Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys says AI could be a useful tool for songwriters

He recalls being impressed when his daughter showed him how an AI bot created a song in the style of Pet Shop Boys.

Neil Tennant on stage

Image: Dave J Hogan / Getty

Neil Tennant, one half of synth-pop duo Pet Shop Boys, has shared his belief that AI could be a useful tool for songwriters.

Pet Shop Boys, which Tennant formed with Chris Lowe, managed just fine without AI when they were putting out their biggest hits in the 1980’s such as West End Girls and You Are Always On My Mind, but Tennant has revealed that he wouldn’t be opposed to using it to finish up old songs that got left behind.

In an interview with Radio Times, Tennant recalled how he was amazed when his 15-year-old daughter asked an AI bot to create a song in the style of Pet Shop boys.

He said, “There’s a song that we wrote a chorus for in 2003 and we never finished because I couldn’t think of anything for the verses,” he said. “But now with AI you could give it the bits you’ve written, press the button and have it fill in the blanks. You might then rewrite it, but it could nonetheless be a tool.”

Though some artists – Nick Cave and Young Guru for example – are strongly against integrating AI into music, others however are more embracing. Grimes launched a beta version of her new AI voice platform earlier this month, where users can make their vocals sound like that of the singer. It was used by over 15,000 people within the first two days.

“I’ll split 50 [per cent] royalties on any successful AI generated song that uses my voice,” she wrote on the app. “Feel free to use my voice without penalty. I have no label and no legal bindings.”

Pet Shop Boys drew in one of the biggest crowds at Glastonbury when they headlined the festival last year. The duo are touring through late Spring into Summer, and you can get tickets at PetShopBoys.co.uk.

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