David Guetta: “If you have terrible taste, your music is still gonna be terrible, even with AI”
The French DJ weighs in on the use of AI in music production.
Credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage
With the rise of AI – don’t worry, not in the Terminator sense, yet – musicians far and wide have weighed in on the rapidly emerging technology, offering their thoughts on whether it’s a force for good or bad in the music world.
Earlier this month, for example, music gear reviewer and musician Cuckoo took a positive stance towards the tech, saying he was ready for the challenge it poses. “When AI comes along, it’s challenging me, I’m here for it, I’m ready, it’s asking me questions: ‘Human, you’re a slacker, I can do what you’re doing – can you take me on? Can you?’” he said.
And in June, Nile Rodgers made his stance on AI clear, saying people should learn to embrace the technology rather than fear it.
Now, in a new conversation on Rolling Stone’s Music Now podcast, DJ David Guetta has weighed in on the conversation, offering a series of insights on the future of AI in music.
“I’ve been following this from the beginning,” he says, when questioned about the AI-generated Eminem rap he played during one of his sets earlier this year.
“I thought it was so interesting, that’s why I did this. I didn’t wanna release a record like this – it was just to open a conversation. And I think I was right to open this conversation.”
Guetta is then asked for his opinion on the viral AI-generated Drake and Weeknd song, Heart on My Sleeve, which landed on streaming services earlier this year before being taken down.
“There’s a bit of a loophole right now, because there’s no law because this is so new, but this is why when I did the Eminem thing, I did it on a record that was absolutely obvious that it was not an Eminem record. It was just to show technically that it was interesting what was happening.”
He continues: “But, to me, I don’t see this as a threat. A lot of people are freaking out at the moment. I just see this as another tool for us to make better records, make better demos. If I would wanna sell a record to Ariana Grande [or] Rihanna, I think it’s a good way to have her singing on it, so that she knows exactly how it’s gonna sound.”
Guetta says that producers and musicians should be less fearful, because there’s one thing that AI cannot replicate, and that’s taste.
“The more years [that pass], the more accessible music production [becomes],” he says. “You used to have to spend thousands of dollars to be able to be in the studio, have the instruments, have the musicians come in.
“Now, I do everything with my laptop, and nothing else. I don’t use any hardware. And this is something I believe in deeply. I really think that it’s the best way to work today.
“I think what matters is what I have to say as an artist. And what defines an artist is [their] taste, more than anything else – more than his technical ability. So, I think the fact that today you can go on ChatGPT and say, write me a verse in the style of Drake, doesn’t mean that you’re gonna say stuff that is exciting enough to beat Drake.”
Guetta concludes: “The way I see it, AI is gonna be one more tool to democratise music, but if you have terrible taste, your music is still gonna be terrible, even with AI. You can use the voice of Drake, The Weeknd and Prince at the same time – if the song sucks, it’s still gonna be a bad song.”
Listen to the full podcast on Spotify.
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