Speaking of Vocaloid, there are many people who think that it is a culture only in the Japanese music industry. This is actually true in some respects. However, that does not mean that it is not popular outside of Japan. A large number of songs such as foreign language versions of Vocaloid have also been produced and have been found to be in circulation.
What is Vocaloid?
VOCALOID is voice synthesis software developed by YAMAHA, a world-famous musical instrument maker. This software sings along the notes written on the score. Speaking of Vocaloid, a lot of software has been created now, but Hatsune Miku is the most famous. Hatsune Miku is a Vocaloid software that appeared in the early 2000s, and it was the most impactful software, so it was supported not only by music players but also by anime otaku, and it was quite busy on music platforms.
Vocaloid development began around the 2000s. In 2004, Crypton Future Media released “MEIKO”, which surprised the public at the time, with the aim of expressing “singing voice” as a sound source, which was the only recorded sound source at the time. But there weren’t that many listeners or users at this time yet. It was considered a field that only interested some so-called core maniacs.
It was Hatsune Miku in 2007 that actually increased the user base at once. At that time, 1,000 copies were sold in a week, and 30,000 copies were sold in half a year. It was during this period that the word Vocaloid P was born, and writers who created songs with Vocaloid appeared. Around 2009, Vocaloid songs appeared in karaoke rankings, etc., and it is said that young people at that time started listening to Vocaloid songs.
In the 2010s, the heat of Vocaloid will cool down. In the history of Vocaloid, it was said to be in a “decline period”, and many Vocaloid projects were coming to an end. However, in the latter half of the 2010s, it began to show excitement again. Vocaloid P has created various songs, and there are songs that have been played over 1 million times on Youtube, and it is showing considerable popularity. Vocaloids began to be attached to hashtags on Twitter, and they gradually became known outside of Japan.
niconico VOCALOID SONGS TOP20
In 2020, a new attempt began in Japan. From December 7, 2022, Nico Nico VOCALOID SONGS TOP20 has started on Nico Nico Douga, which is popular among young and middle-aged people. This is a ranking calculated from data such as the number of video views and comments of Vocaloid songs on Nico Nico Douga. Billboard Japan will tally and announce Vocaloid hit songs in a ranking format.
Appearance of Vocaloid songs in foreign languages
Nowadays, there are many Vocaloid songs made by foreigners, and even songs written in English even though they are Japanese. This is one of the reasons why VOCALOID has spread to foreign countries. A lot of Vocaloid tags can be seen on SNS, and it seems that foreigners are also quite familiar with it.
Against this background, the number of Vocaloid listeners is increasing, and the number of foreigners listening to Vocaloid is increasing. Hip-hop and rap are at their peak in the world today, especially in the United States, but in the Vocaloid world, there are many genres such as rock, pops, and jazz. This is probably because it is said that it is this genre that is easy to make a synthesized voice sing. Looking at the songs, there aren’t many hip-hop or rap songs. Perhaps one of the reasons is that they often feel uncomfortable because they speak too quickly.
As for other genres, there are many players who produce Vocaloid songs in electronic music genres such as dance music and electrica. Electronic music will inevitably become the main genre in the 2000s, so the number of players in this genre will inevitably increase.