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Grimes Breaks Boundaries: Offers 50% Royalties On AI-Generated Music Using Her Voice

Grimes, the Canadian electro-Pop artist, embraces AI and challenges copyright with a bold offer for creators.

BeatCurry Team


Grimes, the renowned Canadian electro-pop artist, has recently made an intriguing proposition regarding the use of her voice in AI-generated music. Known for her avant-garde approach to art and her fascination with emerging technologies, Grimes took to Twitter to express her enthusiasm for “open sourcing all art and killing copyright.” In a tweet, she granted creators permission to employ her voice in their machine-generated compositions, going as far as offering to share 50% of the royalties for any successful AI-generated song featuring her voice.

The musician’s declaration comes in the wake of streaming platforms removing an AI-generated song using simulated voices of Drake and The Weeknd. Universal Music Group (UMG), which represents both artists, called for the purge after “Heart on My Sleeve” garnered over 15 million listens on TikTok and 600,000 on Spotify. UMG argued that publishing a song trained on its artists’ voices was “a breach of our agreements and a violation of copyright law.”

Grimes expressed her curiosity about the creative possibilities that AI technology holds and described herself as “interested in being a Guinea pig.” She compared the royalty split to that of a typical collaboration, emphasizing that she wanted to extend the same deal to artists who utilize her voice. Since she operates independently without any label or legal constraints, she declared that creators could freely use her voice “without penalty.”

The artist even disclosed her intention to develop a program capable of simulating her voice effectively. She pondered the idea of sharing stems and samples for individuals to train their own AI models. This move exemplifies her inclination towards merging human expression with machines and embracing the concept of open-source art while questioning the relevance of copyright. Nevertheless, Grimes clarified that she might consider copyright takedowns in certain cases, particularly if her voice is employed for lyrics she deems “toxic.” However, she expressed a strong aversion to taking down songs and suggested that it would require significant provocation, humorously stating, “Like no baby murder songs plz.”

The artist acknowledged that chaos might ensue from this experiment, acknowledging that Grimes is more of an art project than a music project. She emphasized her ongoing objective of pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo, even if it results in unfavorable outcomes. Grimes’ tweet featured a screenshot of a New York Times article discussing the removal of an AI-generated Drake and The Weeknd collaboration from major streaming platforms. Universal Music Group, the representative label for both artists, had requested its removal, asserting that the song, titled “Heart on My Sleeve,” violated copyright agreements.

This recent announcement is not Grimes’ first foray into the realm of AI. In 2020, she collaborated with mood music startup Endel to launch an AI-generated lullaby app, driven by her desire to create an improved sleeping environment for her son, X Æ A-XII. In the past, she has also expressed her belief that generative AI could eventually surpass human capabilities in art and science, potentially heralding the end of human-dominated artistic expression.

The debate surrounding the copyright implications of machine-generated music continued to unfold when the British band Breezer released an album featuring an AI-generated voice imitating the style of Liam Gallagher, the frontman of Oasis. Grimes, whose real name is Claire Boucher, initially signed with Columbia, an imprint of the major label Sony, after spending a significant portion of her career with 4AD, a prominent British indie label. However, her tenure as a major label artist was short-lived, and her contract was eventually dissolved after the release of only two songs.

Throughout her artistic journey, Grimes has maintained a distinct cyberpunk aesthetic and consistently embraced emerging technologies like AI and blockchain. These elements have become integral parts of her artistic identity as a singer, songwriter, and producer.

As Grimes continues to push the boundaries of art and explore the possibilities presented by AI, her decision to offer her voice for AI-generated music showcases her commitment to unconventional and experimental approaches. By challenging the existing notions of copyright and collaborating with technology, she seeks to provoke thought and explore the uncharted territories of creativity.


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