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The number of virtual artists is growing, and while it’s far from a new phenomenon – Alvin and the Chipmunks, who debuted in 1958, have won five Grammy awards! – there’s definitely something in the (synthetic) air in 2023 around the intersection of avatar artists with creative AI technologies.

The latest example may be the most high-profile yet, given its source. K-Pop firm HYBE has unveiled its latest artist, Midnatt, releasing the official music video for their debut release ‘Masquerade’ this morning. The English-language version is here, but it’s also available in Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish and Vietnamese.

YouTube video

The multi-language debut leads back to the technology behind Midnatt, which as Fast Company explained, is the virtual alter-ego of established Korean artist Lee Hyun.

The project is using AI voice technology from Supertone, the startup that HYBE acquired in October 2022. Not only does it enable Midnatt to sing in six languages, it also shapeshifts the vocals to a woman’s voice at one point in the song.

With its biggest artist BTS on hiatus, HYBE is exploring several avenues for growing its business, from further international expansion to throwing its weight behind breaking its newer crop of (human) artists.

Midnatt, and the application of Supertone’s technology, represents another string to its bow.

Music Ally’s next Learn Live webinar will help you understand what’s required for artists to thrive in new international markets!

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight