Canadian electro-pop artist Grimes tweeted on Monday that she’ll “split 50% royalties” with anyone who uses her voice on a “successful AI generated song.”
The thirty-five-year-old artist referred to the royalty split as the “same deal as I would with any artist i collab with [sic]” and gave creators the license to use her voice “without penalty” since she has “no label and no legal bindings.”
She added that she's in the process of creating a program that "should simulate my voice well" and was mulling the possibility of uploading "stems and samples for ppl to train their own."
“I think it's cool to be fused w a machine [sic] and I like the idea of open sourcing all art and killing copyright,” she said in a follow-up tweet.
Grimes’s original tweet included a screenshot of a New York Times article about an AI-generated Drake and The Weeknd collaboration that went viral and was subsequently pulled from major streaming services last Monday after a complaint by the artists’ label Universal.
I'll split 50% royalties on any successful AI generated song that uses my voice. Same deal as I would with any artist i collab with. Feel free to use my voice without penalty. I have no label and no legal bindings. pic.twitter.com/KIY60B5uqt
— 𝔊𝔯𝔦𝔪𝔢𝔰 (@Grimezsz) April 24, 2023
The debate around whether machine-generated music constitutes copyright infringement continued apace later in the week when British band Breezer released an album of original music featuring an AI-generated voice in the style of Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher.
Grimes and crypto
Grimes, whose real name is Claire Boucher, was previously signed to Columbia, an imprint of Big Three label Sony, after spending most of her recording life as an artist on 4AD, a British indie giant. Her tenure as a major label artist only lasted two songs before her contract was dissolved.
The musician prides herself on her distinct cyberpunk aesthetic, which has been a constant theme throughout her different incarnations as a singer, songwriter and producer. As such, she frequently espouses strong views on emerging technologies like AI and blockchain.
During her on-again-off-again relationship with Twitter/Tesla/SpaceX CEO and Bitcoin/Dogecoin fan Elon Musk, Grimes put out a collection of original art as NFTs and collected a tidy $6 million at the time. Grimes is known for her illustrations and often designs her own record covers.
She has also previously listed her soul as for sale at $10 million. However, she may have missed out by not tokenizing it.