The five energetic young musicians from Australia are seeking to make their

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 May, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 May, 1993, 12:00am

THEY tried the names Girl Next Door and Miss Elaneous before finally deciding on Girlfriend.

The members of Girlfriend are friendly, like the girls living next door. The group is the first Australian band to make a Japanese record which has been successfully accepted as a local release in Japan.

Aged between 17 to 20, this popular five-woman line-up is seeking to make its presence felt in Southeast Asia.

Their single, ''Girl's Life'', has topped the pop charts in Malaysia.

Make It Come True , their debut album, was recently released in the United Kingdom and Asia. BMG is now marketing the record locally.

The group visited Hongkong and appeared on television during their recent promotional trip to the region.

The girls are robust, extremely friendly and unpretentious.

Robyn Loau, 20, is a dark-haired Samoan with oriental eyes. ''My great grandmother was Chinese,'' she said. Jacqui Cowell, same age, is an actress.

Eighteen-year-old Melanie Alexander speaks fluent Indonesian while Siobhann Heidenreich, also 18, is an outstanding piano player. Lorinda Noble, 17, is the youngest of the group and the ''animal lover''.

Despite their young age, the girls have had years of training in singing and dancing.

Alexander, Cowell and Heidenreich first met at a dancing school in Sydney. After years of working together, they decided to form a group. Loau and Noble joined about three years ago.

''We are very rock-oriented. When we first started in Australia, the music business was surprised and cynical because we were so pop. But soon we were accepted,'' Loau told Young Post .

Make It Come True has sold more than 100,000 copies in Australia and has been on the music charts for several months.

''We were in Japan last year and it was fantastic. Some fans wrote us in Japanese, saying they appreciated our speaking their language,'' the girls said.

Ever since the group was set up, the Japanese had shown interest in them. The girls' youthful image and dynamic performance have helped them gain popularity. Last year, they took a 10-week Japanese course with a native speaker.

''Singing in Japanese is a strange experience. It's difficult to get the words, rhythm and pronunciation right and in good timing,'' Alexander said.

Noble left her last year of high school behind to join Girlfriend. ''This is an opportunity of a lifetime,'' she said. ''I can always catch up on schooling later.'' ''We do miss out a bit on social life. But being so young and able to do what we like is a dream come true, as the title of our album says,'' Alexander added.

The group visited Taiwan before going home to record their second album. Their next single will be ''Without You'', a song from their first record. It will be in Indonesian this time.