In April, an AI-generated song that mimicked Drake and The Weeknd became viral on YouTube, leading Universal Music Group to issue a takedown notice. However, the song is now being considered for a Grammy Award. The creator of the song, who goes by the pseudonym “Ghostwriter,” has submitted it to the Recording Academy, and it appears to be taken seriously despite its questionable origin.
The song, titled “Heart On My Sleeve,” used simulated voices of the two artists to perform a melancholic breakup song allegedly about Selena Gomez, who had a previous romantic relationship with The Weeknd. The song sparked controversy online, with critics arguing that its popularity undermined the originality and creativity of the artists it imitated. One Twitter user noted that much of this AI music targets rap/hip hop, suggesting that those behind it have contempt for the genre.
This contempt seems to extend to the Recording Academy as well. The Academy’s CEO, Harvey Mason Jr., stated in an interview with The New York Times that the song is eligible for consideration because it was written by a human. However, this is debatable as some AI song generators create songs based on prompts from users after analyzing existing songs for cues. Drake himself has expressed disapproval of the unauthorized use of his likeness or voice for AI-generated songs.
In June, the Academy announced that AI-generated songs would be eligible for awards if they were written by humans. However, it remains unclear how the Academy will verify authorship.