Gorillaz is an English musical and visual project created in 1998 by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett. The project consists of Gorillaz music itself and an extensive fictional universe depicting a "virtual band" of cartoon characters. This band has four animated members: 2D (lead vocalist, keyboard, and melodica), Murdoc Niccals (bass guitar and drum machine), Noodle (guitar, keyboard, and backing vocals) and Russel Hobbs (drums and percussion). 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. The music is a collaboration between various musicians, with Albarn being the only permanent musical contributor.