of them were all sung in Japanese.” She also states, “On this album, a song titled “Arigato,” is very active and cheerful. This song is very nice because it makes you feel recognizing “arigato” as a very international word.”

According to Miyagi “Okinawa has a similar atmosphere, and similar cultural phases to Taiwan and mainland China, but this album of Okinawa brings fresh air to listeners. We produced it hoping that the message of Okinawan spirit would reach people in foreign countries.”

One song that especially reflects that spirit is called “Wo de laojia (My Hometown).” Miyagi says that “this song gives the listener a phrase, meaning this is the place for me where I grew up, to make me feel Okinawa is my home.”

The duo performs regularly live in Ajima Live House, in Chatan. When they perform, Sakihama plays sanba and Miyagi Sanshin, both traditional Okinawan instruments. When they perform, they use typical Okinawan folk dance-based choreography, Kacha-sih. One of their dreams is to go on a live concert tour in Taiwan and mainland China to sing Okinawan pop songs in Chinese.

It will be three years in November since “Tink Tink” published their first single. With the new album just hitting stores, they are on their way to Asia. The price of the album is ¥2,625.

Tink Tink Live

Date: July 13, 14, 15, 17, 18
Location: Kalahaai
Price: ¥500
Info: 098-982-7077
Stage 1: 7:45pm – 8:15pm
Stage 2: 8:45pm – 9:15pm
Stage 3: 9:45pm – 10:15pm
Stage 4: 10:45pm – 11:15pm

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