"I see more negatives than positives"
AI has had a profound impact across different industries and now it’s making its way onto the music scene.
The rise in AI has been a hot topic in modern society, however many industries like the music industry are concerned about its advances.
This powerful technology has advanced enough to create its own music, changing how we listen, create, and think about new songs.
DESIblitz looks at the extent to which AI has redefined the music scene from its impact on the industry to the individuals involved in Desi music.
What is AI Music?
AI, otherwise known as artificial intelligence, is a powerful technology and software that can operate and perform tasks in a similar way to humans.
By analysing its surroundings and human responses to creating things, AI is able to replicate certain aspects of human performance.
However, AI now goes beyond the realm of human performance.
In most scenarios, it can perform many tasks quicker and more effectively than people.
Many individuals and industries have found this to be a scary notion, with fears that this technology could take over human roles and jobs.
There has already been uproar following AI’s involvement in education with systems like ChatGPT causing chaos across universities and schools.
However, talks have now been turning to AI’s involvement in the music industry with concerns that AI is replicating artists.
There have already been instances in the music industry where this has occurred with people using artists’ voices like Drake’s to create AI tracks.
Since AI can use information already out there, there are fears that it can create new songs using the voice data from music that already exists by artists.
An Unregulated Era of Music
Advancements in technology come with new concerns.
Professionals in the music industry are no doubt worried about the lack of privacy and security involved in AI music.
DESIblitz spoke to 26-year-old, Anish Mistry, an urban Desi DJ who shared his views on unregulated AI:
“The whole AI scene in terms of music is so scary and dangerous, especially when we don’t understand it right now and it’s not regulated.
“There are so many blurred lines on this topic.
“We can’t even understand the laws on it because there are none.”
The laws regarding AI music are still unclear across the world. The lack of regulations makes way for legal chaos and issues such as data mining. Anish goes on to say:
“Personally, as a creative, I see more negatives than positives with AI music.
“For example, the Drake and The Weeknd AI song that someone uploaded on TikTok went viral.
“But the question remains of who do they pay the royalties to, the person that created the song or Drake?”
There are clearly a number of concerns when it comes to AI due to the lack of understanding and security it brings. Anish stated further:
“Another reason why it is so scary is the big question of what are the copyright laws when it comes to matters like this?”
The lack of coherent or set laws concerning AI music is a frightening topic and has undoubtedly caused confusion for many creatives in the music industry.
Impacting Musical Emotion
Desi and Bollywood music is all about emotion and telling human stories and experiences through the power of music.
This begs the question of how a technology like AI can capture human emotion in the way music created by a human does.
The lack of emotion attached to this new technology being infused into the music industry is a brewing concern among creators. Anish expressed:
“Music is meant to be emotional, but an AI robot is not going to have feelings.”
Anish makes a valid point about the emotional aspect of music lacking in the world of AI as it can replicate many things, but the spectrum of human emotion is something it may miss at.
Thus, the motives behind creating AI music seem skewed if it’s not being used to capture human experience.
There are even concerns that the motives behind it are simply a money-making and data-mining scheme by technology companies. Anish explained:
“This whole AI scene in terms of making music and reading the crowd is just dangerous and can harm the music a lot.
“I think companies are just thinking how to make money off it and are only thinking about profits when it comes to AI music”.
The legendary musician, Sting, recently commented on these harmful motives behind AI, saying:
“I don’t think we can allow the machines to just take over. We have to be wary.”
Although, more advancements in AI tools are bringing more emotion to the artist’s voice.
Things like cadences, tone, and breathing are being used to make AI songs more believable – and it’s working.
AI and The Desi Music Scene
Whilst AI music is making its presence in the music industry it is still yet to reach some genres of music with such impact.
Though Desi music has transformed rapidly in the past few decades, it is yet to be impacted significantly by AI.
However, people in the music industry are still curious as to how it could potentially impact the Desi music scene and if people will really want to listen to Desi music infused with AI technology.
DJ Anish says:
“In terms of AI music in the Bollywood and Indian music scene, personally, I’ve not seen anything that impactful.
“But I don’t know whether it’s because I’m not actively looking for it.
“It’s still a very unexplored area but I don’t know if it will have a great reception from audiences and listeners.
“I did see one AI Bollywood song on TikTok. I remember hearing it and thinking well I know my Bollywood songs, this song does not exist.
“At first, I was confused because the song just didn’t sound right to me, it didn’t appeal to me as much as regular Desi music created by humans would.
“It seems to be a lot of the AI music at the moment is created and thrown onto TikTok.”
“It’s the hottest place where things can go viral and then makes its way onto other social media sites”.
There is even an understanding that AI music is not something that will be found on the charts as people are only discovering this music through social media platforms like TikTok or Twitter:
It seems that even those in the music industry are disillusioned by the impact that AI music will have on the diasporic music scene.
Impact on DJs
AI music has no doubt affected different folds of the music industry in different ways from the way music is being listened to, to the way its created.
Speaking to Anish on how AI has specifically impacted the DJ scene of the music industry he said:
“It hasn’t affected my work massively yet because I haven’t gone out of my way at the moment to try and search for these AI-type tracks.
“I’m still getting my music from actual producers and tracks.”
When asked about why he has steered away from using AI in his professional career he revealed:
“Unless it’s viral how do I know people have heard it?
“It’s different when you play a chart music song or artist. For example, Dua Lipa or AP Dhillon because everyone listens to the Asian network.
“For DJs like me and others in the industry when it comes to playing music whether it’s a crowd of 50 or 500 people, you’ve got to read the crowd and see what they’re into.
“So, I could be dropping banger after banger until all of a sudden there’s an AI track.
“It might be viral or not, but it just questions whether this music is really what people want to listen to and vibe to.
“So, it’s easier to play a track like that compared to an AI song that people haven’t heard of since you won’t know how people will react to AI music.”
Speaking on whether it’s impacted the craft of DJing he said:
“In terms of DJ-ing specifically, I’ve yet to see AI enter this space in terms of software and mixing because there isn’t really anything out there like that.
“It would be interesting to see AI come up with a mix or where it chooses what song to play next because it’s trending right now or if it would mix really well since that would be quite cool!”
Listening to music is a profoundly human experience, thus it’s only understandable that music industry professionals would have concerns over growing technological advances removing this human aspect.
Whilst the advances made by AI are certainly incredible, the harmful nature of this tech towards the music industry is yet to have a secure solution.
Work still needs to be done to ensure that AI music won’t destroy the efforts made by independent and mainstream artists in the industry and that they aren’t negatively impacted by AI.