Having taken the US by storm with their debut album Femm-Isation, FEMM have put their sugary vocal cords to work to create an array of rom-com worthy music. Releasing Tokyo Girls Anthem last December, the Japanese mannequin duo prove their only competition is themselves, as they release a brand new album just a month later titled Tokyo Ex Machina. Ready to conquer Europe, FEMM release “We Got Each Other” – a single packed with the power and energy which defines the duo — as demonstrated by its wholesome music video.
Beginning with a funky bassline and rhythmic beats, the song welcomes the deep yet sweet vocals of the duo as they remind each other of their self-worth in the face of heartbreak. Incorporating elements of 90s pop-punk throughout, the visual is filmed in a style similar to that of a rom-com montage — reflecting FEMMs ability to create sounds reminiscent of childhood while dissecting the issues of adolescence.
Holding the same power as a cult classic chick-flick, RiRi and LuLa are quickly climbing the steps of stardom. To celebrate their recent successes, we took some time to get to know FEMM, and discussed their latest album release.
To stream “We Got Each Other” and to read the full interview, head below…
Hi guys, how are you? Where are we speaking to you from right now?
LuLa: Hi, we are answering from Tokyo!
First of all, how did the pair of you meet?
RiRi: We used to be fashion mannequins standing in store windows, but were scouted by agents from FEMM’s Agency Syndicate. They upgraded us and we became leaders of all mannequins. We started shouting out the rights of mannequins back in 2013, we chose the format: Music and Dance, since it’s easy to deliver our message worldwide and borderless. There are so many mannequins that have been mistreated and we just want a better world where mannequins and humans can unite.
Is there a particular meaning behind your band’s name, FEMM?
LuLa: It stands for “Far East Mention Mannequins” We started as leaders of mannequins.
RiRi: It means that we mannequins are warning from the far east, to all humans.
Have you both been musically inclined since a young age? Was becoming musicians always the plan for you both?
RiRi: We don’t remember how we were made into mannequins or when, but maybe music was always right there. Just standing in shop windows, we were listening to the radio. I think music is like air and we need it all the time. It sets the atmosphere, cheers you up and is your friend. We started singing to reach out to the world, to make a change for mannequins. It’s been over 7 years and we have gained lots of agents (fans) who love our music. That’s truly our happiness.
Congratulations on the release of your album, Tokyo Ex Machina! Can you talk us through the production process behind it?
LuLa: Thank you. We have been making lots of tracks for this album and the one before (Tokyo Girls Anthem) for like 5/6 years. Some are collabs and some songs we made ourselves. Some songs we made just last month. Finally, we are able to deliver to our listener and we are so happy!
Do you have a favourite track from the album?
RiRi: My fav is “Outta the Clouds”. We chose “Outta the Clouds” from over 100 demo tracks and it was my fav back then, and still my fave. LuLa loves “We got Each Other”.
The album is inspired by the sounds of 90s punk. What about that sound draws you to it the most? Do you have a favourite artist from the 90s?
LuLa: I think it’s a comfortable sound. Kinda nostalgic and new at the same time. As for my faves from the 90s, it’s hard to pick from so many amazing artists, but I especially love Janet Jackson, TLC, Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, Madonna – Can’t get enough.
You have also released the music video for track “We Got Each Other”! What was the inspiration behind the music video?
RiRi: LuLa suggested Julie Giesen as our MV director for this video. She really gets the Girl Power message that we want to deliver and we thought she was the one and only who could direct it! We wanted to show a story that lots of girls can relate to. Girls just having fun, but it’s so important! Sometimes we need to celebrate Kawaii (Cuteness) and do silly things It was super fun shooting the video.
Apart from the album release, what else are you looking forward to in 2022?
RiRi: We hope that this pandemic world settles down and gets back to normal days, so we can travel all over the place to perform for our agents! Until then, please enjoy our 2 new albums!
LuLa: We want to go and meet all of our agents! Hope you guys love our new songs and play them on your radio everywhere.