Wink consisted of two Japanese ladies, Sachiko Suzuki and Shoko Aida, who pretty much dominated the genre of female Japanese idol singers during the late 1980's and early 1990's. In an industry and a culture that embraces--and quickly discards--manufactured idols, it's highly rare for any idol singer or group to have a lasting career. So what made Wink any different?
It certainly wasn't their looks, for idol singers are invariably beautiful. And some idol singers have actually written their own songs, which Wink didn't do. Therefore, the Wink phenomenon appears to be the result of the girls' understated elegance.
While other female singers often demand attention with a sexy image and vocal acrobatics--whether or not they have the voices to handle them!--Wink took a different path. No Christina Aguilera-ish vocal riffs or belting out ballads, no highly-revealing clothes. Wink's vocals were sweetly melodic, somehow soothing even in the most upbeat of dance-pop singles. Their fashion style owed more to Paris than Tokyo.
Their photo sessions, and even some of their videos, evidenced this. Their CD booklets are filled with posed studio photos, in which the girls model all sorts of elegant clothing and accessories. Some of their videos are similar, shot entirely in a studio, focusing on fashion and choreography instead of exotic locations.
This isn't to say that Wink entirely disposed of the Japanese tradition of cuteness in idol singers. For example, the video for their first #1 hit, "Ai ga tomaranai", features the girls alternately portraying department-store mannequins and ordinary young Japanese girls. This set the tone for the delicate balance of womanly sophistication and funky youthfulness that Wink maintained, throughout their long career.
Enter the world of Wink through the links below. I particularly recommend the music page, which features sound clips from more than 20 of their hits. More photos, video captures, and sound files will be added as this page grows. So please bookmark this page and come back to see what's new! ^_^
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