It appears that i-style Project, the creators behind Aoki Lapis and Merli, are currently looking to fans for two important tasks. First, as was mentioned before, they are asking fans to audition for the role of voice provider for Merli through September 10. However, through September 3, they are also recruiting “official creators” who will be tasked to provide demo songs for Merli as well as future songs for i-style Project. Submissions for both are to be made through Nico Nico Douga uploads.
For the voice provider auditions, interested applicants must submit two things contained in a single video. The first is a recording of the applicant singing a song he/she would like Merli to sing, without backing instrumentation. There are no restrictions on song choice, and short versions of songs (i.e. containing only a single chorus section) are allowed. What’s interesting is that the song does not have to be in Japanese. The official site mentions that other languages such as English are also acceptable. The second part of the video needs to be a recording of the applicant reading a given Japanese text segment, which happens to be some scientific facts about Mercury. Once uploaded, the video needs to be tagged with “i-styleProjectメルリ中の人応募” and locked with that tag in order to qualify. Multiple entries are allowed, and the uploader is cautioned to not add any unneeded information such as real name, address and email to the video itself, the video description or to the tags. The background image used in the video needs to not infringe on copyright, etc. and the contest page provides a background image for use as well.
Video uploads are accepted until the end of the day in Japan on September 10. Round two of the auditions would be held in Tokyo on September 22 and applicants who qualified would be notified by email before then. The contest page does note that the second round of auditions needs to be done in person, and therefore people who cannot make it to Tokyo are asked to refrain from applying. The final judging will be based on studio recordings held in Tokyo during October.
As for the recruitment of “official creators”, interested applicants are invited to upload one or more original songs made using any VOCALOID sound bank and then lock the “i-style公式クリエイター募集01” tag in place on the video. If the uploader cannot provide his/her own images for the video, he/she is allowed to use one of the given video background images (the last two images on the bottom) on the official website. Songs must not infringe on copyrights and must not have been submitted to other contests, etc. Videos must be uploaded before the end of the day in Japan on September 3. Creators who make it through the first round of judging are then notified between September 6 and September 12 with details about the second round of judging.