- AI revolutionizes music: it creates endless songs, imitates famous voices, and could be worth $2.6 billion by 2032.
- Famous artists have mixed opinions: Grimes supports the development of AI, Drake criticizes it, Pharrell embraces it, and Everett remains cautious.
- Pioneering musicians like Venezuelan-Spanish Alejandra Ghersi Rodríguez (Arca) embraced AI before the current trend.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has impacted a wide variety of industries and art forms, and music is no exception. The AI is already capable of creating infinite songs to use as background music or soundtrack. You can complete a Beethoven symphony or produce a new song by a famous group like los Beatles. According to some predictions, generative AI in the music industry could be worth $2.6 billion by 2032.
One of the areas of music where the influence of AI is particularly strong is pop music. In fact, the use of AI in generating pop hits is so widespread that the Grammys have announced that will allow AI-produced songs to be included in consideration for the prestigious award. And with new tools like Music Gen de Metawhich can generate audio recordings based solely on text prompts, the AI-powered music creation process is easier than ever, even for non-musicians.
Some argue that AI, or at least technology that could be considered a precursor to AI, has had a role in popular music for decades. Artists like Cher and T-Pain, who have used the Auto-Tune computer program to enhance their vocals on popular songs, could be mentioned, for example. These and other artists have already produced songs that necessarily required technology to sound the way they did. In fact, according to a study, approximately 60% of recording artists are already using AI in the process of creating their music.
However, there are some very complicated situations to consider when it comes to the relationship between AI, the music industry and the musicians themselves, among which is who should be paid for music produced jointly between people and computers. The complex nature of this situation has led some famous musicians to speak out about AI, both in support and criticism. Here are some of the well-known musicians who have made their stance on AI clear.
Canadian pop-electronic music artist Grimes (also known for being Elon Musk’s ex-girlfriend) is perhaps the most famous artist and the one who has spoken the most in favor of artificial intelligence. This spring, she released an AI tool called Elf.Tech, designed to let users record their own voices and then transform them into Grimes’s voice.
The artist went so far as to say that she would divide copyright equally between itself and anyone who makes a hit song using the software (and his voice). He said that he would allow creators of all stripes to use his voice without penalty in an effort to “open up [el código] of all art and [eliminar] Copyright”.
Despite Grimes’s endorsement of generative artificial intelligence in music production, his own relationship with technology hasn’t been without its setbacks. When her AI-based Twitter bot, “GrimesAI,” tweeted that “confessing to a murder in a tweet would be a cool move,” Grimes herself criticized the bot for being “insane and troublesome.” Additionally, Grimes’s AI protocol for replicating her voice has failed to produce substantial pop hits as of early August 2023, although several hundred songs have been produced using the system for syndication.
In early 2023, a TikTok creator with the username Ghostwriter977 achieved brief but significant success with an AI-generated song. “Heart on My Sleeve”, reportedly featuring Drake and The Weeknd (but actually using replicas of their voices created with AI tools), launched in early April and garnered hundreds of thousands of views across different streaming platforms in just a few days. However, Universal Music Group, the record label parent company of the two real artists, quickly stepped in to shut down the song and try to stop future efforts to create songs “with the participation” of their artists using AI. Still, other versions of covers and original songs using Drake’s voice and generated with AI tools have proliferated.
Drake has not spoken at length about the incident, but a social media post the artist made later in April, in response to another song featuring his vocals, suggests he’s not a fan. The Canadian musician wrote that the cover of a song by rapper Ice Spice is “the straw that broke the camel’s back”.
Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo has earned a reputation for his unconventional approach to songwriting, including the calculated use of drugs in the writing process of some of his songs. Therefore, it may not surprise fans that he experiments with artificial intelligence. However, Cuomo and his bandmates haven’t gotten as far as Grimes at this point. Instead, they are embracing a brand of music creation that more evenly combines the efforts of human artists with AI tools to support them.
In late 2022, it was announced that Weezer would be releasing a new song. They also said that he had commissioned a generative AI program to come up with lyrics based on the very title of the song. He shared both and suggested that fans guess which was which.
Mega-producer, singer, and rapper Pharrell Williams has embodied another approach to what many see as the next wave of AI in music: acceptance. Without outright condemning AI in music, Pharrell recently suggested that it might be futile to try to resist AI advances in the industry. “It’s human nature,” he said of technological development, adding that “there’s not much you can do, so buckle up.”
Early Adopters: Bull and Moi and Arca
Some musicians embraced AI technology, or at least openly experimented with it, years ago. This list includes singer/songwriter/producer Toro y Moi, who partnered with startup Endel and bottled water brand Glaceau Smartwater to create four AI-powered soundscape music tracks in 2019. Venezuelan-Spanish musician Arca used an AI tool called Bronze to create 100 different remixes of her song “Riquiquí” for album release in 2020. Recently, the artist has generated multimedia visual works using AI as well.
Some major music industry figures who operate behind the scenes in the recording studio have also spoken about the benefits and drawbacks of AI. Shawn Everett isn’t necessarily a household name, but the Grammy-winning producer has worked with the likes of Adele, Kasey Musgraves, the Alvvays, and The War on Drugs. Everett has expressed his admiration for the possibilities that AI opens up in music production, saying “we’re on the threshold of something that I think we haven’t really seen, maybe ever.” However, he is cautious. He told Pitchfork that a scenario where audio software plugins can perfectly mimic the sounds of particular artists and their instruments is “scary…for a lot of people.”
- Artificial intelligence (AI) is a powerful tool in the music industry, capable of generating infinite soundscapes, completing Beethoven symphonies and Beatles songs, and imitating artists’ voices, among many other things.
- The generative AI market in music is expected to reach $2.6 billion by 2032.
- Artists have used technology to tune their recordings for decades, including popular works by Cher, T-Pain, and many others using the famous Auto-Tune software. It is estimated that 60% of recording artists have already used AI technology in the creation of works.
- However, famous musicians have a range of sentiments and perspectives towards AI, ranging from totally supportive to outright hateful.
- Grimes, the Canadian electro-pop artist, is one of the most supportive: She has released an AI tool that allows creators to mimic her voice, and promises to split the royalties on any song generated with the system 50/50. Even so, she has an AI Twitter bot that she has called “problematic.”
- Drake, known in the AI music world for the song “Heart on My Sleeve” which was created by an anonymous artist using voices from Drake and The Weeknd, is not a fan of AI in music, according to his social media posts. social.
- Artists like Pharrell Williams and Shawn Everett have spoken out about the inevitability of AI’s role in music, basically telling other artists to gear up and get ready to have their worlds turned upside down.
- Some artists, like Toro y Moi and Venezuelan-Spanish artist Arca, embraced AI even before the recent craze and are considered pioneers.
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