We have another interview for you today and this time it’s with our first American group to be featured – PhEri! I was able to talk with them about their idol performances, the concept of the group, their merchandise, Phoebe and Eri’s solo activities, how they feel about performing at the upcoming East Meets West Fest, and more!
Thank you for joining us here at Yes Tiger! Please start by introducing yourselves.
Thank you for having us! We’re a California-based idol duo that just debuted earlier this year, PhEri! Our name is a combination of both our individual names, Phoebe and Eri-rin, and is pronounced as “fairy.”
How would you describe yourselves as an idol group? What are your lives like and what kind of songs will you be performing?
Our motto is that we seek to bring out the melodies and courage from our hearts to enchant audiences with rainbow colored songs and dances! While musically we convey our feelings through cuteness and magic, setting us apart from our intense Japanese counterparts at East Meets West, we still want to give our audience performances that show all the sides of PhEri! Up until this point, we have been performing mainly idol and anisong (anime song) covers, but definitely look forward to original songs too!
Is there anything attendees should know to help make your East Meets West performance the best it can be? For example, anything to bring or any calls to know?
Phoebe: I think that bringing glowsticks will definitely help the performance to become more magical! That way, the audience can shine and glow along with us! I love seeing audience participation and that’s definitely one of the best ways for everyone to have fun together at our shows. Our colors are pastel pink (Phoebe) and purple (Eri) by the way, so the audience members can change to those colors. While not necessary, it’d be really fun if we could see our fans waving our PhEri glowsticks as well! They’re shaped like fairy wands and they’re super super cute~ Let me just hint… They’ll really come in handy for one of our songs in particular.
Eri: Yes! We have a few anisong titles in our setlist and it would be so fun to hear everyone doing those calls! Specifically i’d like the crowd to get SUPER into “Gokujou Smile!” by Wake Up Girls!
How did you both get interested in idols and how did you decide to become idols yourselves?
Eri: I’ve always had a soft spot for singing and performing (even though I’m SUPER shy), and music has always been a part of my life. My love of idols started with an idol anime called Love Live! I’ve made a lot of their idol costumes for cosplay and I LOVE all the cute idol outfits, dances, and songs. Since then my interests in performing increased and I’m so blessed to be a duo unit with Phoebe.
Phoebe: When I was a baby, my parents showed me a lot of anime, which got me into J-pop. As a child, I loved to sing any and everything, so Japanese music was included in the mix! It wasn’t until I watched Macross Frontier when it was airing in 2008 that I was inspired to actually get my voice out there and become an idol. I got to see Ranka Lee, a character who was as shy and insecure as I was, push through and follow her dreams of becoming a singer. To this day, Ranka and her seiyuu Nakajima Megumi continue to be huge influences on me as an artist.
Can you tell us about your solo activities? Phoebe, I notice that you have a YouTube channel for your song covers. Eri, I see that you are part of a cosplay group.
Phoebe: Yes! I post anisong, J-pop, and video game covers on my Youtube channel and sometimes on my facebook page as Feebeechanchibi! My Youtube channel as been been ongoing since 2010. I really want to put more covers up, but it’s been very busy in between PhEri’s activities, school, work, internship… I’m sorry, it’s a lot lol. But it’s very rewarding! Also, I’m signed onto the Japanese record label, HAF Records and have recently released my first full-sized album!
Eri: Yep! I actually go by the handle of Eri-rin from Shiawase Cosplay. The other member is my younger sister and we do a lot of pair cosplays’ together. We recently have been a bit busy with other hobbies but I love her a lot and it’s a great bonding experience.
How do you feel about performing in the upcoming East Meets West Music Festival? Are you excited?
Eri: I’m VERY excited!! This is definitely a huge show for us, and I’m stoked to be able to also see the other idols as well. This will be our first concert venue performance and we’ve been doing a lot of practice and preparation for this.
Phoebe: It’s PhEri’s biggest performance yet AND we get to perform with all these very, very talented アイドル先輩たち from Japan. I’ve been pretty nervous and have been meticulously preparing for the show. At the same time, I’m super thrilled and grateful to be performing among this fantastic lineup, alongside Eri! I wanna give the very best performance we have yet.
Will you be selling any merchandise at East Meets West? If so, can you tell us about it?
