A little over five months after announcing a $20 million raise that drew support from Amazon, Google Ventures, Kakao, Kering, and Sony Japan, among others, Superplastic has partnered with Universal Music’s Virgin Music to launch a namesake label.
Five-year-old Superplastic, which bills itself as the creator and manager of “a roster of world famous synthetic artists and influencers,” recently emailed DMN about the Virgin tie-up and the resulting label. Two of the business’s ostensibly world-famous synthetic artists, “brothers Filth-E and Lil’ ILL,” make up “the first 3D animated hip-hop duo,” Ghost Kidz, according to Burlington, Vermont-headquartered Superplastic.
And earlier this week, Ghost Kidz (described as the initial signing of Virgin-distributed Superplastic Records) kicked off the Paul Budnitz-founded company’s foray into music by releasing a video for their “Goin’ Off” track, which features Vince Staples.
As part of the overarching promotional effort, the criminally inclined pair “broke into” the sound booth at this past weekend’s Rolling Loud Miami, “hacking the servers and hijacking the main stage in the minutes before headliner Lil Uzi Vert’s set,” according to the formal release shared with DMN.
While security collected themselves, the animated act – whose voices are provided “by two prominent hip hop artists, who at present have chosen to remain anonymous” – are said to have performed a “raucous freestyle” prior to showing the “Goin’ Off” music video.
Capitalizing upon the freedom that comes with avoiding the responsibilities and concerns of their human counterparts, Ghost Kidz had embarked on a weeks-long “haunted road trip from LA to Miami in their 1968 Lincoln Continental” in the leadup to Rolling Loud, Superplastic elaborated.
“The duo left chaos and destruction in their wake as they evaded the law and encountered guest vocalist Staples and Superplastic synthetic celebrities Janky, Dayzee, and Guggimon, the official manager of Ghost Kidz,” the company further disclosed. (Amazon Studios is in the early stages of developing a program about Janky and Guggimon, per Variety.)
Regarding the future of Ghost Kidz (which is competing for the virtual-artist spotlight against the likes of 10:22PM’s Kingship) and the newly minted label, Superplastic indicated that it’d “teamed up with a committee of hip-hop legends who will continue to help shape the future of the project.”
Building upon the point in a statement, Superplastic chief creative officer Galen McKamy relayed that his employer will continue to partner with real-life musicians moving forward.
“Superplastic is a collaborative, artist-first company. Releasing music has been part of our plan for as long as we’ve been partnering with musicians to create art,” stated McKamy. “Ghost Kidz are a force of nature, and as their label, we are here to support their creative vision while Guggimon (mis)manages them.”
Earlier this year, CAA began representing virtual acts, and a Hybe-signed virtual artist called Midnatt went ahead and released an album in six different languages. More recently, Tokyo-based virtual concert startup VARK unveiled a $7.2 million raise.