And so we get one step closer to the vision of the Al Pacino-starring film, S1m0ne. Or we get another virtual act in the vein of Dethklok and the Gorillaz—either way, the future is here, ya’ll. Japanese pop group Supercell has teamed e-girl and pop sensation Hatsune Miku for their first U.S. single, “The World is Mine." Although ominously similar to the mantra of Tony Montana (I'm on a Pacino kick--sue me), the light pop tune will be an interesting experiment for stateside audiences who might be unfamiliar with the wildly popular virtual idol, whose fame can be traced back to her/its core 2007 vocal synthesis software from developers Crypton Future Media.
The core idea behind the original software was to take voice samples from voice actress Saki Fujita, ultimately manipulating the pitch and tone until they arrived at Miku's "voice," giving rise to the vocal synthesizer or "vocaloid" in Japanese pop music (although preceded by earlier, less successful vocaloids as early as 2004). The character has since been the star of Sega-published rhythm games beginning with 2009's Project: Diva.
it remains to be seen how U.S. audiences will respond to Supercell and their virtual vocalist. Compare them to the Gorillaz, whose whole schtick is an elaborate, fictional backstory grafted onto occasionally conceptual albums made by musicians who are known, charismatic commodities in their own rights.
From the official press release:
Supercell is composed of a group of innovative multimedia creators for the 21st century that blends catchy pop sensibilities, technology-inspired vocals, and captivating anime-influenced imagery. For the new single, “The World is Mine,” the group employs the electronic vocals of Hatsune Miku, the world’s first virtual pop idol. Hatsune Miku, whose name means, “first sound of the future,” is a digital female avatar and the most popular of the Vocaloid Character Series software originally created by Crypton Future Media using Yamaha’s Vocaloid 2 engine to create synthesized vocal tracks.
The self entitled album, supercell, debuted in Japan from Sony Music Direct in 2009, selling more than 150,000 copies. Same year, the group performed the ending theme song for the 2009 anime series Bakemonogatari. In March 2010, Supercell received the award for “The Best 5 New Artists” at the 2010 Japan Gold Disc Awards, a major record industry awards event. The Supercell track, “Kocchi Muite Baby,” created by Ryo and featuring vocals by Hatsune Miku, peaked at No. 11 on Billboard Japan’s Hot Singles Chart last July.