AI Takes the Stage: Is the Music Industry Doomed by AI Drake and AI Weeknd?
If you missed big news in the music industry a lot of new songs are popping up with vocals of the most famous hip hop and pop artists. Tech savvy people began to use AI to copy the voice of their favorite artist and use it to generate new songs. One notable example is the song "Heart on My Sleeve," crafted by TikTok user ghostwriter977. This song features voices of Drake and The Weeknd, has sparked discussions about the transformative power of AI in the music business, raising concerns about the diminishing significance of individual artists in an industry where voices can be replicated and human originality ceases to matter.
Let Us Gain Some Perspective
Every new sensational technology brings us fear and uncertainty. In this particular case it is human art and human expression. Previously, the notion of machines replacing artists, particularly musicians, seemed far-fetched. However, a recent viral video has sparked widespread speculation and predictions about the future of this technology and its impact on artists.
Lets step back a bit and gain a broader view. I want to show you that similar technology was available in the past and that it did not really change the industry that much. Other day I saw this video on YouTube -
What a fantastic performance! This guy sounds exactly like Freddie Mercury! I would argue that in a blind test and in the song, most people wouldn't tell that it is not Freddie Mercury, but very talented vocalist Marc Martel.
Why do greedy music business corporations do not use him and revive the "Queen"? Why not revive any brand for that matter? I'll bet there are a lot of people who sing exactly like Elvis Presley, Whitney Houston and Whitney Houston. Why not use them?
As you see, making in the music business is not just about the voice and big corporations know that. You cannot just press a button and pump out a song that will be distributed an popular. You still need to compose and produce a song.
AI Can't Produce a Song
Despite ghostwriter977 having the voice of Drake and The Weeknd, he still needed to produce a song. He needed to:
compose and arrange the instrumental track
record or use samples to finish the instrumental track
write lyrics for a song
write melodies for a song
generate vocal tracks ( the AI part )
mix and master everything
publish and promote the song
As we see, a lot things are involved in making a song that can be listened to. Even when considering the role of AI in generating vocal tracks, human judgment remains crucial in determining the quality and the outcome. Every step of music production, from composing melodies and writing lyrics to arranging instruments and mixing the final track, relies on human judgment and creativity. It is the human element that infuses a song with artistry and personal experiences.
Will Artists Cease To Exist?
The answer is certainty no. However, it does not prevent a lot of artist to be outspoken and outraged. Some established artists feel threatened that people might use their voice to generate songs without their consent and the financial benefit for them. People would have the ability to piggy back on famous artist voice and media presence to earn an income.
The last statement is actually threatening to a degree. People can leverage specific artists brand and popularity to gain attention and potentially financial gain. ghostwriter977 song leaped into mainstream only because it leveraged already established social presence of Drake and The Weeknd. But can ghostwriter977 build a new brand with AI? Can ghostwriter977 compose music that sounds fresh and original and excites its listeners? Will AI be of much help to him?
I think you can come up with your own conclusions to this article. I also wrote another article that discusses AI creativity and its limits - Will AI Replace Creators? It Is Not What You Think It Is
If you are an artists and you want someone to mix and master your song, someone not an AI but an actual human with human judgement and creativity, hit me up at https://www.elvismix.com/