This is Hatsune Miku. She does not exist in the absence of electricity yet she is a major, major star in Japan.
After conquering her homeland, the world’s most popular hologram pop star wants to take on North America. From eParisExtra:
This week, Miku Expo announced that the digital pop sensation Hatsune Miku will be touring across the country starting in April of next year. She will be performing “live” concerts in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and Dallas.
For Hatsune Miku, “live” needs to be accompanied by an asterisk, because Hatsune Miku isn’t a real person! Taking center stage at Miku Expo 2016 will be a three-dimensional holographic projection of a cartoon character. Yet, despite that, this upcoming tour is nothing but music to the ears of thousands of Miku fans across the U.S., music made up of the electronic, robotic, and melodic voice of Hatsune Miku, the Japanese digital pop star that’s been taking the world by storm since 2007.
Who is Hatsune Miku?
For the uninitiated, Hatsune Miku is “displayed” as a 16-year-old stylized cartoon girl, 5.2 feet tall, sporting her iconic twin-tailed turquoise hair, an electric blue tie, and a love of dance and J-Pop.
One may scoff at the idea of going to a concert headlined by a person that doesn’t even exist, but Hatsune Miku worked hard to get to where she is today! Of course, she had a little help from the thousands of artists online making her music!
Miku is the face of a commercial synthesized musical voice software from Yamaha called Vocaloid. The Vocaloid software can be used to create realistic singing voices, allowing artists to compose entire vocal arrangements without a live person singing a single note. The synthesized voices come from vocal samples of real people, stored in a database that includes all possible combinations of different phonetic aspects of a language. The software can adjust the pitch, timing, and timbre of these vocal fragments to fit the melody of a song.
Many different studios have produced various voice banks for the Vocaloid software, but the most popular one was a product of Crypton Future Media, a Japanese media company specializing in music and sound. In order to sell the voice, they wanted to give the voice an image, and that image was Hatsune Miku. Crypton described her as “an android diva in the near-future world where songs are lost.” The name “Hatsune Miku” even roughly translates to “first sound of the future.”
Oh, there’s more. MUCH more.