In a move that blurs the lines between technology and artistry, a pseudonymous TikTok user named Ghostwriter has submitted an AI-generated song for Grammy consideration. Titled “Heart on My Sleeve,” the controversial tune fuses the vocal styles of Drake and The Weeknd. Ghostwriter aims to clinch Best Rap Song and Song of the Year nominations.
However, the submission comes with its own set of complexities. The song was removed from streaming platforms earlier this year due to legal threats. According to The New York Times, Ghostwriter who penned the lyrics, is technically eligible for Grammy recognition despite the use of AI to replicate the artists’ vocal styles without permission.
Significantly, Harvey Mason Jr., the CEO of the Recording Academy, recently confirmed that music partly created with AI is eligible for Grammy awards. Mason had earlier told Decrypt, “It would be unfair to dismiss every piece of creative work submitted if AI had influenced it.” Given the human origins of the lyrics, the Drake/Weeknd song is “absolutely eligible,” he verified.
Additionally, Ghostwriter released a new AI-assisted single, “Whiplash,” featuring imagined vocals from Travis Scott and 21 Savage. This time, the artist requested permission for public release in exchange for any generated revenue, asserting, “The future of music has arrived.”
Consequently, Ghostwriter’s persistence reflects a growing sentiment among some music industry leaders that AI is an unavoidable future element. These execs believe that “the technical toothpaste has already run out of the tube,” suggesting that the industry needs to adapt rather than resist.
Mason himself acknowledged the ethical and artistic questions AI brings to the table. “Not knowing exactly what [AI] is going to mean or do in the next months and years gives me pause and some concerns,” he said. Nevertheless, he acknowledged its inevitable role in shaping the future of music and the arts.
Hence, the Recording Academy is at an ethical crossroads as the Grammy voting period approaches. Members will cast their votes from October 11 to October 20, and the results will be publicized on November 10. The 66th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony will occur on February 4, 2024, at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.
Regardless of the outcome, this episode serves as a compelling case study for the evolving relationship between technology and artistic expression, a topic that’s sure to gain more traction as AI continues to infiltrate the creative industries.