VIDEO VIEWS BY JC: MIQUELA - SPEAK UP

Beautiful, fashionable, and talented, Miquela is just your average social media influencer- in all ways but one. She isn’t a human being.

Made up of CGI magic, Miquela de Sousa could be a Sims character gone rogue. The brilliant concoction of LA startup Brud, she heralds a new wave in artistry and advertising: the virtual influencer. While there’s fan speculation about if Miquela is just a real person choosing to follow in the footsteps of fellow camera shy artists like Marshmello and Gorillaz or an entirely corporate construct, it doesn’t really seem to matter. As Chris Rock once said, if the beat’s all right, we gonna dance all night. With a 2M insta following, Miquela fascinates. Tiny details like freckles and flyaway hairs adorn her nearly-alive face, and it takes a quick sec to pick out that she’s different from her “friends”. Her success shouldn’t be surprising, a CGI celeb is only a small step beyond the usual Facetuned fare we’re accustomed to, after all.

You never say how you really feel

How can I know if thing is real

Voiced by an unknown actor, Miquela is made up in part by Trevor McFedries, AKA Dj Yung Skeeter and co-founder of Brud, who supplies Miquela with musical backing while a team of brand ambassadors write lyrics that reflect Miquela’s surreal identity. The music video for Speak Up is edited to disguise Miquela’s biological shortcomings. Filmed with a human stand-in, Miquela is shown from the back, often from a distance and in soft focus whenever possible. Footage of her with heavily filtered human companions offers the least contrast between computer generated people and the living, leaving her audience with disbelief solidly suspended. Art really is what you get away with. Check out Speak Up and see for yourself.