Lofi Girl

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Lofi Girl
Lofi girl logo.jpg
OriginFrance
Websitelofigirl.com
YouTube information
ChannelsLofi Girl
Lofi Records
Years active2017–present
GenreMusic radio
Subscribers10.2 million
(20 March 2022)
Total views1.16 billion
(20 March 2022)

Lofi Girl (formerly ChilledCow) 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.

History[edit]

The YouTube channel "ChilledCow" was created by Dimitri[a] on 18 March 2015.[2] ChilledCow began streaming lo-fi hip hop music, branding it as relaxation music for those who are working or studying on 25 February 2017.[1][3] The live stream was taken down by YouTube between July and August 2017 for using footage of a girl studying from the animated film Whisper of the Heart (1995).[4] The livestream was later reinstated with a custom animation of a girl studying.[5][6]

The music used in ChilledCow's live streams were either released through the ChilledCow label or were given permission to use by another artist.[4] YouTube briefly removed the channel without explanation but reinstated it after a public backlash.[4][7][8][9] 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.[4]

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.[10][11]

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.[12]

Character[edit]

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,[13] or the "24/7 lofi hip hop beats" girl[14] (officially named Jade[15]). The channel began using the Lofi Girl for its streams in March 2018.[16]

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 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.[17]

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.[16] The tender from ChilledCow called for a "student busy revising for her classes, with Miyazaki-esque visuals." Machado, who was not previously familiar with lo-fi aesthetic, decided to send in his sketches.[16] 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.[16] The background was originally plain black in order to save animation time, but Machado eventually decided to place La Croix-Rousse in the window instead.[18]

Reception[edit]

Lofi Girl's viewership has grown ever since the start of the live stream.[1] 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."[3] 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.[19] 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".[20] ChilledCow's lofi hip-hop playlist was also named the best lo-fi beats playlist by Red Bull.[21] 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,"[22] 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."[23] Youtooz released a one-foot-tall replica of the lo-fi-anime girl, complete with a desk and school supplies.[24]

In popular culture[edit]

The character quickly went viral, and was established as an Internet meme.[16][25] 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.[26] 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.[13] Will Smith has also published his own version, replacing the study girl with Smith wearing a Bel-Air hoodie.[27]

During 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-coronavirus reality".[14]

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.[28]

In 2022, Disney released a compilation album of lofi remixes to classic Disney songs. The album was promoted as having been compiled by Minnie Mouse, and critics pointed out obvious influences from Lofi Girl.[29][30]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ His last name is unknown. The New York Times stated that "Dimitri asked that his last name not be used."[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Bromwich, Jonah Engel (3 May 2018). "Pirate Radio Stations Explode on YouTube". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  2. ^ Dimitri. "Lofi Girl's About Page". YouTube. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  3. ^ a b Gafy, Faried El (22 November 2019). "Staff Recs: Good Music for Studying". Washington Square News. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d Alexander, Julia (24 February 2020). "YouTube briefly terminated a popular live stream channel, creating one of the longest videos ever". The Verge. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  5. ^ "Pop Culture: the "lofi girl" of the live Youtube "lofi hip hop radio" lives... in Lyon". 23 April 2020. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  6. ^ Freedman, Maxwell (5 July 2020). "You Can Thank Studio Ghibli for YouTube's Lofi Anime Study Girl". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  7. ^ Tesema, Feleg (February 2020). "YouTube Accidentally Shut Down "Lofi Hip Hop Radio" Livestream & Fans Lost It". Highs Nobelity. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  8. ^ Darville, Jordan (24 February 2020). ""Lofi hip hop radio – beats to relax/study to" returns to YouTube after brief ban". Fader. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  9. ^ Gramenz, Jack (February 2020). "YouTube apologises after mistakenly deleting cult-favourite pirate radio station". News.com.au. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  10. ^ "ChilledCow lo-fi channel rebrands to reflect its iconic character". SlashGear. 20 March 2021. Retrieved 2 August 2021.
  11. ^ Peters, Jay (19 March 2021). "ChilledCow puts channel name out to pasture with a rebrand to 'Lofi Girl'". The Verge. Retrieved 2 August 2021.
  12. ^ "YouTube's Lofi Girl is giving away 10 scholarships for reaching 10 million subs". March 2022.
  13. ^ a b "People Edit The "Lo-Fi Study Girl" Into Versions From Different Countries Full Of Original Details (30 Pics)". Bored Panda. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  14. ^ a b Dazed (23 March 2020). "The '24/7 lo-fi hip hop beats' girl is our social distancing role model". Dazed. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  15. ^ "Pop Culture : la "lofi girl" du live Youtube "lofi hip hop radio" habite... à Lyon" (in French).
  16. ^ a b c d e Hamelin, François (23 April 2020). "Pop Culture : la "lofi girl" du live Youtube "lofi hip hop radio" habite... à Lyon". Actu.fr (in French).{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. ^ Freedman, Maxwell (6 July 2020). "You Can Thank Studio Ghibli for YouTube's Lofi Anime Study Girl". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  18. ^ "Juan Pablo Machado : l'artiste derrière l'animation de Lyon sur le live YouTube Lofi Beats". OUR(S) - Actualités et guide : communication, marketing, digital, événementiel, management, médias (in French). 4 April 2020. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  19. ^ Piedra, Xavier (28 September 2018). "Reboot your mind with this 24/7 lo-fi hip-hop radio station". Mashable. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  20. ^ Quinn, Cassidy (31 March 2020). "Top 10 non-news live channels to watch on YouTube while social distancing". KGW. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  21. ^ "Chill and relax with these best lo-fi beats playlists". Red Bull.
  22. ^ "A look at why "lofi hip hop radio" increases listeners' focus". The A.V. Club.
  23. ^ "La musica chillhop non è solo muzak per la pandemia | Rolling Stone Italia". 7 June 2021.
  24. ^ Stephen, Bijan (11 March 2021). "Soon you'll be able to buy a one-foot-tall figurine of ChilledCow's lo-fi chill beats anime girl". The Verge.
  25. ^ "Bernie Sanders Meme Inspires Anime Lofi Track". Anime.
  26. ^ "8 Nerdy Lofi Beats, Ambient Sounds, And Meditations To Chill The Heck Out". Gizmodo Australia. 19 April 2020. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  27. ^ "Will Smith posts his own take on the lo-fi hip-hop beats video". The A.V. Club.
  28. ^ Messner, Steven (20 November 2020). "World of Warcraft releases amazing set of lo-fi beats to relax/study to". PC Gamer. Future US Inc.
  29. ^ Olivia Tambini (18 March 2022). "Love Disney? You need to hear the lofi Minnie Mouse album on Spotify". TechRadar. Retrieved 22 March 2022.
  30. ^ "Minnie Mouse has curated a Disney lo-fi hip hop album". Mixmag. Retrieved 22 March 2022.

External links[edit]