Meanwhile, in the Land of Hatsune Miku…

A person who once lived and worked in Japan described the country to me like this: “It’s the furthest you can get from Earth without actually leaving the planet.” To the outside observer, it can be a very weird place–especially when it comes to music. (We’ll leave a discussion of the whole Hello Kitty fetish for some other time.)

My major Japanese obsession (outside of unagi sushi) is Babymetal.

But I’m also pretty freaked out about Hatsune Miku, Japan’s virtual pop star.

Yes, she’s a hologram-ish thing.  From The Plaid Zebra:

She’s sung on David Letterman, starred in Toyota and Domino’s commercials, was featured in Playboy, has legions of fans attending her concerts– and she’s not real.

Hatsune Miku, known as the world’s most famous virtual diva, hails from Japan. Specifically, she’s the brainchild of Crypton Future Media, a mascot for a voice bank.

Vocaloid is a singing synthesizer program developed by Yamaha Corporation a decade ago. There are many different voice banks created by pre-recorded sounds from voice actors, but none have reached the heights of Miku, who’s become the face of the Vocaloid cultural phenomenon.

Continue reading and see some pictures here.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38542 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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