Can an AI-generated song win a Grammy? Quite possibly, yes

The anonymous musician's team has submitted his previous AI single 'Heart on my sleeve' to the Grammys.
Sejal Sharma
Travis Scott, Ghostwriter and 21 Savage
Travis Scott, Ghostwriter and 21 Savage

1, 2 and 3 

Ghostwriter strikes again. And no, we are not talking about a behind-the-curtain novelist writing under a pen name revealing salacious details about a celebrity in a New York bestseller. 

We are talking about the notorious Ghostwriter977, who, as his modus operandi goes, drops an AI-generated single every couple of months. This time, the anonymous musician has posted the song ‘Whiplash’ using voice simulations of Travis Scott and 21 Savage.

In April, the TikTok artist used machine learning software to create a song called ‘Heart on my sleeve’ using the altered voices of Drake and The Weeknd. The song coaxed an affirmative response from the Universal Music Group, representing both artists. Consequently, the song was pulled down from YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Music, but not before it had garnered listens and views in millions.

But this time, Ghostwriter was careful to only upload the song to TikTok and X, formerly known as Twitter.

In another post on X, he called on both Scott and 21 Savage to collaborate with him. He further wrote, “The future of music is here. Artists now have the ability to let their voice work for them without lifting a finger.” And then directly addressing the two artists, Ghostwriter said, “It’s clear that people want this song. DM me on Instagram if you’re interested in allowing me to release this record or if you’d like me to remove this post.”

Ghostwriter also said that if both the rappers permit the release of ‘Whiplash,’ he will direct their respective royalties towards them. Epic Records - the label representing Travis Scott and 21 Savage - hasn’t issued a statement yet.

Heading for a Grammy?

In an interview with the New York Times, Ghostwriter revealed that he would submit ‘Heart on my sleeve’ to the Grammys in two categories: Best Rap Song and Song of the Year. And, errr… the Grammys isn’t exactly against it. In fact, the CEO and President of the Recording Academy, Harvey Mason jr, which hosts the Grammys awards every year, said in July that music with AI elements is indeed eligible for entry and consideration for a Grammy nomination.

However, it remains unclear if the song can qualify for those categories. Interesting Engineering had reported earlier, as per Grammy guidelines, if AI is used in the lead vocals of a song, the track is eligible to be nominated in the songwriting category and not the performance category since a human has not carried out the said performance. If the lyrics of a song were written with AI's help but were sung by a human, the track would neither be eligible for the songwriting or composition category.

In the case of 'Heart on my sleeve,' the song has a chance for qualification in the songwriting category since the lyrics were written by a human, but not in the performance category. And since 'Best Rap Song' and 'Song of the Year' are awarded to songwriters, Ghostwriter might qualify for the Grammys.

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