Bacardi has officially teed up the November release of The Concept A.I.bum, an EP that will attempt to demonstrate “how A.I. can be positively leveraged to provide emerging talent unprecedented opportunities.”
Bacardi rum, the namesake parent company of which also owns Grey Goose vodka, Patrón tequila, and a number of other brands, just recently announced the upcoming artificial intelligence effort. Of course, all manner of artists, among them Post Malone, Ellie Goulding, Halsey, Metro Boomin, and Jay-Z (who’s litigating against Bacardi), have inked sponsorship deals involving adult beverages and/or debuted alcoholic-drink companies of their own.
But Bacardi appears poised to become the first spirits company to incorporate AI into its music initiatives, with the much-publicized technology specifically set to drive an “evolution” of the Music Liberates Music program.
Now in its fifth year, the latter is described by Bacardi as a campaign “to champion underrepresented voices in the music industry.” Last year, Music Liberates Music rolled out “The Wearable Album,” billed as the “first QR-powered fashion capsule that rewards fans for promoting rising music artists.”
Back to the program’s newest project, the initially mentioned Concept A.I.bum centers on an ongoing partnership with Grammy-winning producer Boi-1da, who’s made available “a selection of beats from” his “unreleased catalogue” to train a generative-AI system.
Five acts, Adultsville artist Bellah, Position Music-signed rapper Blackway, U.S.-based R&B singers Floyd Fuji and Kyle Dion, and Canadian vocalist Savannah Ré, are expected to collaborate and ultimately release music with Boi-1da’s AI counterpart.
“Over several weeks,” Bacardi explained of the creative process, “each artist will feed their tracks into a state-of-the-art generative A.I. tool, which has been trained on a selection of beats from Boi-1da’s unreleased catalogue and will learn the sounds and cadence of his unique musical style.
“After submitting their demos to Boi-1da, each artist will work alongside him to refine their works, resulting in the EP’s final set of songs to be released this November,” continued the company.
On the compensation and rights fronts, “all proceeds from the project” – including streaming revenue and income from a limited-edition vinyl – “will directly benefit the participating artists,” who, along with Boi-1da, will retain “all copyright and subsequent revenue from the tracks,” per Bacardi.
Addressing the AI release in a statement, Bacardi rum marketing exec Laila Mignoni emphasized that “approaching this project with the utmost respect and protection for the artist was key in developing this new tool.” And Boi-1da, for his part, highlighted an ambitious vision for AI’s industry role so long as authorization and human contributions are prioritized.
“One of the most fulfilling responsibilities I have as a producer is to work with up-and-coming talent,” Boi-1da relayed in part. “Through the Concept A.I.bum, we’ve provided unprecedented access to my personal production style. I’m able to work with an international collective of artists simultaneously, while still honoring their creative autonomy.
“Music as an art has continually grown thanks to innovative technology, and with AI, I believe we can revolutionize the music industry for good if we view it as a way to provide opportunities that enhance music’s human element, rather than replace it,” he concluded.
Earlier this year, Grimes invited fans to create and release music with her AI soundalike, and the resulting Spotify artist page currently boasts over 105,000 monthly listeners. Meanwhile, logic and evidence suggest that the industry prevalence of artificial intelligence will spike dramatically during the remainder of 2023 and especially throughout 2024.