Randy Travis Harnesses AI to Release His ‘First New Music in More Than a Decade’ — Another Song Is Already Being Created

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Randy Travis has utilized AI to release a new track, “Where That Came From.” Photo Credit: Warner Music Group

Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Randy Travis has capitalized on artificial intelligence to release his first new track in more than a decade, “Where That Came From.”

Warner Music Nashville reached out today with a formal announcement celebrating the project, which coincided with Travis’ 65th birthday. Boasting lifetime sales in excess of 25 million units, the seven-time Grammy winner has had limited speech since suffering a stroke in 2013.

But the setback didn’t mark the end of the Marshville, North Carolina-born artist’s music career, consisting largely of collaborations and archival releases between 2013 and now. As described by Warner Music, which has partnered with the Edith Piaf estate on an AI biopic, the original song came to fruition after Warner Music Nashville co-president Cris Lacy reached out to Travis and his longtime producer, Kyle Lehning.

The latter professional is said to have suggested “Where That Came From,” previously recorded (but not released) by James Dupre, who’s on the road with Travis as part of the More Life Tour. Evidently, that idea set the stage for an in-depth training process and the eventual creation of the work, which was penned by Toby Keith collaborator Scotty Emerick and veteran songwriter John Scott Sherrill.

Lehning and Warner Music “started by pulling 42 Randy Travis tracks from the vault,” isolating and then analyzing the vocals, CBS News relayed. Travis’ voice was subsequently overlaid into a “Where That Came From” rendition recorded by Dupre.

“The second song they’re working on is proving a harder nut to crack,” the same outlet communicated in a video report, confirming that at least one more Randy Travis AI song is being made. While it’s unclear when the effort will become available to fans, the music video for “Where That Came From” debuted today.

Addressing his first newly created release in over a decade, Travis noted that he’d “enjoyed every moment” of the experience.

“Eleven years ago I never thought I would be able to have a hand in music production of any kind,” said the Forever and Ever, Amen author. “But by God’s grace and the support of family, friends, fellow artists, and fans, I’m able to create the music I so dearly love.

“Working with Kyle Lehning and Warner Music Nashville again has been so special and nostalgic, and I’m so excited to share my new song ‘Where That Came From’ with you today. Many thanks to my wonderful team and the best fans in the world for putting me back in the saddle again! I’ve enjoyed every moment of it,” he concluded.

Bigger picture, it goes without saying that fully authorized AI releases made to resemble works from well-known acts are set to become increasingly common moving forward. That unprecedented reality will have far-reaching commercial effects – though closer to the present, much of the focus remains on implementing laws and regulations concerning unauthorized soundalike projects and the training processes behind leading generative AIs.