Blush – Love At First Blush
by Maggie Mitchell
If you don’t already know the names Victoria Chan, Alisha Budhrani, Natsuko “Nacho” Danjo and Angeli Flores, you really should. Perhaps you know these four talented girls as the singing sensation also known as Blush.
Coming together from four different Asian countries, each Blush girl had different upbringings and varied introductions to music at their homes in China, Japan, India and the Philippines.
Alisha started her musical career at the age of ten, which included a dance career with styles such as hip-hop, belly dancing, Bollywood, etc. Angeli began singing at the age of eight with her older sister. Growing up in her own mother’s dance studio, Nacho embarked in her dancing at the age of three. Last, but not least, Victoria started singing as soon as she could talk!
In 2010, the girls met for the first time during a talent search called Project Lotus, which was put together by FarWest Media. The goal of Project Lotus was to find unsigned girls from different Asian countries and mold them into a singing group sensation.
After the long process of looking at over 3,500 auditions of candidates from various countries, judges chose 35 girls to travel to Hong Kong to compete against one another on a reality show called Project Lotus: The Search for Blush. At the completion of the show, the four reigning winners – Chan, Budhrani, Flores and Danjo won the coveted girl group spots. Now they are known as Blush!
Following the competition in 2011, the girls had their first major performance opening for pop superstar Justin Bieber. After opening for the Biebs, Blush also toured with numerous musical acts including The Black Eyed Peas, B.o.B, Far East Movement, Jessie J, Jay Park, and Diana Ross.
Looking to take the US by storm, Blush made their US television debut on So You Think You Can Dance last year. Today, Blush is touring with the popular Australian boy prankster group, the Janoskians, on their Got Cake Tour.
At the tour stop in Philadelphia, we sat down with the girls and learned they have huge personalities and have really bonded with each other beautifully. They talk about everything from the pranks they would love to pull on the Janoskians to what they look forward to in the future of their music to their loyal fans, who they lovingly call “blushies.”
Since all of you are from different countries, do you have any interesting customs?
Victoria Chan: For Chinese we celebrate the Chinese New Year. Which is around January, February. Kids are always really excited for Chinese New Year because they get little red packets filled with money. They are usually filled with money, but sometimes filled with chocolate. It really is family time. It’s a lot bigger than Christmas.
Alisha Budhrani: Very similar, Indian people also have their Indian New Year, which is roughly around Thanksgiving time. We also get awesome packets of money! (laughs) We also have this other festival in March called Happy Holy. Everyone wears white. You get these color powder packets and you throw them at each other! It basically celebrates life. The ceremony brings people together, families. We have picnics, barbeques! It’s all about family time.
Is this your first time in Philadelphia?
All: Yes! (cheers)
Angeli Flores: We are very excited to try the Philly cheesecake! Wait, I mean cheesesteak! (laughs)
Alisha Budhrani: Maybe cheesecake after the cheesesteak!
Before Blush was formed did you want a solo career or did you see yourself in a group?
Victoria Chan: For me, I was a solo artist in Hong Kong. When I was younger I always saw myself as a solo artist until I found out about Project Lotus. Ever since, being in Blush, I don’t think I’ve ever thought back to being a solo artist again. There is something about being in a group. When you go on stage you’re not alone. You’re with your girls. Any nerves you get on stage, you look at your girls and you’re just like, “Okay, this is it. We’re going to do this together.” You just have so much support on stage and you never feel alone. Even if you mess up it’s okay! (laughs)
How has living in LA been different than home?
Victoria Chan: Back in Asia, it’s kind of like New York. You can walk everywhere. You can take the metro, and go do a lot of things. In LA, you need a car.
Alisha Budhrani: That was one of the biggest pick ups for us, realizing that you can’t be so independent anymore. It’s awesome. The supermarkets in America are very big. Growing up in Hong Kong we have three different cereals. Here you guys have 20-30 different cereals. You could spend hours in grocery stores! (laughs)
Angeli Flores: Also, the food portions are so big! The first time we came here, we ordered each individual meals. They were too big! We couldn’t finish them! Now we just share!
You are now working with Quincy Jones as your executive producer. What is it like working with such a musical legend?
Victoria Chan: It’s a big honor. We are really grateful to work with someone like him. I mean, he has worked with Michael Jackson. All these artists. We performed with Stevie Wonder on his 80th birthday. Just being around such amazing talent is really humbling. It’s really inspiring as well to see these people who have years-long careers, and we are just starting. We just hope to be able to get where they are.
Has he given you any specific piece of valuable advice?
