Sunday, October 02, 2016

Gwen Stefani Talks New "Kuu Kuu Harajuku" Animated Series, Premiering 10/3 On Nickelodeon USA

With latest album This Is What the Truth Feels Like and her most recent stint as a coach on NBC's The Voice behind her, what's next for Gwen Stefani? For her next move, the superstar is bringing her longtime obsession with Harajuku for a brand-new animated TV series Kuu Kuu Harajuku, which she produced, debuting Oct. 3 on Nickelodeon USA!

Gwen Stefani poses with children at a party hosted by Chasing Fireflies to introduce her Harajuku Lovers children's collection at Duff's Cakemix on Sept. 24, 2015 in West Hollywood, Calif; Photo: Mark Davis/Getty Images for Chasing Fireflies.

Even though it isn't another musical endeavor for Stefani, she has a closer tie to animation than some may know. "My brother, Eric Stefani, who was actually in No Doubt for nine years, has done animation for years. He worked on The Simpsons and Ren & Stimpy," Stefani tells Billboard.

Stefani says this project is unlike any other children's animated series on TV. Taking from the concept of her first solo studio album, 2004's Love. Angel. Music. Baby., Stefani resurrects the Harajuku Girls that accompanied her through her metamorphosis into a solo star. Very much like the Harajuku Girls in Stefani's entourage, the characters on the show bring their own flavor to the series. "Each girl in the show has their own personality and their own strength. I think that's what's fun about the show is that there's no boundaries and anything can happen."

Kuu Kuu Harajuku; Courtesy Nickelodeon.

Even though she's a major music icon, the show does not include Stefani's songs from her last three solo studio albums. Not having her music in the show "was the hardest part" for Stefani. "I really wanted it to be reflective of me, but I was also OK with it being broader than that." Unlike her latest album, which was a "spiritual awakening" and very much a therapeutic tool for the singer, everything about this show is for the kids. "Since it's for children, that's what's cool about it, because I don't have to be in my musical world. I still get to do everything I love but just in a different format."

Kuu Kuu Harajuku does, however, include Stefani's unique cheer-type chant as heard on the Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit "Hollaback Girl." "The music is very similar to the music on my first two records. It's a cross between an '80s video game and pop music. ... The theme song is super catchy and the writers even took lyrics from my songs to incorporate into it. That part is like a kids version of me."

Since Stefani is reviving the Harajuku element of her past career, will the no No Doubt frontwoman also reunite her band for a follow-up to their 2012 comeback album Push and Shove? Stefani pondered that thought for a moment and said, "We haven't talked about that actually. Everyone is doing their own thing right now." The thought of a No Doubt reunion seemed like something that will not be coming anytime soon, since "it feels like family time," said Stefani.

Looks like fans will have to keep waiting for that No Doubt reunion, but for now, fans can take in the world of Kuu Kuu Harajuku on TV.

Kuu Kuu Harajuku follows the kuu kuu adventures of the super-talented band HJ5 -- Love, Angel, Music, Baby and their inspirational leader, G -- through their super cute world of music, fashion and style. Thanks to their manager Rudie, angry aliens, NoFun politicians, hungry monster pets, and other obstacles, every gig is interrupted and the girls never get to complete a concert -- but G and her friends never give up!

In the series premiere, "Totally Teen Genie," Angel releases a Teen Genie with attitude and tries to use her three wishes to help HJ5 win a Totally Teen Awards Golden Hoodie trophy. Then in “Angel's Flight,” Angel’s determined to restore her reputation after an unflattering picture appears online. Fans can watch the first episode of Kuu Kuu Harajuku, "Totally Teen Genie," now at and on the Emmy Award-winning Nick App!

Tune into Kuu Kuu Harajuku weekdays at 4:00pm ET/PT between Monday 3rd and Friday 7th October 2016, then in its regular timeslot of Saturdays at 8:30am ET/PT, only Nickelodeon USA!

Additional source: SPIN.
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