AI Music & the GRAMMY's - Where do we draw the line?
A song written on A.I maybe eligible for a Grammy… it’s one of those sentences that you read and it makes your face screw as you’re reading it! How did we get here?
I like to think of myself as a modern man, prepared for the future not scared of it. I embrace A.I and how it can support daily operations and heck, I wouldn’t even mind having a robot in my house that does the dishes! Being a writer, there’s a love hate battle I have with A.I. On one hand it definitely helps me when it comes to writing boring formal proposals that have no soul, but on the other hand, I am completely against using it for creative writing, like my articles or a SONG!
So why is that? We know singers have ghostwriters and writing camps, so why is this different? It's simple, ‘no humans were harmed in the making of this product’… in other words its soul less!
Song writing is a window to an artists lifestyle, experiences, fears, wins, plans, thoughts and emotions. It’s not just words that rhyme to a melodic beat. Ed Sheeran hasn’t got to where he has by hiding how he feels, he has bared all in the lyrics that we singalong too - ‘People fall in love in mysterriiioousss ways’ isn’t quite as touching when its written by a chatbot!
So let's explore how this can even be a thing. In America you have two types of law, state law and federal law. Federal Law is what governs the whole of America, State Law is just for the place you live in. Simply put, somebody in New York has got a different variation of rules to follow than somebody living in LA. It is not a federal offence for these songs to be made, yet! This use of technology is so new, that there isn’t anything lawfully written which protects artists in this way across America. The Drake & Weeknd A.I song was actually written by humans who tried to ‘match the content, delivery, tone and phrasing of the artists’ before using A.I to enhance it. This I what makes its eligible for a Grammy. Stupid, right!?
The Grammy’s are supposed to be like the Olympics of music. It’s an official, prestigious award given to the best in each field. In the Olympics, we wouldn’t see Usain Bolt race against somebody fuelled up with steroids or other performance enhancements. And in the Grammy’s we don’t want to see Drake vs Bionic Artificial Drake! Leave it yeah! (Lethal Bizzle Voice)
Where has the artistic integrity gone? It makes me understand why artists like Kanye West (Ye) have pictured themselves urinating on the award and generally disrespecting it anyway they can. They knew something we didn’t. I think Snoop Dogg, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, Brian McKnight, Jimmy Hendrix, Diana Ross and more would agree, as they have all been nominated many times but never won a Grammy. You have to admit some of those names definitely deserve a Grammy. And then there’s that famous moment when Macklemore won best Rap over Kendrick Lamar!
Maybe the Grammy’s haven’t been cool for a while. When we look back, has the Grammy’s really been relevant in recent years?
Just because it's not illegal, yet! there has to be some moral governance around the rules and regulations that fit the nomination criteria at the Grammy’s - otherwise they are at danger of losing their integrity. The record industry needs to think about how it is going to embrace A.I, but not certify it. Allowing these songs to be nominated sends out the wrong message. It says that songwriting is no longer exclusive to humans and leaves the road open for Alexa and Siri to put out a joint album!
This type of technology can be used recreationally, to enhance karaoke experiences or on video games consoles where artist get paid royalties. That would be moral. But sadly, I think we all know deep down, that this tool will probably just be used for record labels to keep putting music out when an artist passes away. The music industry has always been cold and calculated and now they have Artificial Intelligence helping them to do those calculations.