Jamie Hewlett made 2-D to symbolize the “dumb attractive boy singer” he saw in many marketed bands at the time. Because of the numerous head injuries and brain damage, he’s sustained throughout his life, 2-D is severely weak in intelligence and critical thinking abilities. He can so occasionally come out as being really awkward. He was described as “really lovely… a bit thick though” by his ex-girlfriend Paula Cracker in Rise of the Ogre.
Murdoc, a bandmate, frequently makes fun of him for what he considers to be his ignorance and idiocy. Although he was unaware of Murdoch’s regular maltreatment, he nonetheless looked up to him as a big brother figure and showed signs of acute Stockholm syndrome. Russel, a member of his band, previously claimed that 2-D is “like a pet, in a way.
Willing to please and obedient. regularly consume dog food “. Moreover, 2-D regularly loses focus and daydreams, often dozing off for no apparent reason.
He is clumsy and prone to accidents; over his life, he has sustained numerous wounds. His hyphema has caused eyesight problems, which have worsened his clumsiness. Since learning about the Tibetan freedom movement, he has become a Buddhist. He and his bandmate Noodle have a special link known as zen.
At a 6’2″ height, 2-D has a tall, slender body with huge hands and feet as well as lengthy limbs. The persona has azure blue hair that is spiked and pale skin. Due to blood leakage from his hyphema, he is then seen to have eyes without discernible pupils.
While his eyes can change color from black to white, they primarily remained black throughout the first four phases.
Nonetheless, 2-D’s eyes have primarily been white since The Now Now. He has occasionally been seen having a golden tooth and is also portrayed to be lacking a few front teeth.
2-D shares the same thick, bushy, rectangular brows as the other Gorillaz characters.
Compared to the majority of the artwork for Demon Days and Plastic Beach, where his hair became messier and brighter and the spikes became thinner and looser, 2-D’s hair was darker and his hair’s spikes were thicker and sharper in the Gorillaz artwork.
As a result, in some artwork for Humanz and The Now Now, he now appears to have a mildly receding hairline. Moreover, he has blue eye bags. He resembles fellow band member Noodle in appearance thanks to his pointed chin and round head.
While 2-D and the rest of Gorillaz are primarily represented through 2D animation, they occasionally appear in 3D animation, as seen in the music videos for “Stylo,” “Strobelite,” and “Sleeping Powder,” as well as in a number of live visuals, including the one for their performance of “Dirty Harry” at the 2006 Brit Awards and in interludes and promotional material for the 2010 Escape to Plastic Beach Tour.
In most of the motion capture 3D models of 2-D from the Humanz album campaign, he is wearing the same attire that he did in the “Saturnz Barz” music video. Together with the other characters, 2-D may be seen on the Humanz album cover as a lifelike 3D model.
With each new Gorillaz release, 2-D and the other Gorillaz characters are depicted as gradually maturing. 2-D was in his early 20s when Gorillaz was first launched, but as of 2018, he is now in his early 40s. 2-D has developed wrinkles and a thinning hairline since Humanz.
On his hands, he has also grown more noticeable wrinkles. Since Humanz, his nose has also undergone a shift in appearance, seeming to be slightly more pointed than previously. Being the “beautiful boy singer” of the group, 2-D has aged a little over the years, but he still generally has a young appearance with clear skin, little to no facial hair, and few blemishes or wrinkles. He even kept this look into his 40s.
Role in Gorillaz
2-D’s primary duties in the band as the frontman of Gorillaz include playing piano and singing lead. Although he is capable of playing various instruments (as are the other Gorillaz band members), for most of the band’s career, he primarily focuses on his roles as a vocalist and keyboardist.
There are a few exceptions to this rule, such as the Gorillaz album The Now Now from 2018 and the largely self-written The Fall from 2-D in 2010.
Most of the time, 2-D’s singing voice sounds very different from his typical speaking voice. He has performed in a wide range of vocal registers, from baritone to falsetto.
All of 2-D’s singing voice, including verses in tracks where he raps and speaks, is provided by Gorillaz co-creator Damon Albarn.
Despite being supposedly illiterate, 2-D appears to have had some input into the lyric-writing process (as seen by the credits on the insert of the debut album under the same name). According to an NME interview with Albarn, Murdoc has reportedly had Albarn periodically help train 2-D to sing better than he already could and even sing in some of their tunes.
Murdoc is typically described as the primary creative force behind most Gorillaz albums, however, 2-D is portrayed as the member responsible for albums like 2010’s The Fall and 2018’s The Now Now. In addition, 2-D produced and created the song “Sleeping Powder” by Gorillaz all by himself. He also starred in the song’s music video.