Yes! We will be selling lots of really fun and cute things! In addition to our very anticipated PhEri wand glowsticks, we will also have chekis that the audience can take with us and get signed, prints (also available for signing), and adorable chibi stickers! We are very excited to meet fans, so we’ll be at our merchandise booth at various times throughout the show (on both days) for chekis and meet/greets!
Since the live is called East Meets West Music Fest, what are your favorite artists and/or idols from both the East and the West?
Phoebe: I have lots of artists I like from the East. Nakajima Megumi is my absolute favorite idol-seiyuu, followed by Tamura Yukari. HYDE and L’Arc en Ciel have been longtime favorites of mine on the J-rock end. I also like music composed by Kanno Yoko. From the West, I really enjoy listening to Bruno Mars and Michael Buble.
Eri: Oh yeah I have a lot of favorite artists – and they’re all anime/anisong. Some of my favorites are Nakagawa Shouko and Nishikawa Takanori. I had a chance to see Shokotan this year at Anime Expo and I cried. For West – I like a lot of rock/classic rock music but I honestly can’t name any artists because young Eri listened to whatever was on the radio and to this day I don’t know who those bands are.
For anyone coming to California for the first time, do you have any recommended places to go or foods to eat?
Eri: I always recommend Disneyland! There’s also Universal Studios if you want to experience Harry Potter world, and Hollywood and the Wax Museums are always a good first time experience.
Phoebe: I think that the most commonly recommended is definitely In-N-Out. It’s definitely my go-to fast food and it never gets old! A lot of my favorite restaurants also have chains in Japan too though, so… Oh! Mexican food, definitely. Go to an authentic taco shop or stand! Really fun places in California are also Disneyland, which is very close to East Meets West. Also, the beaches are very nice, and there are even fun piers like Santa Monica pier.
What are your goals for the future as an idol group? How about individually?
Phoebe: I love performing with Eri! I feel like we end up being on the same wavelength a lot and I’d love to grow together more as performers, singers, and dancers. I want us to perform the songs we love together on more and more stages! Individually, I’m always looking to get better at my singing and to sing to more people. But I know my dancing needs A LOT of work. I only started dancing when Eri and I started training together last year. I think I can learn a lot from her and from other dancers.
Eri: I hope we can grow and continue to do idol activities for as long as possible! Honestly I’m so blessed to have Phoebe as my partner (yes I did say this already but everyone should know she’s amazing and super moe). I’m a vocal newbie and she’s taught me so much on how to become a better performer. I’ve had vocal only performances and dancing cover performance experiences, but PhEri has been by far the best and most rewarding. I love PhEri and hope we can spread this love to all our fans as well.
How can we get to know PhEri better before East Meets West? Which of your songs would you recommend?
Eri: If you’d like to know more about PhEri please go to our Youtube channel to get familiar with the songs we will sing! For now, it’s just idol anime covers on there, but we will have some cool content in the future!
Phoebe: We do have one more very special song that we will be performing for the very first time at East Meets West! However, we can’t disclose too much, as it’s a surprise huhu.
Could you please give a message to your fans, especially your fans attending East Meets West?
Phoebe: I know that PhEri is still new, but thank you so much for supporting us while we grow!!! We’ll do our best to put smiles on everyone’s faces at East Meets West. 🙂 Please look forward to it!
Eri: Thank you so much for supporting us! ❤ We will continue to grow and put out 110% (イェイ!). We want everyone to have fun, so let’s all laugh together and enjoy the amazing idols at East Meets West Music Fest!
Thank you for taking the time to talk with us today. We hope you have a great time at East Meets West!
Thank you so much for talking with us!! ❤
Thanks again to PhEri for working with Yes Tiger! and answering my questions. Look forward to their surprise song!
PhEri will be performing at the East Meets West Music Festival on August 19th at the Chain Reaction in Anaheim, California. Tickets are $40 in advance for one day or $70 in advance for both days. VIP ticket packages are also available, starting at $100. If you can’t make it in person but would like to live stream the festival, you can buy a live stream ticket for $40 or a VIP live stream ticket for $400. Regular tickets are available here and VIP tickets are available here. If you’d like to learn more about the festival, you can read my interview with Derek Vasconi, creator of the festival, here.
PhEri Facebook Page
PhEri YouTube Channel
Phoebe’s Facebook Page
Phoebe’s YouTube Channel
Phoebe on Spotify