With members from both the Philippines and Japan, R Rules wants to deliver a strong message of empowerment.
One of the key ingredients for a pop group to succeed is a sense of bonding and trust between the members. Groups rarely make it far if their members do not like or can’t communicate with each other. So, how then does a P-pop group succeed when its members are from two different worlds? For P-pop girl group R Rules, that’s a non-issue and actually helps them stand out in the ever-crowding world of P-pop.
Officially making their debut on November 24 with the release of their single, DNY, R Rules has a few things going for them that make them stand out. First, they are the first-ever P-pop girl group to come from MCA, the Philippine branch of Universal Music Group. Second, some of the members have a Japanese background. Lastly, this is the second iteration of the group and has been promoted as a group before under a different name. But despite all the firsts that are behind the group, R Rules is just looking to showcase their love of music to the world and aren’t pressured by any expectations.
FROM TOKYO TO MANILA
Composed of members Riyo, Reina, Ruri, and Risa, R Rules are formed of individuals with diverse backgrounds. Specifically, the group has a strong Japanese influence. Reina grew up in Tokyo, Japan but is now based in Manila. Her mother is Filipina and sites Ariana Grande as a major inspiration for her. Like quite a few idols, she traveled to a whole new country to pursue her dreams her musical dreams. At 19, she packed her bags and moved to Manila to start her musical training. Riyo also grew up in Japan and was a tuba player in high school. Like quite a few young girls during the mid-2000s, Riyo was a big fan of Hannah Montana and wanted to be like her. Riyo’s perseverance soon led her to Manila, where she also ended up being in a group.
Risa, on the other hand, grew up in the Philippines as a person with two cultures, Filipino and Japanese. When she was finishing high school, she wanted to move to Japan for college because of a desire to explore her Japanese culture. But her musical aspirations inclined her to pursue a career in the country. Finally, Ruri was well-versed in the world of performing. As a young girl, she joined all kinds of singing contests. One thing led to another and Ruri soon crossed paths and eventually formed a group with the other three girls.
Despite the cultural differences, the girls clicked easily. “We are not just a girl group, we are sisters,” says Ruri. While this will be the first time R Rules will be making themselves known officially in the music scene, this isn’t the first time they came together to make music. Originally, they went by the name Japh Dolls as a reflection of their Japanese background. They were also signed to a different label. But things didn’t work out and they were on the verge of quitting. That was until a bigger opportunity came their way and signed to MCA to undergo further training, effectively starting from scratch. But when you love something so much, stumbles like these usually don’t deter you.
DON’T NEED YA
With dedication, talent, and an experienced team behind them, R Rules set off to achieve their musical dreams. And their efforts came to fruition with their official debut single, DNY. Literally meaning Don’t Need Ya, the track is a reflection of who the group is and what they would like to become. For starters, it features lyrics in Japanese, which is a nod to their roots. In fact, some of the members would write their lyrics in Japanese first before translating them to English or Tagalog.
It also is a track about empowerment and feeling confident, one of the group’s core principles. With its mix of hip-hop, R&B, K-Pop, and EDM sounds, the Pinay quartet is showing commitment to inspire young music listeners to stand up for what they believe in and encourage them to find their inner strength to go after what they want. Aside from using their platform to inspire change and lift each other up, the Filipino girl group’s debut track also promotes love and kindness in any way or form, be it for your own self and for others who need it.
DNY was co-written by Kevin Yadao and Tiny Corpuz and co-produced by Cursebox and Corpuz. R Rules’ entry into Pinoy pop has the goal to speak out against the standards society imposes on women and articulate the challenges that they go through towards claiming their voice and earning respect.
THE BEGINNING OF THEIR JOURNEY
With their debut single out now, R Rules is now on their way to musical superstardom and making a name for themselves in P-pop. Knowing that even getting to the point of debuting wasn’t easy, the girls are taking it one step at a time. “Our plan right now is just to get our music out there. We’re not here to compete Soma orders. We just want to carve out a space for our empowering brand of pop music, and hopefully be taken seriously for who we are as a group,” says the group.
Fluent in Filipino, English, and Japanese, the women of R Rules come from two different worlds and countries. But they want to prove that people from two different cultures can come and perform together in harmony, both on and off the stage. They want to show the world that they are four women from two cultural backgrounds who came together to become pop stars, working hard on their craft and finding ways to entertain their audience
As of now, they are continuously looking to improve their singing and dancing skills as well as explore their musical style. They are also in training to further improve their musical growth through more releases of their own material. While their debut single was not initially written by the group, they stressed that they still had creative freedom to switch things up. They also expressed how Zack Tabudlo, Blaster, Ariana Grande, and Little Mix are their dream collabs.
Ultimately, as the group is looking to make their mark on the Philippine pop scene and beyond, they want their music to inspire and empower. And this isn’t just for girls, but for everyone. They hope that their music will help people believe in themselves and use their voices to encourage listeners to release that inner confidence. And if R Rules continues to keep their eyes on the prize, they might just achieve that, and more.
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