“There’s going to be people who will make music in ways they weren’t previously able to”: James Blake on AI

Blake recently spoke to Zane Lowe about Grimes’ use of AI, the benefits of the technology and its inevitable disadvantages.

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James Blake on The Zane Lowe Show

James Blake on The Zane Lowe Show

Producer and singer James Blake has commented on the benefits of AI technology in music production, predicting more accessibility for everyone as a result of it.

Discussed during the latest episode of The Zane Lowe Show on Apple Podcasts, Blake also talks about Grimes’ democratising use of AI and his own stance on the controversial topic.

“AI is going to open up a lot of possibilities for composition.” He says. “I think there’s a lot of exciting things going on with it.

“For example, there’s this one guy who created a synth called Synplant – you can put in any sample and then the synth will recreate that sound on a synth, magically – it just does it. You don’t have to do anything. It’s like, you can just imagine a thing and it just… can be there.

“If you wanted to do that now, you’ve got to sit at a synth, know how to use it, figure it out. There’s going to be a lot of people who [will] make music, who weren’t previously able to in the ways that they want to. It’s really interesting.”

Blake and Lowe go on to discuss singer, producer and DJ Grimes as an example of an artist who embraces AI technology to democratise music creation, even if it means putting her name on art made by others. They refer to Elf.tech, Grimes’ AI platform that allows you to create and distribute your own music using her voice.

“She has democratised herself, right?” Says Blake. “Which is an interesting and new way of thinking about it.”

On whether it’s fair for the artist, he says: “It’s about making sure that the artists are remunerated. I just want to take part in making sure that it doesn’t end up creating music in people’s likenesses that are sold without them having shares in it.”

James Blake’s new album, Playing Robots Into Heaven, is out on 22 September. Pre-order it at his official website.


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