Koutei Camera Girl is an all-female idol rap unit produced by Tapestok Records (all lyrics by jas; instrumentals by beatsmith collective ALYT). After a couple of line-up changes KCG is currently in their third incarnation consisting of three members and going by the name Koutei Camera Girl Drei (Drei = three in German). Their sound involves rapped lyrics over EDM instrumentals but it’s the soulfulness, creativity and supreme attention to detail in production coupled with the heartfelt, raw-as-punk ebullience of the girls’ on-stage performance that makes KCG3 one of the most captivating acts, idol or not, in Tokyo’s underground music scene.
Instead of warming up with a bunch of shows in Japan before coming to Canada, KCG3 might have made music history by making their live performance debut in a foreign country—October 6, 2017 in Toronto during NMFT11. To elaborate—auditions were held in Tokyo and the members of KCG3 were chosen just a couple months before coming to Canada. They had never travelled outside Japan (passports for the first time) and never performed together in front of a live audience. They had only a few weeks to memorize a sh*tload of lyrics and create their own dance routines before making their live debut in Toronto. Talk about being thrown to the wolves!! But not only did they perform admirably, they improved exponentially with each show and absolutely killed it with a floor live performance in the centre of the crowd in Vancouver.
The core members of the two previous versions of Koutei Camera Girl were extremely diverse, outlandish and quirky. One girl had a comically high-pitched nasal voice and another was a non-stop ball of energy. With KCG3 it seems Tapestok Records are moving further away from the ‘kawaii‘, bubbly image associated with idols and aiming for a more earnest persona and mature sound. Initially there were concerns this newest line-up wasn’t as fun and diverse but the members of KCG3 are showing their own synergy and eclecticism through clearly defined roles.
Ramy t talata spits rhymes with an aggressive style and confident swagger. Catch My Heart has a beautiful voice—rare in the idol world as an inability to sing is considered cuter and more endearing. She sings lead with incredible soul but is equally adept getting vicious on the mic with her fluid rap flow. Finally, Sappy Halloween appears the most calm and demure but is actually the wild, emotionally unstable one who pours her heart and soul into the performance—more emotive spoken word than actual rapping.
KCG3’s music and personality is very atypical of idols—in fact, they’re more like a female version of group_inou. They both rap over electronic instrumentals and perform with incredible emotion, passion and an underground punk energy. Since group_inou is on indefinite hiatus, KCG3 and Imai were invited together by the organizer with the secret hope and intention of a possible collaboration (i.e group_inou cover songs) during NMFT12. Whether a collab happens or not, KCG3 will bring the house down especially when they perform their Canadian themed songs: “Toronto Lot” and “Lonely Montreal.” And as an added bonus, ramy t talata and catch my heart will perform a few songs as their more hip hop oriented alter-ego, Koutei Camera Gal.