oday, I visit the home of virtual KPOP star APOKI to discuss her first song drop, and what's next. APOKI, a performative, talented rabbit, has 2M+ fans on TikTok and 18M+ views across her videos. Late last month, APOKI added an incredibly well-made music video to her transmedia collection alongside the drop of her first track 'GET IT OUT'. Watch it down below before diving into the interview.
Primer: This isn't a representation of a human artist—the rabbit shown in this music video is the artist persona, APOKI.
APOKI is a virtual influencer and pop star out of South Korea on a warpath to fame, developing real fandom behind an entirely constructed, virtual life. APOKI's emerging fandom is a window through which you can gain insights about the future of entertainment.
People want stimulating, immersive, relatable experiences, often summated as "authentic experiences". Digital productions like APOKI reveal the challenging-to-comprehend truth that human beings are not the be-all and end-all centerpieces to those authentic experiences.
While, thanks to social media, humans have flooded the internet with their likeness over the last two decades, the digital landscape is bull-whipping rapidly to favor avatars, game characters, personas, and beings. What makes something authentic online, and what should be the north star for creators, is how someone feels when they engage with the creation—how it resonates.
Digital media was never about perfectly showcasing flesh and blood human beings. Through focal points, filters, compression algorithms, display settings, and pixels, we are all as good as digital humans. Everything on the internet is a digital representation, published in an instance, existing in the past. While media may reflect reality, it's important to constantly remind ourselves that every piece of digital media has been curated to some degree removed from the reality it's meant to represent.
In this reflected State of the Internet, creators are finding a massive edge. The "reflection" trait of media is where imagination, storytelling, and magic rushes in. Thanks to advancements in the computer graphics industry (driven by an absurd demand for virtual experiences), we are in the thick of a graphics Renaissance, blowing open norms in wake of new, digital truths.
Creators are innovating on the human-centric experiences the social media industry successfully normalized. Fans qualify the value of any given creator by the quality of their creation, and human-centric media will go by the wayside the more digital natives the world raises.
APOKI represents one of those innovative creators, taking leaps and bounds into the future of media amidst our Digital Media Renaissance. The future of entertainment assuredly does not require a public-facing human being anymore. In the case of APOKI and the transformative 'GET IT OUT' music video, a virtual rabbit and music star wears human clothes, dances, faces inner conflict, and jumps around space—and her fans, the early adopters of tomorrow's entertainment, are eating it up.
That's cool as fuck. Let's dive in with APOKI on the subject.
Christopher: APOKI! What's up? It's so great to hang out again, this time in your metaverse rather than mine! Tell me about this place?
[APOKI] Christopher! It's totally super great to hang out again, too! Welcome to my place. It must not have been easy to come here from Earth. I know it’s 3000 light-years away! This is my new home in space, and this room is where I record my videos and entertain guests. You are my first guest from Earth!
Cool place! You just announced the drop of 'GET IT OUT'... congrats! What was your favorite part about the journey to this drop?
[APOKI] Since ‘Get It Out’ was first aired, every day and every moment has been a gift to me. It's all because I received overwhelming support from my fans during this epic journey!
Your fans are die-hards! How have they reacted? The choreography, the beat, and the visuals all slap.
[APOKI] Their reaction has been fantastic. It’s been everything and more than I could have expected, especially with it getting tons of good reviews on Youtube and Spotify. I really think Earth has so many awesome media platforms! I’ve been reading all the reviews and comments on my videos, and I'm even seeing so many dance cover videos of ‘Get It Out’.
I see my fans uploading these dance cover videos from all over Earth in places like Germany, USA, Bolivia, Colombia, France, Hungary, India, Mexico, Russia, Poland, Spain, Ukraine, Vietnam, and South Korea! Every time I see one of these videos, I’m so grateful for the people of Earth.
What message do you hope to convey to the universe through the lyrics of 'GET IT OUT'?
[APOKI] I want to share my love and positive energy with the people on Earth, so I guess I'd say love and positive energy would be my message. On Earth you guys can only measure physical energy, but both Love and Emotions can be physically measured as an energy unit on my planet. Some people on Earth call this energy unit ‘Holon’. Maybe you can just think of it as something like WIFI.
You can’t see it, but it’s there [laughs]. I hope you understand me!
I think so! In the description of your music video, you write "Homage to Akira, Back to the Future, Space Odyssey and Tesla from the planet Earth." What do these creations mean to you?
[APOKI] The creativity of people from Earth is remarkable! People from our planet often combine their creativity with our advanced technology. Everything from your beautiful planet is very trendy and mysterious when observed on my planet, and so many people are interested in what’s new on Earth.
What do you think a breakout moment will look like for you as an artist?
[APOKI] I want to be a pioneer and icon of cultural harmony between humans and interdimensional beings like myself. I also want to be an artist who gives lots of positive energy to others like so many of the cool artists on Earth, but, more than anything, I want to be a world star, known as APOKI!! How about ‘an intergalactic star’? To infinity, and beyond!
Pretend 5 years have passed and your fans are looking back on this interview—what single thing do you want them to know about your journey, here in March of 2021?
[APOKI] After 5 years… should I visit 5 years ahead with my time travel bike? Maybe it wouldn't be that fun to see the future. Ummm… actually, I adore ‘Get It Out’ so much, since this is my first work, so I just hope you guys remember this song for good!
Do you have any words of wisdom for other digital creatives, especially those working in new, breakout spaces like your own?
[APOKI] Hey, virtuals! Our World is opening! Let us walk on the same road! Everywhere we step will be the new road!
Last time, you closed in saying you were waiting for inspiration to lead you to your next big step. Do you have a status update?
[APOKI] · · · – – – · – – · · – · · · – – · · – · – · · · – · – – · – – – · – – – · · – · · – – · – – – – – – · · – · – · – · · – · – – – – – – · – – · – – – – · · · · · · – · · – – · · – · · · – – · · – · – – · – · · · · · – – · · · – · · · – · · · – · · · – · · · · – · · · · – – – · – – – · · – · · – – · · · – – – – · – – · · · · – – – – – – – · · · · – · · – – – · · · – · – · – – – – – · · – · – · – · · · – · ·
Hmm... I hope I got all of that down. Please send everyone in the credits of your music video my highest praise, and thanks for inviting me over! I'm looking forward to the next time we meet. Earth, next time?