Hatsune Miku is a real fake pop star. Really.
See, Miku is the creation of a software company. She’s virtual. Her voice is digitized, using vocal samples from a Japanese voice actress named Saki Fujita, which can then be manipulated using a program called Vocaloid.
As a result, there are thousands of original Hatsune Miku songs, created by absolutely anyone who buys the software. And since her creation in the late ’00’s, she’s gone on to become an actual pop icon — albums, live tours, tie-ins with other artists (she recently opened for Lady Gaga‘s ArtRave!). It’s sort of frighteningly insane and amazing all at the same time.
But now, she’s really gone and hit new levels of mainstream by performing on Late Show With David Letterman last night. WHAT?
Granted, Hatsune Miku isn’t that odd of a concept. The Gorillaz were a thing. But Letterman? I’m stunned that he signed off on this. (Then again, he probably didn’t.) He even pronounced her name right…and seemed genuinely amused!
The performance itself was (obviously) slightly odd within such a small space, and the reverb/layering on Miku’s already hard-to-understand vocals made any chance of recognizing the English words relatively impossible. Still, it was fun — and meant something much larger in the grand scheme of recognizing the still largely ignored Asian music market in America. (That being said, it’d be cooler if, say, BoA or Ayumi Hamasaki were doing the late night rounds — but hey!)
Some see Hatsune Miku as The Death Knell Of The Live Performance, while others just think she’s a cute, futuristic thing that would obviously come from Japan. Perhaps it’s a bit of both, although I do think it could be a great way for Brit Brit to fill in some of those Vegasney show dates down the road when she’s bored. Slay us, Hologramney!