AI-created song removed from streaming platforms

An ingenious AI tune impersonating Canadian stars Drake and The Weeknd was removed after causing quite a commotion!

“Heart On My Sleeve,” a tune created using artificial intelligence (AI) software to emulate the voices of Drake and The Weeknd, has been causing a right stir. After receiving millions of listens within a short space of time, Universal Music Group (UMG) stepped in, declaring that the song violates copyright laws and demanding its removal from streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music.

This fascinating AI wonder was whipped up by the enigmatic @ghostwriter, who took to TikTok to explain their creation: “I used AI to make a Drake song feat. The Weeknd,” adding, “This is just the beginning.” The track features the AI-synthesized voices of the two artists singing about actor and pop star Selena Gomez, who previously dated The Weeknd. Intriguing, right?

UMG, which represents both artists under Republic Records, and handles around a third of the global music market, is increasingly concerned over the use of AIs in the creation of music that emulates popular artists. Regarding the use of AI software that has not received the permission of the artists, UMG was eager to challenge in an email to AFP, asking: “Which side of history all stakeholders in the music ecosystem want to be on: the side of artists, fans and human creative expression, or on the side of deep fakes, fraud and denying artists their due compensation?”

This past March, UMG called on streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple to bar AI services from generating music and lyrics derived from copyrighted songs. Following the swift removal of “Heart On My Sleeve” from streaming services, UMG expressed their enthusiasm in a statement, saying they were “encouraged by the engagement of our platform partners on these issues — as they recognise they need to be part of the solution” and adding that “these instances demonstrate why platforms have a fundamental legal and ethical responsibility to prevent the use of their services in ways that harm artists.”

The use of AI technology within the music industry has been a hot topic of late, with some denouncing copyright misuse while others applauding its creative potential.

David Guetta, the renowned French record producer, utilised AI to incorporate vocals similar to those of rapper Eminem into a track in a recent live performance. However, Guetta assures that this particular song will not be released commercially. Talking to the BBC, Guetta likened artificial intelligence to music-making tools of the past, such as electric guitars, bass synths, drum machines, and samplers, which revolutionised the industry and brought us earth-shattering genres like rock ‘n’ roll and hip hop.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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