It’s been revealed that Heart On My Sleeve, the track that sent shockwaves through the music industry earlier this year thanks to its use of AI vocals that closely resembled those of Drake and The Weeknd, has been submitted for two Grammy Awards: Best Rap Song and Song Of The Year.
Speaking earlier this year, Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr confirmed that songs with AI elements could be considered for Grammys providing the music was written and performed “mostly by a human”, and he’s now reiterated that stance to The New York Times.
“As far as the creative side, [Heart On My Sleeve is] absolutely eligible because it was written by a human,” he notes. However, the track - which was created by an anonymous artist known as Ghostwriter - might fall at another hurdle.
Grammy rules state that, in order to be eligible, a song must have “general distribution” - be available to buy or stream on approved platforms - and Heart On My Sleeve was quickly pulled from streaming services, possibly at the behest of Universal Music Group, Drake and The Weeknd’s record company.
Ghostwriter returned earlier this week with a snippet of another song, Whiplash, which features AI-generated vocals designed to sound like Travis Scott and 21 Savage. What’s more, the mysterious producer has made the two artists he’s emulating an intriguing offer.
“The future of music is here. Artists now have the ability to let their voice work for them without lifting a finger,” reads a statement. “If you’re down to put it out, I will clearly label it as AI, and I’ll direct royalties to you. Respect either way.”
I used AI to make a Travis Scott song feat. 21 Savage… the future of music is here. Who wants next? pic.twitter.com/jFKLTzyzeTSeptember 5, 2023
Scott and 21 Savage are yet to respond to the proposal, but it has echoes of Grimes’ offer to split royalties equally with producers who create songs using her voice.
The New York Times also reports that, since the release of Heart On My Sleeve, the Ghostwriter team has been engaging with record labels, tech leaders, music platforms and artists in order to discuss how AI can be used as a force for musical good.