Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse subject of ‘new music’ created by AI software

The compilation is titled Drowned in the Sun – Lost Tapes Of The 27 Club

Remembering Kurt Cobain, 20 years after his death

AI software has written “new” songs by artists like Nirvana and Amy Winehouse for a project raising awareness around mental health support.

Over The Bridge, a Toronto-based organisation, has put together a compilation of songs, called Drowned in the Sun – Lost Tapes Of The 27 Club, created using artificial intelligence “by” artists who all died at the age of 27. It is available to listen to on YouTube.

“What if all these musicians that we love had mental health support?” Sean O’Connor, a member of the board of directors for Over The Bridge, told Rolling Stone. “Somehow in the music industry, [depression] is normalised and romanticised … Their music is seen as authentic suffering.”

The AI programme being used is Google's Magenta, which looks at an artist's previous work to compose music in the same vein. Another AI programme is then used to create the lyrics. In addition to Winehouse and Nirvana, the AI programme also created songs by “27 Club” members Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison.

The AI Nirvana track “Drowned In The Sun” has vocals by Eric Hogan, who fronts Atlanta-based Nirvana tribute band Nevermind. “If you look at the last quote-unquote Nirvana release, which was, ‘You Know You’re Right’, this has the same type of vibe,” Hogan said.

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“Kurt would just sort of write whatever the hell he felt like writing. And if he liked it, then that was a Nirvana song. I can hear certain things in the arrangement of [Drowned in the Sun] like, ‘OK, that’s kind of an In Utero vibe right here or a Nevermind vibe right here. … I really understood the AI of it.”

He added: “The song is saying, ‘I’m a weirdo, but I like it,’” he says. “That is total Kurt Cobain right there. The sentiment is exactly what he would have said. ‘The sun shines on you, but I don’t know how’ – that’s great.”

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