, 21. October 2016
Multiplaying Realities of a Pop Star of the 21st Century

Hatsune Miku

She has millions of fans and a variety of YouTube videos. The 16-year-old Japanese woman sings heavy metal, hip hop and ballads. Her concerts are always sold out. And yet there is something different about the girl with the turquoise hair: She's not a human beeing.

x-working Hatsune Miku is the master of universality
Hatsune Miku is the master of universality

In 2007, the Crypton Future Media CEO Hiroyuki Itoh considered how he could boost sales of the second version of his voice synthesizer software "Vocaloid". He wanted to create a cute mascot and took to the drawing of the manga artist Kei. Hatsune Miku was born.

The media company Crypton Future Media specializes in entertainment products. They sell musical instruments via Yamaha and release video games with companies such as Nintendo and Sega. With the software Vocaloid users can create artificial singing. That existed before 2007. The update was that the Avatar Hatsune Miku could render vocal colorings and reflect a variety of singings from gentle and graceful over agile and strong to light - and it appeared visually.

The fans then made Hatsune Miku to what it is today. Just a few days after the sweet manga girl was presented, the first user uploaded self-produced video clips, especially onto the Japanese platform "Niconico". With the program "Miku Miku Dance", the fictional character learns to dance. Since 2012 Hatsune Miku`s original illustration is under Creative Commons license for free. This, however, only for non-commercial purposes. This does not at all impress thousands of fans. Meanwhile millions of songs, adaptations and videos of Miku circulate. In its concerts, it may then quite happen that a fan hears her or his "own" song. Stylistically Hatsune is not defined. From polka to noise, everything is heard. There is only one constant here: Its high, slightly baby-like voice. Through this diversity it is the master of universality.

Slowly but surely the wave sloshes from the Asian region to the Western world. A break in pop history? Just recently "real" stars have recognized the potential of the avatar. In 2014 Lady Gaga took Hatsune Miku along as the opening act to her tour. There then hundreds of thousands cheered on a singing 3D projection. Crazy world.

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