Whether we like it or not, the advent of AI has turned the electronic music scene into a technological powder keg in 2021. And before it really takes off in a scary and exciting direction, VNCCII is here to educate.
The rising producer, rapper and singer-songwriter just released her latest single “i-LIBERATE,” a velvety smooth house track that continues her unique story line, centered around her eponymous “superheroine.” avatar.
VNCCII wrote a sprawling op-ed on EDM.com in 2020 where she becomes poetic about the complicated relationship between AI and electronic music. “We need builders, dreamers, fixers and doers,” she wrote at the time. “Whether we like it or not, AI is here and it’s here to stay.”
To celebrate her sultry new dance record, we caught up with VNCCII to discuss the track’s conceptual origins and how she plans to expand her endeavors as a futurist in the electronic music space.
EDM.com: It’s been a minute since we spoke with you. How have you evolved over the past 18 months?
VNCCII: Over the past 18 months, the world has changed on a macro and micro level. People have become more self-aware.
Personally, all my new music has undergone a complete evolution. I really dug deep to reflect what the world is going through, but also to project a futuristic storytelling featuring my super sentient AI “superheroine” character, VNCCII.
EDM.com: Which brings us to your new single, “i-LIBERATE”. Tell us about it.
VNCCII: Musically, I will propel my voice and songwriting to the forefront of my new songs to emphasize my love of being a leading character. I’ve evolved over the past 18 months with a full-fledged debut album.
I composed a full arc of an AI Space Opera storyline – and a whole world that my character is set in with other characters. The result is a dynamic, emotional and stimulating narrative. I draw on futurism, science fiction, artificial intelligence and the “open metaverse” as creative fuel. These elements, plus the technological singularity, form the fictional scenario of my alias VNCCII and its universe.
EDM.com: So, do you consider yourself a futurist? Can you explain what you mean by that?
VNCCII: I’m not a technical futurist, but rather what I would call a creative futurist. Many of my friends are what I would call technical futurists and I draw inspiration from them every day, knowing that they are helping to build the future we want to live in.
I don’t make predictions about the future, but study trends in different industries and explore how technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, 5G networks and extended reality are evolving – including virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality – will impact the future. I am optimistic and believe that technology can be used as a force for good.
EDM.com: You are very tech savvy. Where do you connect with your fans?
VNCCII: For my first vodcast episode on my YouTube show, Future Humans 3.0, I spoke with the amazing Cathy Hackl, a leading futurist and thought leader. She is known within the tech community as “the Godmother of the Metaverse”. It’s people like Cathy who inspire me to combine my love of futurism with music and multimedia storytelling.
EDM.com: Back to your single “i-LIBERATE”. What does the title refer to? What is this single about?
VNCCII: It’s a futuristic dance anthem about intrinsic empowerment, self-expression and the liberation of humanity. The song is a transition from “POWER 2 LOAD” as I progress to vocal-oriented songs. The song was born in the heart of confinement in Australia and I wanted to create a timeless piece.
EDM.com: How do you connect with your fans? How do they react to your half-human, half-virtual existence?
VNCCII: Since 2018, I’ve been playing avatar VNCCII but only this year I became a “V-Tuber” as a way to create in-character content and connect with my fans. To do this, I bought a Rokoko SmartSuit Pro motion capture suit and used broadcast technologies with Unreal Game Engine and iPhone AR face capture to broadcast and live stream from what I call the “ holoship” from VNCCII, which is a virtual futuristic music studio.
This setup is really cool because I can create content 24/7 as a VNCCII while live streaming. For my Future Humans 3.0 vodcast, I spoke with some really cool guests including Cathy Hackl, Teddy Pahagbia, CitizenMetaOne (aka Matt Workman), and Spottie WiFi (rapper King ALPHA CryptoPunk).
EDM.com: Intense! And we assume that you also broadcast live DJ sets?
VNCCII: Yes, I live stream Ableton Live music production sessions, and on the virtual mezzanine I have a virtual Pioneer DJ booth where I live stream DJ sets as VNCCII. My goal is to make these streams more interactive, like Code Miko, but I’m going to approach this from a musical and futuristic perspective.
EDM.com: Do fans love it?
VNCCII: Yeah! Fans have reacted positively to this half-human, half-virtual existence, as I feel people want to explore and be challenged with their imaginations. It also allows them to contemplate their own future identity and how they would like to be perceived by other humans and AI entities in the “open metaverse”.
EDM.com: Do you think your way of being as an artist is the future of how all music artists will go?
VNCCII: Absoutely. I call this a “phygital” (physical and digital) approach for musical artists. Having an online identity that can be experienced in the 3D world is crucial to connecting with fans on a whole new level. People can reinvent themselves. I also do in-person meetups, inspired by the cosplay world of TwitchCon, where fans can line up with virtual characters for IRL (real life) meetups and shows. It’s the future.
EDM.com: What’s next for VNCCII?
VNCCII: The story of VNCCII and other characters will be revealed soon, along with an interactive roadmap of how fans and the community can experience them and grow together in Web 3.0. I’m going to release my first full album, which I’ve been working on this year; it’s the best music I’ve created in my life.