The Girl Next Door is a Japanese dance trio that mixes techno/house beats with typical optimistic J-pop melodies. Chisa Maekawa, the vocalist (she goes simply by Chisa) began her show biz career as a dancer, scoring a scholarship to the Avex Artist Academy in 2005. Eventually, she caught the eye of Max Matsuura, the label's founder and an ├╝ber-producer responsible for the stardom of Ayumi Hamasaki, and was granted a sanction to form a band with Daisuke Suzuki, a songwriter and a former keyboard player for Day After Tomorrow. Guitarist Yuji Inoue joined soon after. The band debuted with the single "Guzen no Kakuritsu" (2008), hitting number three on the Oricon right off the bat; two subsequent singles, supported by videos shot in L.A. and Prague, charted no worse (though the sales were lower), and on Christmas of 2008, Girl Next Door released their first eponymous full-length, which went on to shift 212,000 units. All of the tracks on the album were used in commercials -- a unique achievement for a Japanese artist. The band also secured a slot on the ultra-popular New Year music TV show Kouhaku Uta Gassen, and scooped the newcomer of the year award for 2008. In 2009, Girl Next Door had their first chart topper with the single "Infinity," and returned to Kouhaku Uta Gassen. Their second album, Next Future, came out in early 2010, and reached number one on the charts quickly thereafter. ~ Alexey Eremenko, Rovi