Canto-pop newcomers Eman Lam Yee-man and Ellen Loo, who make up the duo at 17, are two girls with minds and ways of their own. While most pop hopefuls devote themselves to promoting their looks, this girl band has spent most of their time in the studio practising singing, playing guitars and making their debut album, Meow Meow Meow , due for release later this month. The two girls say they will do whatever they like, so long as they don't hurt anybody. 'This is not being rebellious, we just do things we like,' says 16-year-old Loo. 'Following the crowd is not the only right way to go.' Their 12-track album features a song, Black Sheep , which is about people who do not follow the mainstream. 'When you break the common rules, you are recognised as a black sheep,' Lam, 18, says. 'However, this is what we usually do. For instance, people think girls should wear skirts and be well-groomed, but we like wearing loose outfits, being casual.' She adds: 'Of course, you have to co-operate with others, but you can't just follow blindly.' Lam thinks many people nowadays do not think for themselves because they are too used to being spoon-fed. 'Or maybe it's because they don't have enough time and space to think about what is going on. They just follow what other people are doing.' Thanks to their open-minded parents, both girls have had plenty of room to develop their music interests - as well as their independent minds. 'My parents have given me lots of freedom, especially here,' says Lam, pointing to her head. 'They allow me to do and read whatever I like.' For Loo, it is her father who provides inspiration. 'Most parents will not encourage their children - especially their daughters - to learn the guitar. But my dad encouraged me,' Loo says. Her father never forced her or her elder brother to do anything they did not want to do. 'He inspires us to think [what should be done] and teaches us to be responsible for what we do. This leads us to become very careful about every step we take.' Lam and Loo, who were signed by People Mountain People Sea (PMPS) - the brainchild of Canto-pop star Anthony Wong Yiu-ming - at the start of this year, appreciate the autonomy they have gained from their record company. 'As we know, most newcomers have no say on their album and their producers never listen to them even if they have good ideas,' Lam says. 'But everyone at People Mountain People Sea will listen to our ideas with their hearts. It's so touching.' The record includes several songs written by the two young talents, such as Meow Meow Meow - a song dedicated to Hello Kitty - and the No 1 hit I Love Classroom . Loo played the guitar on all the songs. 'We're still searching for at 17's style,' says Lam. 'We're still not good enough, but we'll keep doing music that we feel comfortable and happy with.'