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Like any other music band working on a song, Carolyn, Sagarika, Lovelyn and Elysia put their heads together and discuss what's to be done. Once they are done talking, they hang up for the day. Carolyn goes to college, Sagarika goes to bed. After all, these girls live in different countries and time zones. And oh, did we mention they've never met?
The girls in Wild Blossoms proudly call themselves 'the first international internet girls band'. It all started when they auditioned for the Asian Spice Girls competition. "I had spent hours preparing for it and was disheartened when I couldn't make it, " recalls 19-year-old Sagarika from Delhi. She decided to check the competition's homepage on a social networking site one last time. And that's where she read Carolyn's message from Los Angeles. "She had left a message asking others to join her and make music. I thought it was a real cool idea and I contacted her, " says Sagarika.
And then there was no looking back for the girls. Sagarika turned recruiter and brought in Lovelyn (Nigeria), Elysia (New Zealand) and Marie (Japan). "She also looked for Jorik (The Netherlands), our music composer, " says Carolyn. "He had left a comment on one of her videos on Youtube and she checked with him if he wanted to join us and he gladly came in. And she also looked for design consultant Glenna (USA), our technical support guy Gavin (Macau) and the video editor Jacob (Israel). "
The girls had their misgivings about logistics and working hours, but were encouraged by the way big bands were using the net to promote themselves. "We felt that we cannot let it pass without giving it a try, " says Carolyn. "Everyone's using the internet to get popular. As Justin Bieber earns his fame through Youtube and Owl City through MySpace, we are trying to reach our dreams by using Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. "
They overcame the problems of distance with technology. Gavin created a file-sharing domain for the team. "As each of the five girls had to record their respective parts of the song and then send it to Jorik, it was necessary that we had a way to share files, " explains Gavin. "Now any of the band members can upload their files and these automatically get uploaded to the other members' systems as well. "
Almost all the members agree that interaction with all nine members at the same time is close to impossible and has happened only once in the last three months. "We do not have any sponsors and we are putting in our own money, " says Elysia. "Calling each other on international lines would've turned us bankrupt in no time and so we use the internet and video conferences. And it is impossible that everyone is awake or available at the same time, some of us have terrible time zone differences. We are also from different cultures, living different lives, someone's working, and someone's studying. At times we've waited for almost a week for a member to revert. That's how interaction goes for a toss. "
Jacob says that the one with the most difficult job is Jorik. "Jorik first composes the tunes and then Elysia composes the lyrics, " he says. "Only after the girls have sung their parts does the real work start. The girls are using only semi-professional microphones and recording at their homes. Jorik, apart from mixing the individually recorded pieces with the music, also has to retouch the voices to remove any disturbances. Jorik has to work hard. "
But everything fell into place and the girls managed to release their first song, Silent Night, on YouTube on Christmas. "We thought that a Christmas carol would be just the right thing to start with, " says Lovelyn. "Next on our to-do list is a song against fur trade and some fairy tale-themed singles. We also plan to contact organisations working against cruelty against animals and ask them to sponsor the song. "
Glenna, 63, the eldest member of the band, came on board only because, "They are all like my kids. Despite our age difference, we share our passions for animals and are adventurous. When Sagarika contacted me, she said they couldn't afford to pay me. But money was hardly a concern. The first time I had a conference with them on Skype, it was rather funny since I didn't know how to use the site! I was proud of the girls when my husband heard the song and was teary eyed. I hope the entire world learns to work together the way these kids are doing. What a wonderful place it would be then!"
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