Lofi Girl

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Lofi Girl
Lofi Girl Channel Logo
YouTube information
Years active2017–present
GenreMusic radio
Subscribers14.2 Million[1]
Total views1.890 billion[1]
100,000 subscribers
1,000,000 subscribers
10,000,000 subscribers

Last updated: 23 march 2024

Lofi Girl (formerly ChilledCow until 2021) is a French YouTube channel and music label established in 2017. It provides livestreams of lo-fi hip hop music 24/7, accompanied by a Japanese-style animation of a girl studying or relaxing in her bedroom with a cat on the window.


The channel offers several videos and livestreams of lo-fi music in hip hop style.[2] The best known video is a live stream of lo-fi music that runs for several years.

The music is either released through the ChilledCow label, or used with permission from the artist.[3][4]

The fact that the music is always live prevents YouTube from putting ads that could cut the stream.[5]

The playlist is updated fairly frequently.[6] The music broadcast by the channel can be used to practice "deep work".[7][8][9]

Fareid El Gafy writes in the Washington Square News : "Thanks to this playlist, I’ve cranked out a multitude of essays, study sessions, scripts and rough cuts to the tune of pop culture samples, muted snares and artificial record scratches."[10]

Lee Taber, Leya Breanna Baltaxe-Admony and Kevin Weatherwax of the University of California, Santa Cruz showed in a study that parasocial interactions can be applied to characters such as the Lofi Girl.[11]


Creation and initial suspensions[edit]

The YouTube channel "ChilledCow" was created by Dimitri Somoguy[12][13] on 18 March 2015.[14] ChilledCow began streaming lo-fi hip hop music, branding it as relaxation music for those who are working or studying on 25 February 2017.[15][16]

The live stream was taken down by YouTube between July and August 2017 for using footage of the character Shizuku Tsukishima studying from the animated film Whisper of the Heart (1995).[3] In September 2017, the livestream was later reinstated with a custom animation of a girl studying.[17][18]

In February 2020, YouTube briefly removed the channel without explanation, but reinstated it after a public backlash.[3][19][20][21] The original live stream that was stopped by the take-down was 13,000 hours long, making it one of the longest videos on YouTube.[3]

Renaming and subsequent history[edit]

On 18 March 2021, six years after the creation of the channel, it was announced that the channel would rebrand from ChilledCow to Lofi Girl. The YouTube community posts explained how Lofi Girl had become the icon of the channel, and that it would fit as the new channel name.[22][23]

On 2 February 2022, the channel reached the milestone of ten million subscribers. The stream that was on at the time had been running since 22 February 2020, and had over seven million likes. The channel celebrated this by having a party event in the chat.[24]

On 10 July 2022, YouTube took down two of the channel's streams ("beats to relax/study to" and "beats to chill/sleep to") after receiving a Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown request from Malaysian record label FMC Music Sdn Bhd.[25] The two streams had nearly 800 million combined views and had been streaming continuously for about 21,000 hours each.[26] YouTube later confirmed that the copyright infringement claims were "abusive" and that the claimant's channel had been terminated. Lofi Girl resumed streaming on 12 July.[25] According to a spokesman for FMC Music, the copyright claims were filed by hackers who had gained access to the company's YouTube account.[27] Following the incident, Lofi Girl criticized YouTube for not investigating the claims more thoroughly and for not providing content creators an opportunity to appeal false claims.[25][26]

Other projects[edit]

Synthwave channel launch[edit]

On 11 April 2023, the channel launched a third live stream, "synthwave radio 🌌 - beats to chill/game to", featuring a boy with his pet dog next to him sitting in front of a desktop computer. The extensive teaser campaign accompanied the stream's launch: On 10 April 2023, the animation of the Lofi Girl and her cat disappeared. The audio music stream continued with a still visual background, but without record and track labels. Over the course of 24 hours, the video slowly zoomed in towards the open blue window. On 11 April at 5:00 pm UTC, the blue room could be clearly seen, and a new character entered with a small dog and began typing at a computer. The community dubbed the unnamed boy, "Synthwave Boy", "Synth Boy" or just "Lofi Boy".[28][29][30] The following day, Lofi Girl's YouTube channel uploaded the character's entry animation with the title "Synthwave Launch 🌌 - Lofi Boy POV",[31] confirming the new character's name. As of February 2024, this stream has been inactive for seven months. On July 2, 2023, a new stream was created, and the former removed from the channel. As of May 2024, this stream is live.[32]

