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Photography Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Grimes calls song made by AI-cloning her voice a ‘masterpiece’

The track was made using the artist’s AI-powered Elf.Tech

Last month, Grimes urged fans to create songs using her AI-generated voice through her new website Elf.Tech, where anyone can upload themselves singing and have their voice generated in the style of the artist, free of charge. Now, an LA-based artist called Kito has released a new track “Cold Touch” using the software – and, according to Grimes, it’s a “masterpiece”. 

OK that’s maybe an exaggeration, but the song is admittedly catchy and holds recognisable Grimes hallmarks, such as her synthesised, cyborgian vocals. Nevertheless, it appears that Grimes has liked the track so much – she also called is an “amazing song” – that she’s agreed to an actual collaboration with Kito at a later date, sans bot. 

“Feel free to use my voice without penalty. I have no label and no legal bindings,” Grimes wrote in a tweet last month announcing the software. “I think it's cool to be fused [with] a machine and I like the idea of open-sourcing all art and killing copyright.”

This isn’t the first time that an artist has used AI to give people licence to use their voice, however. Predicting the growing relationship between the music industry and machine-learning tech, Holly Herndon and her partner Matt Dryhurst launched Holly+, the artist’s AI-powered “digital twin”, back in 2021, allowing anyone to transform an audio file into music sung using Herndon’s voice.  

But some musicians have responded less favourably to the mainstreaming of AI across the industry. Earlier this month,  Universal Music Group took legal action after an AI collab between Drake and The Weeknd went viral. Since then, Google has introduced a DALL-E style text-to-music generator and Spotify playlists are seemingly filling up with AI-generated tracks. If AI art is any indication, something big is about to happen, but whether that‘s an explosion of something actually creatively exciting or homogenously mid it yet to be seen. 

Listen to Kito‘s track “Cold Touch” below.