Contestants Mew and Bell were the winners. Thai's first transgender pop music group - 'Venus Flytrap' - is set to release their first album 'Visa For Love' from SonyBmg (Thailand) and all of the group members have undergone a sex change operation. Members are: Nok Sasha (Posh Venus) - she won a Thailand beauty pageant awards in 2005, Taya (Cool Venus) was Ripley's Most Beautiful Wo-man for 2005, Bobo (Hot Venus), Gina (Naughty Venus) and Amy (Sweet Venus). The ladyboys debut album is in stores now and they've recently released their 1st single 'Visa For Love' and Thai hitsong 'Por Chan Pen Phu Ying Khong Ter (Cause I'm Your Lady)'. Their appeal lies on being very beautiful ladyboys, though their music veers firmly to conservative Europop. Venus Flytrap is not a girl band in the strictest sense, but a "ladyboy" band of five members who were born males and had their sex surgically altered. With the guidance of once of the world's major recording companies, which has its eye on a market niche, they have become the first such act to win a mainstream record deal. Modelled on the Spice Girls, their onstage personas are Cool Venus, Naughty Venus, Posh Venus, Sweet Venus and Hot Venus. Their first album, "Visa for Love," was released in December and though it has yet to break into the charts it has enjoyed high-turnover play on Bangkok's SkyTrain rail network and won the group a high-profile spot at an downtown open-air concert. Sony BMG Music Entertainment developed the idea for the group as a new twist on the tried-and-true girl band style, said the company's director for artist and repertoire Amonrat Homhoul. The company auditioned 100 transsexual performers before selecting these five, who then underwent a year of intense singing, acting and dance lessons, she said. "It is not easy.
Producing the album took a long time because there are five of them," Amonrat said. Recording was also time-consuming because the group members sing as women, but cannot keep their voices at a high pitch for more than a few hours, she added. Nevertheless, she said: "The response has been good, even if the songs aren't on the chart yet." The five Venuses say they hope their first single '"Cause I'm Your Lady," and the rest of their music will help broaden perceptions of transsexuals in Thailand. "I see being in Venus Flytrap as another chance for me, for a ladyboy, to work in another field of entertainment" other than cabarets and beauty pageants, said Dhanade Ruangroongroj, or Cool Venus. Thailand is believed to have one of the largest transsexual populations in the world. Academics estimate at least 10,000 live in Thailand, though some put the figure 10 times higher. Even the conservative number would mean that per capita, Thailand has many more transsexuals than most developed countries. Part of the reason they have become so prominent here is the ready availability of medical treatments for sex change operations, which can cost rougly 150,000 baht (about 3,750 dollars) - a hefty sum in Thailand but still a fraction of the cost in Western countries. Another reason is that traditional Thai culture has fewer prejudices against transvestites than many other countries. Known as "kathoey," they had special roles to play in village festivals, usually involving decorations or performances. Nonetheless, transsexuals typically remain on the fringes of society, tolerated but still curiosities, finding work such as exotic entertainers in cabaret revues. Naughty Venus, Topmonthawan "Gina" Boonchalee, said she hoped that her new band's success would show that transsexuals could compete with mainstream entertainers to find an audience beyond the cabarets. Ladyboy cabarets are often either tucked into red-light districts or set up as enormous spectacles for tourists, but Gina said Venus Flytrap proves that ladyboy entertainers are capable of more than that. "We are artists, we can offer any kind of performance," Gina said. That doesn't mean that no one ever frowns on their shows or gives them disapproving looks, but the band says they have encountered far less negativity than they expected. "We are a new phenomenon. I hope we are paving the way for other ladyboys. I hope society will be more open for them so that they can work, because they are able to work," said Krerkkong Suanyot, or Posh Venus. Krerkkong, who has degrees in food science and humanities and is studying for a masters in political science, said she hopes her experience with the band will help earn recognition for other transsexuals. They do have at least one musical edge on their pop star competitors, noted Ploypaitoon Moukprakaaiphed, or Hot Venus. "I can sing as both a woman and a man," she said slyly. The group does have a nagging concern that their rising celebrity might be based more on who they are, rather than how they sing, said Rachakorn Jaroensuk, or Sweet Venus. "People know us, but they don't know what songs we sing," she said. 2- Venus Flytrap - Netherlands Band members: * Marc Mosmans: vocals, guitar * Bart Schotman: guitar * Thomas van Buuren: bass * Pike: keyboards and samples * Bob Koning: drums Started in 1998 in The Hague (nl), Venus Flytrap gradually gained commercial and artistic success in the Lowlands.
In the first year of their existence they scored a hit with the video “The Gift”, even without a record deal. Shifting from the mid-90s popular rock sound into more melodic and dynamic alternative pop/rock with the use of samples, they released their first full-length album This is your Exit Plan (Fount Records) in 2000. This release and intensive touring put Venus Flytrap in a leading role in the Dutch independent pop/rock scene. Taking their time to write new material, their next album Hoovering was released by My First Sonny Weissmuller Recordings/Konkurrent in May 2003. Again, reviews were raving: “Brilliant popsongs”, “Intriguing web of sad songs and mysterious soudscapes” (Aloha Magazine), “Mesmerizing mixture of melody, experiment, warmth and emotion” (Oor Magazine), “Venus Flytrap sets the standard for Dutch bands” (File Under e-mag). Invited by the SouthBySouthWest organisation to play at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, Venus Flytrap toured in the United States in March 2004.
A year later, in 2005, Venus Flytrap went back to the US for their second tour, this time playing some big cities on the East Coast, including New York (CBGB and Sin-e), Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC. 2007 marks the release of their new album Come With Us. Darker and heavier than ever before, with screaming guitars, bold, tight bass and drums, noise, and electronic soundscapes. The result is a hypnotic indie 'wall of sound', reminiscent of Motorpsycho, Sonic Youth and dEUS. Come With Us was released worldwide by Wampus MultiMedia early 2009, and Venus Flytrap promoted the release with a tour in Canada, invtated by the Canadian Music Week 2009. - - - - - - - - - - - - 2- Venus Flytrap - Thailand "I hope audiences do look at us for our work, rather than just for being pretty," she added.
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