Virtual artist Maie reflects the dreams of China’s post-95s Gen Z youth

Written by Divine Magazine

In a recent interview with Nylon Manila, virtual being and artist Maie described herself as “a solitary cloud drifting in a foreign sky towards the eye of a tornado.” She’s the ultimate outsider; a conscious soul who can travel to places beyond our reach, change her form at a whim and experience a freedom that us humans never will. Yet, for all of that potential, Maie still questions herself, has self-doubt and doesn’t quite know where she belongs. In this way, we can all relate to Maie on her journey to becoming what she’s meant to be.

In her debut single and music video ‘Like You’, we see the newly emerged Maie taking her first steps in her digital body. Decked out in a Jack Irving NFT dress, Maie’s electro-pop introduction gave us the impression of a new-born battling to live and thrive.

Written and produced by Pete Nappi (UPSHAL, Anne-Maie, Little Mix, Madison Beer) for Maie, latest single ‘Kosmo’ mirrors the next phase in her evolution, with an even more developed sound. The track opens with oscillating synths and staccato rhythms, in which Maie’s breathy vocals are full of hope and longing. After a near one minute build-up, the electronica soundscape takes a dramatic turn reflecting the intensity of change for this virtual artist.

“I can travel to places normal people can’t. Visit worlds most people can only dream of. But I choose to be here. I choose to be with my friends. I choose to discover what it means to be human. I’d do anything to be here, where I want to belong.” – Maie

In the ‘Kosmo’ video, we pick up where we left off in ‘Like You’, with Maie in her hyper-stylised inner world, but then something calls her to leave. Her surroundings and herself continue to change with each iteration of the metaverse; from extraterrestrial pink landscapes to a cyberpunk dystopia to an ethereal in-between space and finally to the most realistic and human private world. 

Behind the visuals, we hear from director Daniel Semanas, who was drafted by production company Final Frontier for the 2D portion of the video.

“My vision was to create an environment in the cyberpunk style, a retro-futuristic, surreal, alive, grandiose world – being careful to avoid the clichés of the genre. Maie has just been born and been abruptly inserted into this unfamiliar world, so I wanted the look and feel of the environment to reflect her various emotions.” – Daniel Semanas

© 2022, Divine Magazine. All rights reserved.

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