It's SHOWTIME! - Sweet Alley (スイアレ) - New Age Idols Spotlight

Photo Courtesy: Official Twitter (May 2021)

What is something sweet that you can think of?

Maybe a funnel cake? Maybe your significant other?

There are quite a few things to be honest. 

Yet today, I want to discuss a group that has a sweet spot of both being an orthodox idol and also having a variety of personalities.

Let's take a trip down the lane and learn about the group, Sweet Alley. 

 Group Information

Sweet Alley or stylized as スイアレ, was formed in 2019 through a project with Twin Planet agency to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Tokyo Idol Festival on August 4th, 2019.

The group is currently under the aforementioned agency, Twin Planet. Their agency also supports a lot of other groups such as High Spirits, Dreaming Monster, and Akishibu Project to name a few.

The original group consisted of six members but one member was let go in May 2020.

As of April 2021, the group currently boasts seven members with differing personalities. 

They have not released any singles or albums yet as of this writing. I will explain more in detail under the Discography Information.

Shall we get to know the members of this group?

Member Introduction

As I mentioned earlier, there are seven members in Sweet Alley. 

The members also hold video call sessions on the WithLive platform often, so if you would like to chat with them, that is one of a few places to do so...(monetary transactions required)

Under each of their profile pictures, I will link their SNS profiles where you can follow them. Also, each of them do their own personal Showroom. Most of them stream daily so you can catch a few members on at the same time. Follow them if you'd like. 

Also, they each have a color designation.

Name: Fukae Arie (深江 有恵)
Birthdate: February 9th, 1997
Color: Pink
Founding Member

Name: Shimada Natsumi  (島田 菜津美)
Birthdate: December 15th, 1996
Color: Orange
Founding Member

Name: Hamakoshi Saori(濱越 さおり)
Birthdate: February 2nd, 2000
Color: Blue
Founding Member

Name: Sasaki Riona (笹木 里緒菜)
Birthdate: April 16th, 1998
Color: Green
Founding Member

Name: Yoshida Emu (吉田 笑夢)
Birthdate: May 7th, 2001
Color: Purple
Founding Member

Name: Sakuragi Kasumi (桜木 花純)
Birthdate: August 21st, 1998
Color: White
Joined July 26th, 2020

Name: Ikari Ayana (猪狩 彩奈)
Birthdate: March 21st, 2001
Color: Red
Joined July 26th, 2020

Former Members

Ashida Maho - Fired May 7th, 2020

Discography Information

This has a bit of backstory. Last year (2020), Sweet Alley was set to release their first album in August. It would have been three types A,B and C...due to the pandemic it got moved to December, then unfortunately got cancelled due to said pandemic.

Earlier this month, the group announced that they are finally releasing their album, set to be released on  June 22nd, 2021. 

The album will be named  人生はワンチャンだ (Jinsei wa One Chan da) or in English, Life Is One- Chan).

Album Artwork Courtesy: Official Twitter

I will update this article when it comes out and it may have a separate one based on my personal review.

I am looking forward to it! 

You can preorder it on your favorite Japanese CD websites such as here on CDJapan

Music Video / Live Video Introduction

As for music videos, they use live footage for a majority of them. They are from their first few live performances, including their first one man live on February 29th, 2020, and have the original lineup. I will showcase a couple of those and also include one from a fan channel that is a little more recent that has the current lineup in it.

For the first one, I want to share the title track of their upcoming album Jinsei wa One Chan da. This is from their performance on December 14th, 2019.

I so miss the crowds and the chants. I enjoy this song a lot. It is nice idol sound that is taken for granted a little bit. The song is energetic and it can get you energized just by listening to it. I enjoy the vocals from the members as well. Their voices are so strong that you don't need to have one member to rely on for good vocals. At the end, there is a part where they slow it down and have a bit of a solo. While that is happening, I manage to get goosebumps each time. The choreography is fun and as you can tell by the audience, it can be easy to replicate with a pen light.  Each member is really cute as well. The stage outfits seen here are often used along with the ones in their profile photos. This is a song that I will be playing constantly.

The next song is called SMILE. No matter what difficulties you may face, go forward and because it is not the end.

I absolutely enjoy the rock / electronic aspect of this song. You need a pick me up song that can make you SMILE, this one is for you. This song will get you humming along in no time. Also that guitar solo about midway through is pretty awesome. The members look like they are having a fun time performing this song and the fans seem to enjoy it as well. I will blare this song while driving either to or back home from work (maybe a lot of other times). You can tell that in two months time, they have improved a lot. 

The third song I want you to listen to is called Beat it jump!. This song makes you want to grab a towel and there is a reason behind it. 

