Replica is the scenic name of Gestagarézh Kviréng, a singer from Teshvír (a city-type settlement within the state of greater Okaarán). Her musical works are made around the image of a fictional single artificial person who through unclear circumstances attained free will (unlike the rest of the production run) and went on to integrate into the world of regular people.
Kviréng was boring in a working-class family in the city-type settlement of Teshvír, Weestern Nariyása, in 1525 (Gésh reckoning). She went to a math-leaning class in senior grades of school, but soon shifted interests towards music, taking lessons in after-school hours and singing in a local junior amateur band. She passed the entry exams of the State Academy of Arts well enough to be enrolled into the state-funded class. Midway through the academy years, she switched to long-distance learning to focus on her career, and eventually attained a diploma with average grades. She is currently self-employed as a musician.
Kviréng's first steps onto the scene were as a vocalist of Skewed Pendulum, a cover band made of other pupils of her school, which didn't achieve anything noteworthy and went separate ways after graduation, some of them abandoning music entirely. Still, Kviréng maintains occasional contact with them and is reportedly on good terms.
Five Minutes of Fame (1548)
Midway through the academy, Kviréng managed to attain an invitation to a talent show in Okaarán. While she only reached the quarter-finals, nonetheless it was enough for her original Replica song to be remembered, creating a niche following. She soon put up a page hosted on the academy MC, accepting fan-financing for a future album. She also later admitted to making a few joint-venture deals with a capped payout from earnings, but did not disclose the names of investors.
The debut song is about a biotechnologist who fails to save his wife's life, but in the process develops techniques which allow production of artificial persons. However, they're mentally stunted - with average intelligence, but lacking initiative and easily influenced. The widower wealth and fame, but keeps on grieving. Years later, when he's walking down a street, one of the artificial workers breaks her routine, turns to the widower and asks him a question about starting life from an empty page. The widower first thinks that her speaking mannerisms and appearance remind him of his wife, but immediately after the replica clearly exhibits a very different personality.
Replica (Self-titled album, 1549)
Soon after, Kviréng starts using the pseudonym Replica and in 1549 releases the eponymous album which continues the story, or at least fragments of the story (as the songs in the album skip over periods and events and may or may not be in a chronological order). The lyrics are largely a slice-of-life story about the replica learning the intricacies, dangers and opportunities presented by society, and trying to find a place in it. While not a prominent part of any specific song, the album has a subtext of three themes: a need for hard work and some luck in order to rise above the grey mass, a warning against being too easily trusting or reliant on others, and an attitude towards new technologies that admits their dangers but sees them as a net good in a supermajority of cases.
The album is distributed only across the networks, with no sales of physical media. It was popular enough to let Kviréng pay off all the joint-venture returns related to its production. It is commonly understood that such arrangements have been necessary because the other members of Replica-the-band participated strictly on a pay-per-play basis (though they were not the most well-paid ones). In fact the roster wasn't even the same throughout the album, which certainly had a negative impact on its quality.
The overall reception of the album was that while it was flawed in terms of technical quality and some other aspects, it compensated by a well-executed adherence to a concept and immersive atmosphere. It was also hailed by the rebel youths as a resistance against what is perceived as the cultural Wejítification of Okaarán and the surrounding region. Overall, it resulted in a rapid step up in Replica's fame, and opened the path to expanding into the broader scene.
Following the success of the first full album, Replica changed her approach to releasing individual songs without grouping them into albums or singles. The first of these was Freedom (continuing the story of the replica), and soon others followed (some of them involving the original protagonist, some standalone stories, and some covers). The quick rise to broader fame was leveraged into negotiating some joint recordings with other bands, and a more robust and independent financial situation allowed partially assembling a more reliable and proficient roster.
The approach was largely successful too.
Kviréng tends to situationally flip between a regional ideal of an almost girl-next-door style of clothing and makeup, and a slightly kitchy variant of the former who recently ran into a windfall. In both cases there's an emphasis on older traditional elements of clothing even though combined with modern materials and production techniques. She also both sings and speaks with a local small-town Vilkrészt accent instead of the more media-standardised Vilrán. All this is meant to reflect or emphasise both the 'workbot' origins of Replica-the-character and low birth of Replica-the-singer.
Despite the adoption of the handle of the protagonist as a pseudonym, there are some important differences in how the two are perceived: Replica-the-character is significantly more naïve and interested in finding acceptance by everyone (at least initially - the characterisation is gradually changing); Replica-the-singer is more financially savvy, more hedonistic and much more of a glory hound than the character, and she's totally fine with having both a fandom and a hatedom.
Stances and Views
Kvíreng is a strong proponent of putting a lot of effort in what one considers important, of taking personal responsibility instead of blaming the circumstances, and not expecting a handout from anyone. Nonetheless, she's adherent of the principle that those who do count as trusted people, close friends and family, should be offered help whenever they need it.
She seems to have a bone to pick with the more idle rich and with the Wejít people in general.
Despite the futuristic world in which the story of Replica is set being a difficult one to live in, Kviréng is largely optimistic about the net effect of developing new technologies.
As far as is known, the songstress is on very good terms with her clan, the Gestagarézh. For all of her talks of self-reliance and refusals to show altruism to strangers, she reportedly is very keen on helping even distant relatives in times of need (which is often said to be atypical for modern youths).
Kviréng never seemed to have a lack of admirers. However, she seems neither particularly capable nor interested in maintaining long-term relationships. This becomes even more pronounced during distant trips of any kind.
- Through the Strange Streets
- Yesterday's Promises
- Under the Glass Table (cover)
- Dance in the Firestorm
- Bloodline (cover)
- Wind of the Steppe (cover)
- 400THz Eyes