Gorillaz are a British virtual band created in 1998 by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett. The band consists of four animated members: 2D (lead vocals, keyboard), Murdoc Niccals (bass guitar, vocals), Noodle (guitar, keyboard, and backing vocals) and Russel Hobbs (drums and percussion). These members are fictional and are not personas of any "real life" musicians involved in the project. Their fictional universe is explored through the band's website and music videos, as well as a number of other media, such as short cartoons. In reality, Albarn is the only permanent musical contributor, and the music is often a collaboration between various musicians. Writers and critics have described their music as alternative rock, Britpop, trip hop, hip hop, electronica, indie, dub, reggae and pop.