Snowman music video[edit]

In November 2023, the Lofi Girl and Synthwave Boy disappeared from their respective live shows. A third livestream showing a snowflake forming subsequently appeared on the channel.[33]

This event led up to channel releasing its first music video, "Snowman". The clip begins with Lofi Girl reading a book on a public bench. As the snow begins to fall, a flake falls on her hand. A flashback shows a young Lofi Girl playing in a snowy forest A woman, presumably her mother, makes her put on a scarf before she runs off to play some more. She and a man who appears to be her father finish making a snowman before they stop to look up at a constellation. After the flashback ends, the clip returns to Lofi Girl in the present shedding tears as she quickly walks through the city of Lyon.[34] She walks past Synthwave Boy, bumping into him and dropping her book by accident. She continues walking regardless of that.[35] The video ends with Lofi Girl stopping to look up at the same constellation she and her father looked up at in the flashback.[34]

Peaceful Piano and Dark Ambient radio launch[edit]

On 22 February 2024, the Lofi Girl and Synthwave Boy disappeared from their respective streams, with a video posted onto the channel showing the two characters putting on their shoes and taking items from their apartments. The video ended with a teaser for an upcoming event on 26 February.[36] On 26 February 2024, two new streams were uploaded to the channel, titled "☀️" and "🌙", respectively.[37] At 6:00 pm GMT+1, both streams went live and allowed viewers to take part in an interactive choose-your-own-adventure style event, where viewers could pick the item each character took with them by voting in the livestream chat. They could also choose the direction that each character would walk. The characters would walk to the Parc de la Tête d'Or, located in Lyon, France, where Synthwave Boy placed a note on a bench for Lofi Girl to discover, presumably on the next day.[38]

After several minutes of a looping animation of both characters on the park bench, they would return to their respective locations, where it was revealed that the event was to launch two new livestreams: "peaceful piano radio 🎹 - music to focus/study to" and "dark ambient radio 🌃 - music to escape/dream to".[39]


In September 2023, the Lofi Girl channel announced a partnership with The Lego Group, releasing a mix titled "Lofi Girl – chill beats for LEGO building" featuring a Lego version of Lofi Girl.[40][41]

In December 2023, the YouTube channel released a video titled "Lofi Girl x Chess.com ♟ - chill beats to play chess to" in partnership with the internet chess site Chess.com.[42]


In May 2024, the channel announced the establishment of a space on Fortnite.[43][44][45]


In February 2020, the main live «lofi hip hop radio - beats to relax/study to» was viewed 218 million times,[46] and in July 2022 more than 668 million.[47] In 2023, an average of 40,000 people are connected every day at the same time.[2]


The Lofi Girl, studying in winter.

Lofi Girl streams are accompanied by an animation of a girl studying or relaxing who has come to be known as the Lofi Girl, the Lofi Study Girl,[48] or the "24/7 lofi hip hop beats" girl[49] (officially named Jade[50]). The channel began using the Lofi Girl for its streams in March 2018.[51]

Dimitri originally used the character Shizuku Tsukishima from the Studio Ghibli film Whisper of the Heart (1995) as the face of the channel, with footage of her studying or writing used in the streams. When the popularity of the streams ultimately led to the channel being taken down for copyright violations, Dimitri decided to maintain the Ghibli-esque aesthetic but with an original character and put out a call for artists.[18]

One of the artists who responded was Juan Pablo Machado. Originally from Colombia, Machado moved to Lyon in 2013 to study at the Émile-Cohl Design School [fr], after a stint at the art school of Bogota. In September 2018, during his last year of his master's degree, he decided to respond to a call for tenders received by his school.[51] The tender from ChilledCow called for a "student busy revising for her classes, with Miyazaki-esque visuals." Machado, who was not previously familiar with the lo-fi aesthetic, decided to send in his sketches.[51] Several positions were tested for the Lofi Girl, including a lying position, at the end of which she would return to her initial position; this did not carry over into the final product because it took too long to animate.[51] The background was originally plain black in order to save animation time, but Machado eventually decided to place La Croix-Rousse (Lyon, France) in the window instead.[52]

On 11 November 2023, Lofi Girl's X account posted a shot of her gazing longingly out the window. In a picture posted on November 12, she pondered a framed photograph. Shortly after, both she and "Synthwave Boy" disappeared from their respective streams, and their streams were replaced by a stream of a snowflake forming over the course of several hours. When the snowflake finished forming, a new animated music video premiered featuring both Lofi Girl and a Synthwave Boy.[53][54]