The energy is off the charts with this one, so I consider it one of my favorite songs. Do you see what I mean by the towels? After attempting it without one, I felt like I was going to pull something in my shoulder. This song is as entertaining as it looks. It will make you jump up and down and even maybe form a circle and run around in it. You never know. The peace part is really cute to top it off. I like the simple lyrics of the song. It is a song about getting out and showing your true self even if you are feeling down, you can fly high. As per the past couple of songs, I will listen to this one a lot yet Beat it jump! might be my alarm tone. When you need a nice jumpstart to your day, they have you covered.

The last video I want to share is from the Tokyo Idol Festival 2020 from YouTube channel T B Over the past year or so, we have been fighting through the coronavirus. During this pandemic, some major events went virtual with no audiences and TIF was one of them. This performance is in the CGlabo stage and it looks not life like. It is pretty crazy. This stage features the current lineup and includes the songs Jinsei wa One Chan da, Kimitoboku-ra no Sympathy, D.I.Y., previously performed by agency mate Dreaming Monster, and SMILE. 

See what I mean. The CG is actually pretty cool. It give me those idol anime (Love!Live!, Idolm@ster) vibes. Anyways, I enjoy this performance a lot because you can see how the new members were able to mesh well so easily. They look like they were part of the original group to begin with. The new members are cute as well as talented with vocal skills and dancing abilities. I am happy to see them in Sweet Alley. 

There is so much more I want to share I will just share the ones that I did. 

I am really hoping for a music video from Sweet Alley. If they happen to release one, you bet your bottom dollar that I will watch it numerous times. 

The group's official Twitter feed also has some live cuts from their stage performances to briefly watch. 

Official Links

Official Website
Official Twitter
Official YouTube

Final Thoughts

My story with discovering this group is kind of similar yet different. In the late spring 2019, I was strolling through Showroom and came across the thumbnail of a person I hadn't see at that time. They had the TIF debut moniker so it made me curious.  

To be honest, I had to look back at my follows to see who it was because I was curious which one was the first. 

On Showroom, you can peek into the room (not weird at all) to see who is streaming. It was Aritan / ありたん (Fukae Arie). 

All I knew at that time was she was auditioning for this specific group (Sweet Alley) and that she was adorable. Something about her drew me in. 

After some banter of using Google Translate and maybe some awkward English, I wanted to know more about the group and other members. 

If my memory serves me correctly, some of the other members that would form the group, were streaming at the same time. I ended up in Emu-chan's room and became a fan of hers.

After watching quite a few of their showrooms day in and day out, my fandom grew more and more. I only watched from afar until I could see them perform in person. Foreshadowing at its finest.

On my most recent trip to Tokyo, I planned to see Sweet Alley perform on Christmas Eve as a bit of a gift for myself and the fact that I had told them about my plans as well. What I didn't know, is that I would get a double viewing. 

They happened to be performing at the Akihabara Garage event on December 21st and I didn't even look at the artist list at the time. While groups would finish performing, I would read the schedule of who was next.  I saw a familiar name that was in the katakana form. I looked them up and freaked out, on the inside. 

I was pretty much up front and at that time, they were still relatively new so it was very interesting to see but they had a great setlist and I enjoyed listening to their songs, even though there was a hiccup in the setlist. 

Of course afterwards, I went to meet the members and buy some two-shots and stuff. I waited in line like a good little fan like I am and met both Aritan and Emu-chan. We had some interesting back and forth between us both but I was satisfied to have seen them at least once. 

Fast forward less than a week later and we met again, in a different venue, but with Christmas vibes. Truth be told, those chats were some of the most fun I have had in a while.

Since the pandemic started I resorted back to Showroom and have been chatting using WithLive when I get the chance to. 

I need to apologize. You can see who my number one and number two are. I will be transparent. I don't know a lot about the other members. 

Since the pandemic has been going, they release quality content on their YouTube channel and I have learned a lot more about them over time. 

I can't wait until I can come back and talk in person again. 

Of course, I preordered the album when it first came out and even after the postponement. 

I want to disclose a note/letter to the members of the group:

To Sweet Alley members:

Thank you so much for all of your hard work that you do every day. Whether it is performing, streaming or doing privilege parties, you always have a busy schedule. I don't know if you get a day off or not. You are all so talented in your own individual ways through singing, dancing, acting or being the comic relief. Thank you all for making your fans (whether home or abroad) smile everyday. You have a large domestic fanbase that is with you at mostly every venue and will travel city to city regardless of a pandemic. I'm not quite sure about your international fanbase but I hope that it grows over time. I am looking forward to seeing you shine both on and off stage and watch you not only transform individually but also as a group. Your future is really bright to see. I hope to talk to you all more down the road. Always keep smiling! Much love and continuous support from Oklahoma USA! 

I really hoped that you enjoyed reading a nice introduction to Sweet Alley. If you did enjoy, please share. 

Please show them all the love and support you can regardless of where you live. 

You can follow me on Twitter if you would like. You can also leave a comment as well. I don't mind.

As always, no matter wherever you are or whatever situation you may be in, Have A Great Day!