A R Rahman Over AI Use To Recreate Late Singers' Voice


A R rahman Over AI Use To Recreate Late Singers' Voice: Took Permission, Sent Deserving Remuneration

An R rahman has said that his team took due permission to use AI software for recreating the voices of late singers Bamba Bakya and Shahul Hameed for a track in Rajinikanth's new film "Lal Salaam". Music composer a r rahman has said that his team took due permission to use AI software for recreating the voices of late singers Bamba Bakya and Shahul Hameed for a track in veteran actor Rajinikanth's new film "Lal Salaam".

The two artists, who had worked with rahman on multiple projects before their deaths, are credited as playback singers for the track "Thimiri Yezhuda". "The mesmerizing voices of Bamba Bakya & Shahul Hameed in #ThimiriYezhuda from #LalSalaam made possible by @timelessvoicesx AI voice models.

This marks the first time in the industry that a late legend's voice has been brought back to life," the official handle of music studio sony music South posted on X on Monday. Commenting on the studio's post, rahman said his team had taken permission from the families of Bakya and Hameed to recreate their voices for the song.

"We took permission from their families and sent deserving remuneration for using their voice algorithms ..technology is not a threat and a nuisance if we use it right…#respect #nostalgia," he wrote. Bakya, who crooned popular numbers such as the latest 'Ponni Nadhi' in Mani Ratnam's "Ponniyin Selvan", died in september 2022 at the age of 42. He had also sung the tracks "Pullinangal" from Rajinikanth's "2.0", "Kalame Kalame" from Vijay's "Bigil" and "Simtarangaran" from "Sarkar".

Before he died in 1998, Hameed worked extensively with rahman for films such as "Gentleman", "Jeans" and "Kadhalan

The ace composer's decision to take the help of AI received mixed reactions from his fans. Some lauded rahman for embracing technology while others believed that such a move opens the floodgates for misusing technology that will render musicians "obsolete".

One fan wrote, "As a fanboy for three decades now, though appreciating your ready synergy with any futuristic tech and innovations, this feels a tad odd and unconvincing, sir. Most people these days don’t even have much stronger bonds with their families even when they’re alive. In that case, how can a posthumous approval from the family stand good, sir? (sic)" A user on X said the use of AI to recreate the voices of Bamba Bakya and Shahul Hameed felt like "corruption" of their work.

"I have mixed feelings. Both of them have unique voices and a limited but enjoyable body of original work. This corruption of their body of work with AI-generated voice does two things: Dilute their body of work and deprive chances to budding singers. We expect better from you," the user posted.

Some people said rahman is leading by example and is advocating for the ethical use of technology.

"Leading by example.. showing the world how to do it. It's emotional to hear Shahul Hameed after so many years in your music Sir. A combo we've loved, celebrated, and cherished," a user said. Another said, "Absolutely. The ethical use of AI is so powerful. Excellent innovation and thank you bring this forward. Looking forward to hearing from SPB (S P Balasubrahmanyam) soon." A person hailed rahman for compensating the family of Bakya and Hameed.

"It is a good gesture to help the old singer's family! As you have introduced so many new singers, we understand that you will continue to introduce new talents in the future as well. #AIArtwork #AITECH. I am glad that u have started the #AIRevolution in the tamil film industry," the user said.

Rajinikanth's “Lal Salaam” is directed by his filmmaker-daughter aishwarya Rajnikanth. The film, which also features vishnu vishal and Vikranth, will be released on february 9.

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