Alisha Budhrani: Every time we see him it’s always a positive circle. Like we’ve been to his house a couple of times. He’ll always tell us stories of his travels, [his] life, and artists he’s met. He shows us photos. He has a beautiful collection of collectibles from all over the world, and these photos with Miss Korea and Miss Universe! He tells us all these awesome stories over awesome homemade guacamole. (laughs)
Victoria Chan: He tells us to live, laugh, love and give. You know it’s really important that we’re doing what we love, but it’s also important to remember to give back.
Do you all work together in writing in writing your music?
Natsuko “Nacho” Danjo: We all have a different music tastes. It was quite hard for us to write and make a hit together, because like I said we all have different tastes in music. The way she writes is probably different. Before, I obviously had no idea how to write because I had never written a song before! I grew up in a more dancing background. So, I had no idea how to write. Like: what’s that! (laughs) This is the good thing about being four girls together, because we can help each other. They told me a lot of things, and hopefully I told you guys things as well! (laughs again)
At the beginning of your career who did you look to as an inspiration?
Angeli Flores: We all had different idols.
Victoria Chan: I think collectively for Blush we really look up to Béyoncé. She is queen.
Alisha Budhrani: I mean who doesn’t! (laughs)
Victoria Chan: She sings and she dances! She’s amazing!
Natsuko “Nacho” Danjo: We always listen to Destiny’s Child and TLC. They are really good girl groups! We get a lot from them!
Victoria Chan: Also, Pink! Like girl power!
When we interviewed Little Mix, they told us they like to write songs to empower girls. Do you also write with that intention as well?
Alisha Budhrani: Yeah. I mean we try to change it up, not just to make it so much about empowering. You know, girls have their sad days. They have their boyfriend breakups, and all that. We actually have this song called “Miss Out” which is catered so much to a girl being like “Mhm, you missed out!” So, giving them a chance to feel like Béyoncé, too. Tonight we actually have a song called “Every Woman,” which we’re releasing next Tuesday, October 14th, on iTunes. It’s an awesome power anthem for the ladies out there. We can not wait to share it with Philadelphia!
You’ve worked with artists such as Snoop Dogg on your song “Undivided.” Who else are you looking forward to working with in the future?
Angeli Flores: Pink!
Victoria Chan: We’ve collaborated with a lot of people. We’ve opened up for Jessie J, The Black Eyes Peas, Diana Ross… talking about really back in the day. I think Pink though! It would be really cool. Like she is totally girl power! Maybe even Little Mix!
Natsuko “Nacho” Danjo: Yes! We love Little Mix!
Victoria Chan: That would be really cool. Girl groups coming together!
If you could take on a different genre of music, what do you think it would be?
Victoria Chan: With Blush I feel like we mix it up. We sing pop, but we mix it up with urban, hip-hop, rap sound. Maybe we could try country! (laughs)
Angeli Flores: Or a rock band! (laughs)
Do you have a favorite song from your current releases?
Victoria Chan: Probably “Every Woman.” It’s super girl power. We love opening our show with it. The girls may have not heard of us, but they are singing along by the first chorus! That makes us feel really good! Alisha always says that there is a part of the song that goes “Put your fist in the sky if you’re down to rock with me.” All the girls put their fists up in the air! It just feels like everyone is coming together!
So you are on tour with the Janoskians. How has the tour been so far?
Victoria Chan: They have pranked us a couple times already!
Alisha Budhrani: We need to think of an awesome prank!
Angeli Flores: They already did everything!
Alisha Budhrani: Maybe the last night of tour something big will happen.
What has been one of your favorite stops on tour?
Victoria Chan: We just actually were in Canada. That was our very first time there.
Angeli Flores: The UK too. That was our first time there!
Victoria Chan: It’s nice to go back to the places we’ve been before. Like Indianapolis. We met some great fans there. Some actually travelled to other cities to see us as well. That felt really special. Thank you for coming out for us.
Angeli Flores: Every place is different!
Where do you guys hope to see yourself in ten years?
Angeli Flores: World Tour?
Victoria Chan: Going all over the world!
Alisha Budhrani: Yes, but hopefully still looking like this! (laughs)
Victoria Chan: Still telling all the girls, you know! Still doing our thing!
Do you have a message for your fans?
Alisha Budhrani: If you have a dream out there, make sure you guys push yourself and follow your dreams. We all came from different backgrounds, and pushed to follow our dreams, and look where we are today, talking to you. We hope we can share our inspiring stories. If you guys want to know more about us make sure you keep in touch with us! Go to our website blushband.com. You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and also watch videos on YouTube.
All: Keep Blushing!