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In the middle of 2008, one of the top US music producers, PHARRELL WILLIAMS(The Neptunes) and his close friend NIGO®, the producer of the street clothing brand A BATHING APE® and is also a member of TERIYAKI BOYZ® (theme song from the film “Fast and the Furious Tokyo Drift”) came together to hold an audition STAR BAPE® SEARCH to seek a female HIPHOP/R&B artist.

The audition was aimed at locating a DIVA who can make an impact in the music industry not only in the Far East but globally. The grand winner was to release a record with a major label, be fully produced and backed by PHARRELL WILLIAMS(The Neptunes) and NIGO®. The audition attracted entries from all over the Asian countries in hope for this dream opportunity.

On 13th August STAR BAPE® SEARCH FINAL STAGE was held at UNIT Daikanyama, Japan and the winner was chosen, Manami (born October 6, 1986).

昨年、「A BATHING APE®」プロデューサーであり、RIP SLYMEのILMARIとRYO-Z、m-flo のVERBAL、WISEと共にTERIYAKI BOYZ®のメンバーでもあるNIGO®が盟友であり全米No.1音楽プロデューサーであるPHARRELL WILLIAMS(The Neptunes)の発案に意気投合し、女性HIPHOP/R&B アーティスト・オーディション「STAR BAPE® SEARCH(スター・ベイプ・サーチ)」が行われた。

『日本、アジア、そして世界で活躍できるDIVA(歌姫)』を基準にアーティストを選出し、選ばれたアーティストは、PHARRELL WILLIAMS(The Neptunes)とNIGO®の全面プロデュースで(B)APE SOUNDS™からデビュー!!という触れ込みに全国のシンガー志望の女性の応募が殺到。

そして同年8月13日に代官山UNITにて行われた「STAR BAPE® SEARCH FINAL STAGE」の舞台で栄光のWINNERに輝いたのが、Manamiこと、中村麻奈未なのである!

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