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Grimes on AI Songs: ‘Feel Free to Use My Voice Without Penalty’

Grimes has weighed in on the use of artificial intelligence in music creation, saying she’d split royalties for successful song that uses her voice.

Grimes attends the world premiere of "Captain Marvel" in Hollywood, California, on March 4, 2019.

AFP via Getty Images

Grimes has weighed in on the use of artificial intelligence in music creation, saying she’s all for it. On Sunday night, she took to Twitter to share that she’d be happy to divvy royalties on a lucrative track that utilizes her singing.

“I’ll split 50 [percent] royalties on any successful AI generated song that uses my voice,” she tweeted, sharing a headline about how the fake Drake and fake the Weeknd song “Heart on My Sleeve” has raised questions for the industry. “Same deal as I would with any artist i collab with. Feel free to use my voice without penalty. I have no label and no legal bindings.”

While Grimes is advocating for AI’s use, the music industry has been grappling with the role of AI in song creation, and its legal and financial ramifications. One of its most recent challenges came by way of the aforementioned “Heart on My Sleeve,” which was created from scratch by TikTok user Ghostwriter977 (who added on a Metro Boomin producer tag to the faux sounds of Drake and the Weeknd), which went viral after it was shared via TikTok on April 15.

Prior to its millions of hits on TikTok, however, it had been uploaded to Spotify and Apple Music on April 4. Universal Music Group, the largest music company in the world and the parent company to Republic Records (Drake, the Weeknd, and Metro Boomin have have licensing and marketing deals that distribute their music via Republic), recently requested that streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music block access from AI services that might be using the music on their platforms to train their algorithms. The track is no longer available on major streaming services including Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal and YouTube.

“The training of generative AI using our artists’ music (which represents both a breach of our agreements and a violation of copyright law) as well as the availability of infringing content created with generative AI on DSPs, begs the question as to 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,” UMG said in a recent statement to Rolling Stone. “These instances demonstrate why platforms have a fundamental legal and ethical responsibility to prevent the use of their services in ways that harm artists.”

As for Grimes’ position, on Sunday she had a different outlook, she tweeted she was for “open sourcing all art and killing copyright.”

Further encouraging those who would like to take her up on the offer to create an AI generated composition with her voice, she added: “We’re making a program that should simulate my voice well but we could also upload stems and samples for ppl to train their own.”

From Rolling Stone US