Just like fast food workers demanding $15/hour are being replaced by kiosks, are bitchy rock stars being replaced by sexy holograms? Click to Watch! They don’t demand royalties or trash hotel rooms!
From the UK Guardian:
Imagine you could design what kind of heinous headgear Harry Styles wears next. You could pen Nicki Minaj’s next ass anthem. Or you could make a Peter Andre megamix that plays each time he flogs a £1 Iceland gateau on your telly. In Japan, this is already a reality for one of its biggest music personalities, Hatsune Miku. She’s the first million-selling android idol – and the first open-source one, too. Her admirers write her songs and style her looks. The most popular of these make it into her live shows (where she performs, Tupac-style, in holographic form) and into the fan-art expos that take place around the world.
Miku was created in 2007 as the distinct avatar of voice synthesizer Vocaloid, software anyone can buy and use to make Miku music. She’s a hit with Japan’s otaku (anime and manga) subcultures, with her larger-than-life eyes, sweeping aquamarine pigtails and upbeat digi-pop ballads that sound like a fairy singing Heal The World. So popular is Vocaloid among Japanese youth, the software is being added to music curriculums in schools.
Since the English version of the Vocaloid software launched in 2013, she’s become a global phenomenon, too. Earlier this year, she supported Lady Gaga on her North American tour and headlined her own shows in New York and LA; Pharrell remixed a track she guested on, and she performed on US chatshow The Late Show With David Letterman in October. In a nod towards her newfound favour with more cutting-edge artists, she appeared last month as part of a DJ set from dubstep producers DUB-Russell and (*L_*) for Cart Diggers Live at Womb, a night that was part of the 2014 Red Bull Music Academy and its series of events and workshops in Tokyo. It is, as Jay Kay once said, virtual insanity. Or is it?
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