Emily’s “Digital Folk Music” with Vocaloid

Emily Han has been a Vocaloid musician for over 5 years. She currently has her own channel on Bilibili, one of the biggest Chinese video websites, and her music has had over 1 million clicks.

“Vocaloid is the way I sing.” Says Emily, “I know I don’t have a perfect voice, but Vocaloid characters do. I think they can sing for me.”

Vocaloid is a music editing and creating software. If you buy the software and the sound module of certain character, you can create a song with this character’s voice. Therefore, Vocaloid can be categorized in to digital music. Emily’s favorite characters are Kaito and Meiko, because their voices are closer to real human voice, and are more flexible for different styles.


Some of the Vocaloid characters, each has a different voice

Vocaloid is produced first for only Japanese musicians or people who speak Japanese. However, because musicians in China really love Vocaloid, recently the company has also created Chinese characters. In 2015, Ruby, a character that speaks English was created for the English-speaking musicians.

Here is a link to the Vocaloid version of “Turn Loose the Mermaids” originally sung by Nightwish. This English song is not sung by Ruby, but Emily and her friends have worked for a long time to find out a way to create English songs with Japanese-speaking characters. It is a difficult experimental process, and they have done a great job.


Emily’s personal music style is folk music. She likes to explore different kind of music from different countries and cultural backgrounds, such as Irish folk music with the flute and tambourine, and Russian folk music with accordion. For each song, she draws pictures all by herself to make the matching video.

During my interview, I asked about how she discovered her personal style, and I recorded her response. She is really proud and passionate about her music.

It is really a magical thing that Emily can combine the digital music and folk music together. To obtain the ability to do so, Emily spent about 3 years learning the technology about how to create music. She used to learn piano for over 8 years when she was little, and the knowledge has been very helpful when she puts all kinds of  instruments together for the song.

This link below goes to one of Emily’s first songs in the style of folk music.


“I was really excited when I hear the final product. I think I am finally able to do this.” Said Emily.

Screenshot (2).png

The cover of Emily’s first piece of folk music

For now, Emily is still creating different kinds of music, including folk music from different cultures. She usually think about the style of the song, then she would listen to a ton of music in this style or read stacks of books that describe this culture.

“Eventually the sparkle appear, and I start to write when I feel them.” Said Emily proudly.

As a PhD student in Purdue University, Emily has been very busy, but she never stops her creation. Although her channel is on a Chinese website, I am still giving you the link so that you can listen to some of her work. After all, music does not have nationality.


If you have any comments for Emily or for me, you can contact me in any method and I will communicate with her. Do you have any preferred Vocaloid musician? Are you one of them? Leave your channel below and I will visit you too!

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