AI is crafting viral hits – should music lovers be excited, or worried?
What’s that you’re listening to? Unreleased heat!? Hidden gems from the archives!? Nope. AI-generated bangers. Get used to it.
Nicholas Garcia, Social Media Manager, Blokhaus
In the ever-evolving world of music creation, a new phenomenon is taking center stage: the use of AI to help songs that simulate the vocals of real, human, artists. This technological trend has empowered creators to craft viral hits that mirror the distinctive voices of beloved icons without ever setting foot in a shared studio setting.
That’s right – we are now living in a world where global superstars like Kanye West and Drake are getting to experience the drops of “their” latest tracks as first-time listeners – because they’re not the ones making them. A prime example is "Heart On My Sleeve," an AI-generated track designed to capture the essence of Metro Boomin’s instrumental mastery, Drake's fiery flow, and The Weeknd’s melodic vocals.
A masked TikToker by the name of @ghostwriter977 who has since racked up over 157K Followers and 2.5M Likes on their TikTok profile with only four videos to their name.
Hundreds of thousands of streams across platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube, trending videos on Twitter earning millions of views, and millions upon millions of views on TikTok, where the track first started trending.
“Heart On My Sleeve” was swiftly taken down across platforms by Universal Music Group (UMG). However, anonymous lovers of the song continue to upload it despite the risk of takedowns and channel strikes.
The vocals are simulated, but the song feels real, and of course, fans will flock for a mere taste of something new from their favorite artists. Welcome to a world where in the hands of tech-savvy music makers, artificial intelligence is capable of creating something genuinely listenable.
Iconic artist Ice Cube has called developments in AI-generated music “demonic” and has threatened to sue anyone who uses his voice
But as cool as these viral social media moments may be, and as cool as it may be to feel like we’re receiving new songs from our favorite artists… they’re inauthentic. For artists who have spent years upon years honing their craft, the experience of having their voice replicated, and their talent emulated by AI is – in a word – unsettling.
The powers that be in the music industry are of course now scrambling to figure out how to “protect” artists from AI, and how established copyright law might be applied in the context of such new technology. Meanwhile, iconic artist Ice Cube has called developments in AI-generated music “demonic” and has threatened to sue anyone who uses his voice. Do with that information what you will.
As an avid social media user and consumer, I can’t help but feel genuine excitement and appreciation for the opportunities that generative AI has unlocked for less famous, but still talented musicians and content creators to express themselves. While I understand concerns about what this means for authenticity, and the future of the music industry, let’s be honest – sampling in music has been around for decades now, and while copyright disputes are still a thing, sampling is now an accepted part of the creative process.
Artists like Drake have little to fear, financially, from AI-generated versions of their voices going viral, so for now (at least), I say let the music live! Record labels, streaming platforms, and their lawyers will catch up eventually, but it seems highly unlikely that AI-generated or augmented music is going away anytime soon.
Let’s see what else AI tools will unlock for musicians across the globe and what they will be empowered to create. For all we know, this could very well be the start of a music revolution.
Blokhaus is a marketing and communications agency with a focus on Web3 and emerging tech. Since we were founded in 2021, Blokhaus has supported numerous high-profile projects and activations around the globe, working in partnership with some of the biggest brands in the world. To learn more about our work, check out our Case Studies. To get in touch, visit our Contact Us page.