Future Stars: Lil Miquela (Label TBC)

Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.

I’ve written about many mysterious artists over the years, but I think Lil Miquela is the first one that doesn’t actually exist. She is a “virtual influencer” – a digital character with a million Instagram followers. She’s worked with brands like Prada, campaigned for causes such as Black Lives Matter, appeared on the cover of New York Times Magazine, and released a few singles. Her origin was at first a mystery, though her look was rumoured to be based on British model Emily Bador. Last week the story took a bizarre twist as her Instagram was “hacked” by another virtual influencer, alt-right supporter Bermuda. Miquela then shared an emotional post revealing that she is “a robot,” and naming an AI/robotics company called Brud as her “managers.” It’s all delightfully nuts and fascinating to follow. Her music has so far been something of an aside, but recent posts suggest it will be more of a focus this year, and perhaps that was always intended – an article from 2016 claims she was signed to an unnamed major label even then. With the right team involved, she could be an interesting pop prospect – somewhere between Gorillaz and Poppy. I’m excited to see what’s next.

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