Kawaii for Porter Robinson

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For his new album and 40-city tour this year, powerhouse music producer Porter Robinson shows off his latest Worlds tour on NBC’s Last Call with Carson Daly. Porter wanted to de-emphasize dubstep’s epic drops, and give his fans some beautiful, immersive, sounds and visions. He wanted his image to transport the image into a hyper real world of Tumblr, anime, and MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games).

Porter Robinson has been producing music ever since he was 13, influenced by the sound of video games such as Dance Dance Revolution. He released his first single in 2010 under his name and this period made him carry popular remixes for high-profile artists such as Avicii and Lady Gaga. Alongside producing, Robinson gained a steady reputation as a prolific live artist and DJ. Touring extensively across North America and Europe in 2012 and 2013, he rapidly gained a huge fan base and was soon regarded as a headliner in his own right alongside the likes of Skrillex, Tiësto, and Deadmau5.

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While Electronic Dance Music (EDM) has escalated dramatically in the past few years, Porter decided he was done with that scene and wanted to move towards something more true to himself.

What makes Porter Robinson different from the other DJ’s was his intention to create something different to move his EDM crazed audience to look towards his direction for something beautiful, tragic, and surreal.

“The whole idea behind the record is this feeling of evoking fictional universes, so it’s supposed to feel like fantasy,” Robinson told The Creators Project. “Fictional universes in games have been dear to me my entire life, and I think that kind of escapism is just so beautiful, so I wanted my album to feel that way.”

Robinson cited Magic: The Gathering, Star Wars Galaxies, City of Heroes, Halo, Rhythm Heaven, and Miyazaki movies as vital influences in crafting Worlds. These and many other fictional styles all point towards what he calls “one sensibility”: a record and live show dedicated to multisensory storytelling. Robinson describes Worlds as “glitchy surrealism,” but says it’s important that this idea not be misconstrued as trippy or psychedelic. ”Neither of those are right aesthetically.”

His change of style has made his fans love him more and minority of the fans have left because his shows weren’t “rave” enough. He got rid of the turntables and pulled out his keyboard, microphone, and programs to perform live. In his new Tour, he takes songs from his old album and creates a Worlds version which created a more beautiful feel than his original. To reiterate what Porter Robinson tweets “I am not DJing my tour, this is not a rave, this is not a rave.”

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Fans call him Kawaii, an adjective in Japanese meaning ” pretty; cute; lovely; charming; dear; darling; pet” It’s stem is two kanji meaning “can love”. It is commonly used by anime and manga fans. Robinson loves anime and Japanese culture which he includes into his music and visuals. Can Robinson spread Japanese culture into America with his Worlds Tour?

In Understanding Media and Culture: An introduction to Mass Communication by Jack Lule, we view Robinson as a tastemaker. Porter has always been a fan of the internet and using Facebook, Tumblr, Vimeo, and Twitter to reach out to his fans. Robinson being on Last Call with Carson Daly really helped put him out there on television. We need to recognize that Robinson is not just trying to sell his music to please our ears, but his new perspective on how to enjoy what he finds beautiful: Music itself as an art form, a storytelling.

“Thanks to these and other digital-age media, the internet has become a pop culture force, both a source of amateur talent and source of amateur promotion. Tastemakers can help keep culture vital by introducing the public to new ideas, music, programs, or products. Tastemakers are encouraged to buzz about “the next big thing.”

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Porter Robinson is doing amazing and a great inspiration for many other artists out there. He wants people who are “raving” out there to experience what the art of real music is. To emotionally inspire and change people’s lives to feel better about themselves along with those around them. A talented musical artist this young at age 22, can Porter Robinson be one of the youngest to top the charts?

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