Yamaha and the nana music collaboration app cosponsored “Become a VOCALOID voicebank!” auditions starting in February 2022. The Fuiro (fu-iro) voicebank (VOCALOID voice library) was created based on the voice of philo (fee-low), the amazing grand prize winner selected from over 3000 entrants, and it is now available for purchase.
The artist philo posted the following audio under the account name of Taki Takota and received the grand prize with a unanimous decision from the judges.
The result of the audition(Japanese)
We talked to philo-san whose voice is the basis for the Fuiro voicebank.
Y:Please tell us about your musical activities and experience.
p:I sing on YouTube and nana app. In addition, I do piano arrangements as well as voice performances for animations on a YouTube channel. My main thing is singing, but I am a person who does various things on the Internet (laughs).
Y：Please tell us what sparked your musical activities.
p：My musical start was learning piano. I really like music, and I thought that I wanted to work in a job related to music, but I am really uncomfortable performing in front of people (laughs)… so I never thought about being a singer. I might not be singing if there was no Internet.
Y：Do you have any experience on stage as a vocalist?
p：Just briefly (laughs). When I was a student. I was super nervous, but my wanting to perform with a group and make music overcame my feeling of not wanting to be in front of people.
Y：Please tell us what inspired you to post cover songs.
p：The start was originally that I was singing on nana as a hobby, but winning the grand prize in a nana event called “rerunana”* got me serious.
Thanks to winning the prize, the number of people who listened to me started increasing. Then, when I posted a cover of Ado’s “Odo,” the numbers really took off. That’s when it really began.
At first, since I had been singing for my own satisfaction, I thought, “This was not planned… What should I do?” (Laughs.) But, maybe it would be good for me to try making some effort as I keep worrying in my own way. I thought I should make an effort with the feeling of being reborn.
*rerunana・・・This online nana event was held to commemorate rerulili’s 10th year as a Vocalo producer.
Y：In your musical activities thus far, where did Vocalo songs fit?
p：It was like we have been living alongside each other. I grew up on Niconico videos, so I listened to Vocalo songs as everyday music. I sing them with a feeling that is no different from J-POP.
Y:What was the first Vocalo song you heard?
P：The first one might have been “Melt” by ryo… Before hearing a VOCALOID, part of me was cynical, thinking, “We are now in an age when machines sing. Really?” After I heard one, though, my reaction was, “What is this interesting bit of culture?!” I was shocked at myself for changing opinions, and since then have gotten into it.
I do not know how to explain it well, but maybe it is that a VOCALOID does not have a mind… it might be there was something rescued by this third-party-like existence that is not human. Maybe it is the interesting and rescuing aspects of not being human.
Y:What kind of impression did you have of the audition that might make you into a VOCALOID?
p：I thought this is a crazy audition. For real? Like that (laughs).
Y：Then, you won the grand prize. Tell us how you felt at that time.
p：The realization that my voice would continue to exist as a VOCALOID gradually dawned on me… This made me feel strange, but, of course, I was also happy. Since I have never experienced my voice as an instrument rather than myself as a person going out into the world… I am still thinking about what this means (laughs).
After you die and the people who remember you also die, there are not many things that remain of you, right? But, among these, VOCALOIDs will remain. Music will also remain, but this is like a digital avatar. It really is a strange feeling.
Y：What were your impressions when you heard the completed voice of Fuiro?
p：It is supposed to be my voice, but it has a slightly different taste, which is interesting. It was like this really is me, but it isn’t me.
Also, the falsetto overall is really good. The falsetto might be the thing that is most like my voice. This taste might not exist in any previous VOCALOID.
Y：Will you keep singing songs in the future or will you have your own voicebank sing them for you?
p：I want to sing together! Since it exists as something different from me, I want to, for example, have a conversation with it. Maybe I could leave the chorus to Fuiro, for example, and we can have a relationship that is like being friends? I have thoughts like these.
Y：Please tell us some of your memories from the voicebank creation process.
p：I was given voice training. I am as grateful for this as for being selected for the grand prize. This was not ordinary voice training but rather “voice training specialized for VOCALOID” intended to bring out the characteristics of my voice. This was an opportunity to re-examine my voice by analyzing it. “This is how my voice is!” It was really interesting.
Y：What kinds of characteristics were you told that your voice has?
p：Apparently my “s” sounds and other consonants are strong, for example. This might be because I listen to and sing a lot of foreign songs. In addition, I was told that I have a little bit of an edge (laughs) Maybe my stance is a little off angle, but I was told that even my cute songs are a little sharp. I myself agreed that this analysis was accurate.
Y：How was the recording?
p：I was given precise directions for the recording itself and feel that it proceeded smoothly. I thought that it was not normal recording and that was interesting.
Y：What kinds of things did you feel were different from normal recording?
p：I think normal recording is something like taking time to experiment with each song through trial and error. With this recording, however, I was told to “Sing as you like as though it is karaoke.” We approached recording after deciding the songs to sing and having lessons in voice training, so I think the most important part was completed in the voice training stage.
Y：What kinds of songs do you want to have the resulting Fuiro voicebank sing?
p：I want to hear both songs that I sing and songs that I cannot sing. Wait a minute. Isn’t doing that going to take my work? I am starting to feel uncomfortable (laughs). I do not sing much in styles like city pop, low-temperature songs and emo, for example, so I might like to hear those kinds of things. I will use them for future reference (laughs). That people can play with it however they like might be what makes me most happy.
Y：What do you feel has changed the most through this experience?
p：Until now, I had thought about how to sing focused on the song and I did not understand my own voice well. But, thanks to having my own voice described in words during voice training, I am now able to see myself objectively. It was like I was given an opportunity for self-exploration. I feel that this grand prize also gave me life experience outside of music.
Y：If you have any goals or visions about your future activities, please tell us about them.
p：I want to do many things. Until now, I was afraid that I did not have a core and could become out of focus. Since I came to understand my own voice and became able to see it objectively through voice training, however, my core might have become firmer. I am also able to think that being out of focus is good, that there is a self even when out of focus. So, I want to try more piano, more songwriting and a variety of things.
Y：Are there any songs that you want to try singing in the future?
p：There are so many! In particular, I listened to so much Vocalo songs over many years and there are so many songs I want to sing that I am not able to catch up.
Y：Please tell us if there are any recent Vocalo songs that you recommend.
p：Well, that’s difficult! (After thinking for a while) if I were to choose one, recently I really like a song called “Night Driver” by Yoshihisa Hirata.
Y：Finally, philo-san, I want to ask you for any thoughts you would like to share with other singers and people who like Vocalo as well as your fans.
p：There was a listener who said, “Since there is going to be a philo-san VOCALOID, maybe I will try Vocalo production.” I felt thankful that my voice could be an inspiration to start songwriting.
As someone who has really loved Vocalo since I was little, I think it would be great for Vocalo to spread in even more forms. I also hope that through it, people who try playing and singing songs, Vocalo producers and other people involved in Vocalo will enjoy it even more freely.
Even now it amazes me that my voice will add to the world of Vocalo, but it makes me happy. I will be even happier if people have fun using Fuiro freely as they like.
Ｙ：We will be happy for every single person that is inspired by Fuiro to get involved with music and VOCALOID. Thank you very much for your time today.
P：Thank you too!