Friday, August 6, 2010

Marketing Japan: The Next King of Music is Born - and She's Japanese

By Mike in Tokyo Rogers

Move over Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson... And, you too, better roll over Beethoven. The next king of  music has been born and he's not a he, he's a she... And she's not even human.

Meet Hatsune Miku. Hatsune means "first sound" and Miku means "music." She was "born" August 31, 2007. "Hatsune Miku is the next superstar of music. She does everything and is the embodiment of everything that pop music aspires to be...

Hatsune Miku

She can sing, compose music, play all instruments and doesn't need an agent or a manager. She is the ultimate rock star. She is the ultimate Pop Idol. And she doesn't even really exist.

Since she doesn't really exist, her music and songs are all free. There is no copyright for her music.


Today, I went to a meeting at Japan's #1 music TV station, Music On! TV (no, MTV is dead last in this country!) There I met with a man with a vision. His name is Youichi Endo. Endo san introduced me to Hatsune Miku. Now, I'm introducing her to you.

Do you remember in the movie, "Blade-runner"? The girl Rachel? Well, I say, "girl" but was she really a girl or was she an android? Do you remember at the end of the movie thinking, "Wait a minute! Is Rachel human?" I did.

Well, you will think the same thing about Hatsune Miku.

Hatsune Miku sings, and can play, but she doesn't really exist. She is an android. Miku is what is being termed as a Vocaloid. She has a voice synthesizer... In fact, many of the numbers she does feature voices as instrumentation as a sort of Sci-Fi acapella.

Here is what Wikipedia says about "Vocaloid":

Vocaloid is a singing synthesizer application developed by the Yamaha Corporation that enables users to synthesize singing by typing in lyrics and melody. It utilizes Yamaha's Vocaloid synthesizing technology with specially recorded vocals of voice actors or singers.

Hatsune Miku is causing a sensation now in Japan and in Europe, especially France, where her songs have been picked up and are covered by real-life musicians. Some of the most bizarre stuff is on Karaoke in Japan too!

Hatsune Miku "performing" Sebastian Bach "Fugue in G"

The cultural impact of Hatsune Miku cannot be over-stated, folks. This is a real revolution in music. If real humans playing music is considered "Music 1.0". Then remix DJ's sampling music could be considered "Music 2.0." Then, taking the logical progression one step further, then Vocaloid music or Hatsune Miku could be considered "Music 5.0." It is music without rights... Anyone is free to use any track as they see fit. There is no ownership. This music is community owned, so no one person can own it.

This will revolutionize the music industry. Once again, from Wikipedia:

As the recognition and popularity of the software grew, Nico Nico Douga became a place for collaborative content creation. Popular original songs written by a user would generate illustrations, animation in 2D and 3D, and remixes by other users. Other creators would show their unfinished work and ask for ideas. 

(Nico Nico Douga is like a YouTube members only community in Japan).

The impact of Hatsune Miku and soon to be coming "artists" like her will surely change the world as we know it. There will surely be ”musicians" who pooh-pooh what I have written here as nonsense, but mark my words; "Hatsune Miku is a music revolution that is coming very soon."

Hatsune Miku has several videos on YouTube that have over two million views! Not bad for a girl who doesn't even get up in the mornings.

My musician friends... Think about that!

See Wikipedia: Vocaloid



Yamaha, Mike Rogers, Vocaloid, Hatsune Miku, Japan, YouTube, Nico Nico Douga, Michael Jackson, Beethoven, Marketing Japan, Elvis Presley, Sebastian Bach,

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