oday, I sat down with Kai—a virtual influencer from the popular metaverse platform, Roblox. Not only is she an influential player, but a map developer and music artist as well. Kai created “Splash,” a hit mini-game within Roblox that allows users to create and perform their own songs.
Kai’s earworm pop and electronic sound is a part of an emerging, niche musical genre, fittingly called ‘Robloxcore.’ Really quick, check out this music video for her feature single ‘Breathe Again.’
Kai takes on many different forms, whether she’s in Roblox or her music videos, yet always rocks her signature green hair paired with a pink leopard jacket. She’s performed for over 100 thousand fans in 7 locations simultaneously over the course of 48 hours for her virtual concert. Whenever Kai makes an appearance in Roblox, fans immediately recognize her, and crowds follow her everywhere in the game.
But, who is Kai, really? I met with this rising Roblox-born star to learn about her musical inspirations and goals for the future of Splash. Let’s jump in.
[Christopher] Hi Kai! It's great to meet up. How’s it going?
[Kai] Heyyy, thanks so much for having me! It’s so nice to see NYC slowly coming back to life after COVID-19. I’m super lucky to have had the world of Splash to make me feel connected to a creative and crazy talented community all the way through!
SPLASH is awesome! I loved watching your concert—what was it like performing in 7 venues simultaneously?
Splash is the coolest place to perform. It’s got everything… if you like ice skating, we’ve got Sub Zero; if you like the beach, we’ve got Pool Party; if you’ve always dreamt of playing a club, Club Splash is where you’ve got to be. There are ten totally different venues, and they’re all SICK.
When I perform, I perform across ALLLL of our venues simultaneously, and that’s super cool because I get to appear to every player in the game. My favorite side of performing is seeing people playing in Splash, killing it on the dance floor, and having an awesome time.
What inspires your music? Who do you listen to in your free time?
Wow, that’s so tough because there are so many! Recently I have been listening to Marshmello and Billie Eilish, but my favorite artists are the players in Splash, they are super creative and make awesome music.
Tell me more about that! Who are your favorite Splash artists?
SO MANY. The players that get to Legend and Celebrity rank are incredible artists, and they’ve mastered DJing in incredibly diverse and unique ways. I’m so proud of them all and I count them all as my friends. I honestly can’t pick just one of them because they’re all so special and talented. Our community is creative in so many ways, they don’t just make music, they also create amazing artwork. A player even created the artwork for my album cover.
How did you go about developing Splash as a Roblox game? Was the project difficult? Did you have fun?
Definitely both. I have a passion for game design and development and a passion for music. I found that all the music creation tools I tried to use were super complicated and also SO expensive. I wanted to create a music tool and performance experience that would allow others like me to channel their talent, sound amazing, and perform live in a very short amount of time. Building a game like this isn’t easy, but I’m lucky to have an amazing team who have helped me make it into the game it is today! I could not have done it without them.
What made you choose Roblox as your primary platform? Why were you drawn there, as opposed to Minecraft or another sandbox game?
I love Roblox because it’s aimed at kids creating games for other kids. That’s so cool to me, and it’s exactly what I’m trying to do with Splash. Young people have SO much talent and potential, but there isn’t much out there to help them take that to the next level.
I wanted to create a space for that with Splash—it's a place for talented, creative kids to make music that we love to listen to and connect with each other through that special experience. I’m so thankful to Roblox for giving me the platform to do that.
How have you enjoyed seeing the Splash community in Roblox grow and thrive?
It’s been better than anything I ever imagined. I never dreamed that in just over a year we’d have over 100 MILLION visits to Splash and half a million young people just like me performing live to their friends… Those numbers just blow my mind. I always had a hunch that creative young people needed a place to connect and create and share their work, I just never dreamed that this place would be my game.
I am so honored and grateful.
The community means the world to me, they care so much about the game and they help me so much with helpful feedback and testing new features. And they’ve got MAD SKILLS. If you want to hear what the best players sound like, go to the Splash Youtube Channel and check out the Legends Live playlist. I play as often as I can but I also focus on making the game better and better (for players and listeners alike) to give them more and more creative challenges.
You have some pretty amazing fans. If they were all reading this right now, what would you say to them?
Just… Thank You. This game wouldn’t be where it is without every single one of you and the support you’ve given me over the last year. And also—believe in yourself and back yourself. There’s no limit to what you can achieve when you surround yourself with the right people and shoot for the stars!
Love it! Do you have any exciting upcoming projects you can tell us about?
On a personal note, I am currently working on a new music video for my song "Summer". I can't WAIT to share it with everyone!!! With Splash, there's so much fun stuff coming up and some really exciting announcements too. I can't give much away at this point but keep an eye on our Discord, YouTube and socials so you don't miss anything!
What I can say is that I want to make the performance experience in Splash more and more collaborative (and FUN!). Splash is all about community and what it means to connect through creative expression. There will be some amazing releases coming very soon to make this happen.
What’s the biggest goal for your career?
Ok, this is going to be a long answer… Sometimes I feel more at home in games than I do in real life. It makes me wonder, which is more “real”? Splash makes me feel limitless, like I can do absolutely anything. I have made amazing friends who make me feel like I belong and that there’s a place for me and who care about me and what I do—and they’re from all over the world! To me, that’s so special.
In a virtual world, we’re not limited by where we physically are or what we can or can’t physically do. Games are feeling less than games where you play to win, and it’s over. They feel more like experiences that keep continuing and that challenge you and test your skills and give you access to communities of people like you that you might never have met in the “real” world.
Something big is happening with the world of gaming and virtual reality. The metaverse is real, and it’s taking shape, and I want to be a part of it. I don’t really know what that looks like right now, but it’s something that really interests me, and I want to be a big part of it. I know, I know... that’s super vague and mysterious, right?!?!
Hey, you’re speaking right on my wavelength. Spot on! So, finally, I love to ask every virtual influencer this closing question: Who are you, Kai?
I am just a girl living the dream of doing what I love, surrounded by a community that I love. The most important thing is to keep learning, keep growing, and never stop creating!
Thank you, Kai! See you in Splash!