It’s Thursday afternoon and you’re flagging a bit. Your arm hurts, you’re not entirely sure whether the chicken you had from the grotty chicken place last night was a good idea, the Greggs for lunch was definitely a bad idea and you haven’t watched a VTuber video for at least two hours. And to make matters worse, you… oh, sorry, I was getting a bit lost in thought there. I am, of course, 100% primed and raring to go, as always, what would ever make you think otherwise?
Anyway, regardless of how your Thursday (or whatever day you’re reading this) is going, wouldn’t it be nice to have something happy and fun to cheer yourself up? I thought so. With that in mind, here’s a delightfully chipper new song from the Canadian self-professed “kawaii soda pop musician” Brandon Liew, featuring the vocals of independent Japanese VTuber and VSinger Kureha Kurono.
CONNECTED, as the new track is known, fulfils several purposes for Liew. Firstly, it’s just a delightfully cheery little number that should brighten the day of anyone who listens to it. Secondly, it’s a means for him to introduce his new musical mascot Moon Girl, seen in the album artwork above. And thirdly, it’s the first track from his upcoming EP “VIRTUAL IDOLS”, which is intended to be both about VTubers and featuring VTubers.
“I initially found out about Kureha after seeing some Twitter mutuals repost her tweets and comment on them,” Liew explained to me. “From there, I checked out her YouTube channel and was really impressed with her vocal abilities and original music, so I contacted her manager, Dea, to see if Kureha would be interested in collaborating on a song that I was working on.
“They really enjoyed the demo,” he continued, “so we spent the next month or two working on the song, sending files back and forth between Canada and Japan until we finished a final mix/master that was ready for release.”
Liew’s project is timely, with the recent arrival of Hololive English’s first VSinger IRyS on the scene, and a generally strong level of interest in VTubers’ musical performances. A while back, we saw Nyanners collaborate with Kizuna Ai, for example, and several of the Hololive girls are putting out a regular string over cover versions and original songs for everyone to enjoy; Takanashi Kiara’s third original song is pushing a million views as I type this.
I was curious as to who else Liew might have lined up for the VIRTUAL IDOLS project — there’s certainly plenty of singing anime girls out there to choose from!
“To make things more exciting for listeners, I’m keeping the vocalists a secret as fun surprises to look forward to during song announcements,” he told me. “So unfortunately, I’m currently unable to disclose their identities — even though I’d love to!” What a tease.
What about dream partnerships, though? If money, subscriber count and all the pesky things that get in the way of everyday life on the Internet were no object, who would he love to work with more than anyone?
“I have many dream VTubers which I’d love to work with,” he said. “Right off the top of my head, some VTubers I’d love to collab with would be Kizuna Ai, Gawr Gura and Nyanners.”Fine choices indeed — and all of them have a proven track record in the “kawaii soda pop” style that Liew aims for in his own work. Here’s hoping the VIRTUAL IDOLS project proves a success, so Liew can perhaps inch a little closer to making those ambitions a reality.
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