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Hatsune Miku – or how a hologram became a teen idol

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The virtual singer has been one of the most popular singers in Japan for years. Her phenomenon goes back many years, although the idea of an artificial entertainment world still remains. 

History of the virtual artist

Hatsune Miku was created in 2007 in Japan as a computer program, or more specifically, a virtual musical instrument. Her remarkable voice is actually a vocal synthesis product (vocaloid), which uses several different Yamaha-branded sound synthesis engines to create sounds. Initially, Hatsune was intended to be an instrument on which any customer interested in buying one could create their own compositions. For marketing purposes, a special image of the artist was created by Japanese mangaka Kei Garou. The look quickly caught the fancy of anime fans, who soon created numerous songs and animations starring the virtual heroine. Crypton Future Media, the company responsible for the idea behind the heroine’s creation, got involved in the global promotion of the character and specifically created an online music label that anyone who buys a license can use. In practice, this means that Hatsune Miku can play, dance and sing as the author wishes located anywhere on Earth.

Cosmic numbers 

The phenomenon of Hatsune Miku is not only her accessibility to anyone interested, but also the popularity she has gained around the world. The character’s first successes were in front of Japanese audiences. It was there that her legend was born. According to the description, Hatsune is a 16-year-old virtual singer with distinctive turquoise hair, wearing a silver vest, a black short skirt and a tie that matches the color of her hair. The heroine’s appearance changes infrequently, but the rest is left up to the fans. Interestingly, Hatsune plays concerts at Japanese and international stages and arenas, which are extremely popular. Two years ago, the hologram singer had her own set at the American Coachella festival. To date, more than 100,000 songs have been created using her program, which are played billions of times on streaming services. Real musicians from around the world can only dream of such results. Hatsune was also part of the multimedia opera “The End,” which was shown at the Bunkamura Orchard Hall in Tokyo, the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris or the Dutch National Opera and Ballet in Amsterdam.

Created stars

The popularity of the Japanese hologram is a result of modern technology, but also of the thriving entertainment industry, which is constantly expected to provide audiences with new experiences. The very idea of creating music with the faces of unreal characters dates back to the 1970s from the United States, where the timeless hit “Sugar, Sugar” by the band The Archies created on the basis of cartoon characters was created. In Japan itself, virtual idols are the aftermath of the popularity of anime series and films dating back to the 1990s. It was then that artists created new stars who quickly became icons in their anime or manga genre. Nowadays, this type of treatment is mainly the use of holograms prepared on the basis of real characters. A great example is American rapper Travis Scott, whose concert in the game Fortnite in 2020 was one of the most important musical events of recent years. 

main photo: unsplash.com/JESHOOTS.COM

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