Music, News & Events, Tech

AI creates new songs by Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana

Part of the “Lost Tapes of the 27 Club” project.

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Apr 25, 2021

Songs are being created anew by artificial intelligence. Yes, we know. This sounds super eerie, right? But apparently, it’s real. In a campaign for mental health and well-being, a neural network produced a four-track compilation of the so-called “lost tapes” by the “27 Club.”

 

Open source vocaloid and Cyber popstar Hatsune Miku has shifted the rules of music as we know it. Recently, a slew of AI-powered musicians have emerged, creating a whole new landscape for music. Now, a new AI project is generating hits. The project has primarily taken the focus of the “27 Club,” a phrase used to group artists and actors who died at the age of 27 due to drug battles and mental health problems. You may some of these names – The Doors’ Jim Morrison, Amy Winehouse, Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix. The Lost Tapes of the 27 Club is a posthumous compilation album of four songs, said to shed light on the mental health problem among contemporary musicians.

 

The Toronto-based organization, Over The Bridge, seeks to broaden the dialogue around mental health in the music industry by creating a welcoming atmosphere in which participants can not only feel at ease, but also excel. The organization trained an AI algorithm on isolated hooks, rhythms, melodies, and lyrics by the aforementioned artists. The software analyzes music – learning its compositions before converting them into a new string of hooks, melodies, and rhythms using a synthesizer. After undergoing this process, an audio engineer took these AI-generated tunes and elements, and composed “The Lost Tapes of the 27 Club.”

 

In a statement, the organization explained:

“These artists left us at only 27 years old. These songs were created using artificial intelligence. […] As long as there’s been popular music, musicians and crews have struggled with mental health at a rate far exceeding the general adult population. And this issue hasn’t just been ignored. It’s been romanticized by things like the 27 Club. To show the world what’s been lost to this mental health crisis, we’ve used artificial intelligence to create the album the 27 Club never had the chance to. Through this album, we’re encouraging more music industry insiders to get the mental health support they need, so they can continue making the music we all love for years to come. Because even AI will never replace the real thing.”

 

The album consists of four songs: “The Roads Are Alive,” a tribute to The Doors, “You’re Gonna Kill Me,” a tribute to Jimi Hendrix, “Drowned in the Sun,” a tribute to Nirvana, and “Man, I Know,” a tribute to Amy Winehouse.

 

Photo via David Redfern/Redferns