TikTok has given way to popularizing a number of AI-generated covers and collaborations. One such collaboration was that of a digitized version of rapper Drake and R&B-pop artist the Weeknd. Now, the song, titled “Heart On My Sleeve”, has been submitted for Grammy consideration.
The submission is sparking a larger conversation surrounding artists’ rights when it comes to their voices or lyrics being used for AI generated work without their consent. The track was written by a ghostwriter (literally known as @ghostwriter977) and then programmed to sound like the two popular musicians.
The accuracy of the song’s lyricism and sound shocked TikTok listeners. After the song’s overnight success and ethical backlash on the platform, Ghostwriter disappeared. The musical mystery reappeared yesterday with another AI mashup, continuing to obscure their identity.
The original song was written by the human under the sheet ghost costume, thus making it eligible for Grammy consideration. The move is a surprising one on the Recording Academy’s part.
Social Media Reactions
The Recording Academy’s decision to include the track for Grammy consideration is dividing listeners. While some agree that the legal loophole does allow for it to qualify, others argue that Drake and the Weeknd deserve credits and royalties on the project.
Girl this better not win a Grammy 💀, if it does it better go to Drake and The Weeknd
— steven ❀ (@arianaunext) September 6, 2023
Others argued that the AI replacing real singers phenomenon was reminiscent of the very reasons behind the ongoing SAG-AFTRA and WGA strike. Hollywood actors and writers were at risk of being replaced by AI generated versions of them by several major studios.
This is a disgrace labels and artists should speak out against it
— C (@VioletHazeDC) September 6, 2023
Others argued that the track needs to be disqualified because Ghostwriter never received consent from either musician to use their voices in it.
They stole their voices to make a song and thinks it’s eligible 😭😭😭
— SereS (@realSereS) September 6, 2023
Others were disappointed to see that the music industry opted to recognize technology instead of traditionally recorded music.
i can’t believe this is what the music industry has come to😭 pic.twitter.com/GoJKuCQELL
— 🅰🅶 (@tweetymouth7) September 6, 2023
Some suspected that the Recording Academy is only permitting the song for consideration to drum up ratings for the upcoming live broadcast of the Grammys.
A joke… this is exactly why their ratings has been plummeting for the last 10 years pic.twitter.com/j2WSDgz2jy
— welp. (@YSLONIKA) September 6, 2023
Others complimented Ghostface’s creativity, and felt that AI could be utilized for good in the industry.
That's amazing! AI-generated music has come a long way. It's fascinating to see how technology is shaping the creative industry. I'm curious to listen to "Heart On My Sleeve" and see how it compares to Drake and The Weeknd's other songs. Do you know if it has been well-received…
— JAYE CANE (@Jayecane) September 6, 2023
Who Is Ghostwriter
The writer behind the now highly controversial AI track continues to obscure their identity. Sleuths across TikTok are determined to unmask the mysterious figure. Some suspect that the person under the sheet is singer-songwriter JVKE, whose song “golden hour” found viral TikTok success.
Remember “ghostwriter977” with the drake & the weeknd song “heart on my sleeve”? Well this theory on who it might be from @yokai is VERY interesting. Take a listen and lmk what you guys think #ghostwriter #ghostwriter977 #heartonmysleeve #drake #theweeknd #metroboomin #ai #jvke #music
Whether the artist behind the sheet is JVKE or another established songwriter, their motive remains unclear. Many continue to feel confused as to why this individual would opt to obscure their identity, and why they would submit to the Grammys under their pseudonym. The writer returned with an AI generated Travis Scott song featuring rapper 21 Savage.
The writer is yet to reveal any personal details about their life, or explain their motives for using AI technology in music. Neither Drake nor the Weeknd have commented on their voices being submitted for Grammy consideration without their consent.