Reception and influence[edit]

Lofi Girl's viewership has since been released to critical acclaim and developed ever since the beginning of the live stream.[15] Fareid El Gafy from Washington Square News praised the live stream about studying, saying "Thanks to this playlist, I've cranked out a multitude of essays, study sessions, scripts and rough cuts to the tune of pop culture samples, muted snares and artificial record scratches."[16] Xavier Piedra of Mashable praised it for its relaxing songs that keep the listener focused. He also noted that the playlist is updated frequently and often contains a mixture of old and newly added songs.[55] The live stream was the first live stream listed on Cassidy Quinn of KGW's "Top 10 non-news live channels to watch on YouTube while social distancing". Quinn described the songs in the live stream as "a constant stream of low-key music you play in the background while you get work done, do chores, whatever you're doing at home right now".[56] ChilledCow's lofi hip-hop playlist was also named the best lo-fi beats playlist by Red Bull.[57] In 2021, The A.V. Club claimed that lo-fi beats to relax and study "turns the average person into a superhuman academic whose powers of concentration are rivaled only by headphone-wearing cartoon girls sitting at their desks during rainy days",[58] while Rolling Stone said that "Lo-fi's slow, smooth beats aren't just for studying and working. They represent the revenge of producers who have found a way to put their talent to good use in difficult times."[59] Amid the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dazed Digital writer Sophia Atkinson referred to Lofi Girl as a "social distancing role model", it seemingly being "crystal clear that the anime girl was always operating in a post-COVID reality".[49]

In popular culture[edit]

The character quickly went viral, and was established as an Internet meme.[51][60] She has been referenced in popular culture. An example is contained within Steven Universe Future, where the character Connie is depicted studying in the same pose and environment as the Girl.[61] In September 2020, a trend started on Reddit whereby the Lofi Girl would be redrawn to match the context of a certain country or place.[48] Will Smith has also published his own version, replacing the study girl with Smith wearing a Bel-Air hoodie.[62]

In 2019, a similar YouTube channel named "College Music" partnered with McCann London, Vice Media, and Samaritans to create a PSA promoting mental health awareness that starred a character similar to Lofi Girl. Titled "what happened to our study girl?", it initially depicted her studying before suddenly having a stress-induced mental breakdown, and considers committing suicide with a knife before ultimately deciding against it. The video ends with a message imploring people struggling with suicidal thoughts to seek help, with the video providing links and numbers of various hotlines. College Music said they were inspired to make the PSA after noticing that an increasing number of users were using the channel's live chat box to talk about the stress they're going through, and that a small number admitted to having suicidal thoughts. McCann chief creative officer said they went with the partnership because "If students are using these lo-fi channels as chat forums to talk about suicide and stress – then this seemed like the perfect place to offer support".[63][64]

To promote the release of the new expansion Shadowlands, the official YouTube account for MMORPG World of Warcraft posted a Warcraft-themed parody of Lofi Girl's "Lofi beats to relax/study to" stream.[65] Youtooz released a one-foot-tall replica of the lo-fi anime girl, complete with a desk and school supplies.[66] In 2022, Disney released a compilation album of lofi remakes of Disney songs. The album was promoted as having been compiled by Minnie Mouse, and critics pointed out obvious influences from Lofi Girl.[67][68] Italian rapper Tha Supreme released in the summer of 2022 an animated music video for the single Siri [it], featuring a scene of the singer's anime-styled depiction drawn in the same setting and pose of Lofi Girl.[69][70]

In 2022, Paradox Development Studio released lofi versions of the soundtracks to Crusader Kings 3 and Victoria 3 on YouTube. Both videos featured parodies of Lofi Girl based on the historical setting of the games.[71]

In 2024, development studio Mooncube Games released Spirit City: Lofi Sessions, a game inspired by the aesthetics of Lofi Girl.[72][73]

In politics[edit]

In 2023, Taiwan presidential frontrunner Lai Ching-te launched a 24-hour lofi beats channel featuring an anime-styled boy studying with his dog. The 24-hour channel launched on September 27, 2023, on the 30th anniversary of the party and crowdsourced much of its playlist.[74]

The initiative was covered by regional media and received submissions from television stars, high school students, as well as one Taiwan mayor.[75]

Lai also released lofi versions of Democratic Progressive Party campaign anthems from 1996 to 2024 featuring the same characters.[76]


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External links[edit]