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AI Music: Bots Can Now Write Songs, and Created a New Kurt Cobain Hit

4 mins
Updated by Nicole Buckler
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In Brief

  • AI can now write lyrics, music and make a video clip
  • AI can also produce new songs made from an artist's back catalog
  • Does this render the human musician obsolete?
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AI Music is now part of the cultural landscape, whether we like it or not. Artificial Intelligence (AI) can now write lyrics, music and even produce a stunning video to accompany the sound. Is this the death of the human musician as we know it?

Is AI stealing the creative process from human artists? Or is this just a new form of art that gives pleasure to many?

Ever since Kurt Cobain committed suicide in 1994, his fans have lamented the loss of the music that never was.

Now, using a new type of music AI, new songs “by” Cobain are a reality. All it takes is for fans to feed Cobain’s existing music into a bot. The bot uses machine learning to recognize patterns. From there, it can produce a new song, based on the back catalog.

Think this is something far off into the future? Wrong. This actually happened.

The new tune “by” Kurt Cobain has made its way onto YouTube. It is called Drowned in the Sun. The lyrics and music were written by the AI. The only thing that was added were vocals by a Nirvana tribute act singer.

The organization that created the song was a charity for mental health, called Over The Bridge. They named the project the “Lost Tapes of the 27 Club.” The unfortunate club members all died at 27. The collective included Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix, and Jim Morrison.

Man, I Know “by” Amy Winehouse

The Roads Are Alive “by” the Doors

You’re Gonna Kill Me “by” Jimi Hendrix

AI Music and Future Possibilities

These new songs were made using a free Google AI program called Magenta.  

This brings up the question as to just how much of our lives are going to be enhanced by AI. If we are going to be spending a lot of time in the impending Metaverse, how much of this will be created by bots? From the background scenes to the narratives… and now, to the music, possibly, 100% could be AI-created.

If music is the background to our lives, AIs getting involved poses a fascinating philosophical question. Is music produced by a bot really music? Is this creativity? And if it is something we are all listening to, will humans lose their musical skills, seeing as they won’t be needed anymore?

The new works being created seem to have endless potential. For example, Sony used the Magenta software to make a new song “by” the Beatles.

AI Music: For and Against

There are two sides to this argument. Many people are saying that music made by an AI just can’t manage the creative process like humans can. It is being human and the human experience that makes the music good.

The other argument is that AI can make a song polished and beautiful, much more precisely, and much faster than humans can. So, is AI creative? Is it superior? Is it beautiful? Uplifting? Is it art?

And how about classical music? Yep, that’s there too. An AI called AIVA can create classical songs that are totally new and unique. And they are absolutely heart-squeezingly beautiful.

There is no getting away from it, people are loving this new type of creative process. For example, a TikTok influencer called Louyah fed music from Post Malone and The Kid LAROI into an AI music bot. He said, “This is insane, I don’t know who’s onto this technology, but we are onto something.”

The song is catchy ASF and you can’t not love it.

Does this mean that bots are actually writing music that is better than the original artists?

Video Clips

Not only can AI now write songs and lyrics, but they can also generate video clips for bot-written songs. So there you have the full package. Words, music, and the video clip, all without having to pick up an instrument or write any words.  

A creator called DoodleChaos asked AI to make a music video for a song called Rezonate by Canvas.

Needless to say, this is an absolutely beautiful visual interpretation of the audio. It’s a feast for the eyes, there’s no denying it.

At the end of the day, this new type of music is a thing of beauty. But it does need a human to produce it and sift through the AI efforts that failed. So I guess we have to accept that this human-AI collab will be here going forwards. Whether we like it or not, there’s no going back.

Got something to say about AI music or anything else? Write to us or join the discussion in our Telegram channel. You can also catch us on Tik Tok, Facebook, or Twitter.

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Nicole Buckler
Nicole Buckler has been working as an editor and journalist for over 25 years, writing from Sydney, Melbourne, Taipei, London, and Dublin. She now writes from the Gold Coast in Australia. Nicole first bought Bitcoin in 2013 not really understanding what she was doing. She is an accidental HoDLer. Got a story on the culture side of crypto? Email [email protected]
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