The Rise Of The Amateur Sensation

In Beats + Bytes by Nue Agency

AI is one of the most transformative technologies of our lifetime and there is a lot of talk about how it will impact music. Although I’ve got a list of areas in which the music business needs help, overall it is in a very healthy place. It’s the healthiest I’ve seen it in my career. So, from my perspective, music doesn’t “need” AI’s help, per se. That said, it will absolutely make a positive impact.

One exciting shift happening in music is the rise of the amateur.

Music has always been the great connector, the universal language, and the most expressive medium. Today, it’s being created and consumed at the highest rate in history.

Still, it remains difficult to make great music. It’s a learned and seasoned skill. There is a barrier to entry, which is practical knowledge and at least some, if not all, of those 10,000 hours 🙂

Things are changing, though. With the help of technology, it has been getting “easier” for musicians on many levels. From Pro Tools, to social media, to Youtube and Tunecore, there are fewer gatekeepers and less red tape. Taking a song from the bedroom to the masses is a real thing.

But with the potential of AI, this can be a vastly different game. I believe AI helps the music industry a lot. First, it helps grow revenue for existing IP rights holders and gives the highest skilled individuals added firepower. Second, it raises the floor for amateurs and brings in not only a new wave of artistry, but an entire secondary music market for amateurs.

In 2024, AI will help the amateurs carve out their piece of the pie, no matter how small. Here’s how…

Imagine an amateur has the vision to create a song using certain prompts, such as a full song with a beautiful hook about love, lust, and the magical city of Miami. They plug that into ChatGPT, then add a verse: 16 bars of rap bravado in the style of Ludacris. The verse should be about love, fast cars, Miami sunsets, and cooked lobster for example. Queue the prompt. They don’t want the voice coder to sound like Luda because that’s been done and provides a host of legal challenges. But “inspired by” and “give me the cadence of” doesn’t hurt.

They use an app like Tuney to make a beat that sounds like swing hip hop with drum n’ bass elements (why not?). They take the AI-generated melody and lyrics and record them using voice filters. They generate harmony ideas. The song is now done, with pristine pitch and a perfect pocket.

It’s time to market, so they use Dalle to make futuristic artwork and conceptualize merch ideas with multiple prints to choose from. Their aunt will definitely wear the hoodie to Thanksgiving.

They publish the song on Spotify, Soundcloud, Apple Music, Amazon, et al through Tunecore, use AI to make a lyric video and OpenAI’s Sora to make Reels and TikToks.

Not satisfied to service their home state, they tap into Wondercraft’s ability to translate their song and marketing materials into many languages to target regions all over the world. Now, they’ve got global reach in native tongues.

They dial in their process and repeat it over the course of the year, writing songs about other cities, activities, and experiences. This is the soundtrack to their life and they made it on their own. Not to mention, they own the masters.

Maybe one of the songs catches on, but what’s a hit in 2024 anyway? Absent the radio, most of us haven’t heard the biggest songs in the world. I heard Olivia Rodrigo’s “Vampire” for the first time last week…because I searched it out.

Did I mention there is zero cost to this exercise? Imagine that!

Being an amateur has changed. You may not be able to quit your day job, but technology is again changing the music business forever. The barrier to entry is different. We can all leverage the tech to make music that sounds pro. I’d expect this to lead to a lot more music creators and a lot more songs. Can the amateur market get bigger than the hits market? Is it finally time for the long tail to wag the dog? I’m betting on someone to strike AI music gold in 2024…

No Fields Found.

Also published on Medium.