How can AI (Artificial Intelligence) help independent musicians succeed?
We always talk about how much more power independent musicians have now a days to run their own music careers without needing a major label lording over them. It’s the power of the internet, social media and the countless businesses popping up to empower artists. Utilizing these resources can turn one musicians or a small team into a very powerful, well run business. The questions is, where do you begin? What’s best to use?
Now, the next big thing is AI (Artificial Intelligence) in every tech industry. You can’t watch the news or go on social media without hearing about AI, and the power of ChatGPT. Hell, I saw a Southpark episode last week all about ChatGPT! But is AI a good thing or bad? Is it progressing too quickly?
Is AI a good thing or bad for the music industry
Lately, you hear the likes of Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak and more calling for a “6 Month Pause” on the progression of AI, that it should be slowed down to better prepare for it. However, it’s here, millions are utilizing it, if you know it or not. So many apps and businesses you use every day are already powered by some sort of AI. If you just refuse to use a tool everybody else is out of principal, you might fall behind, in a crowded field. It may be a better solution to use these tools, but in the right way.
Music is obviously a very different industry than others, it’s more creative, and the last thing you want to do is take that human, artistic element out of music. However, there are plenty of tedious tasks all independent musicians need to continually do and hate doing, where AI can help to empower all artists to succeed.
These are just a few of the ways independent musicians can utilize AI:
- Music distribution: Independent musicians can use AI-powered platforms like DistroKid and Amuse to distribute their music to streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. These platforms can also help with royalty collection and music promotion.
- Fan engagement: AI-powered analytics tools like Next Big Sound and Chartmetric can help independent artists analyze streaming data and social media engagement to gain insights on fan demographics, playlist placements, and other important metrics that can help artists make informed decisions.
- Songwriting: Ew, I know that’s scary, but AI-powered tools like Amper Music and Humtap can generate melodies and chord progressions, which can help independent musicians overcome writer’s block and generate new ideas. This is a way AI can inspire an artist, without taking the creativity away.
- Music creation: Independent musicians can collaborate with AI-generated music to create something entirely new. For example, AI-generated music can be used as a sample or remixed to create a unique sound.
- Visuals and videos: AI-powered tools like ArtBreeder and Amper Music help generate music videos and other visuals to bring music to life visually. This can be a cost-effective way to create eye-catching content that sets their music apart from the competition. Very important these days when most social media revolves around video content.
- Can use apps like Canva to create high end visuals for albums covers or social media content as well. Easily creating sizes applicable for Instagram posts, stories, or even TikTok videos. Try Canva for free here »
- Live performances: AI-powered tools like OpenAI’s Jukebox and Magenta’s NSynth allow independent musicians to generate music in real-time based on audience input, which can create an immersive and interactive experience that fans are sure to remember.
- Social media strategy: One thing we always hear musicians complain about is social media. AI-powered tools like Hootsuite and Buffer can help musicians optimize their social media strategy by analyzing engagement and suggesting the best times to post, the most effective hashtags, and other tactics that can help artists grow their online presence.
- Administrative tasks: AI-powered tools like Royalty AI and Paperchain can help independent musicians manage their royalty collection and copyright registrations, which can save time and reduce the risk of errors that can cost artists money in the long run. Allowing musicians more time to focus on making music.
- ChatGPT: A powerful AI language model that independent musicians can utilize in many ways. From generating content for their websites and social media, to an educational tool. Artists can ask it anything, learn promotional strategies quickly, even use it to write up small code for their websites. Could even use to generate a long list of band names, song titles and so on to get the creative juices flowing.
Overall, AI can help independent musicians to be more efficient, creative, and successful in their careers. By embracing the potential of AI, independent musicians can leverage innovative technologies to reach new audiences and create music that resonates with fans. Each artist or band has their own brand and creative mindset, AI can simply help guide them and handle the remedial tasks to build that brand so they can focus on the music.
An example of how Adrie used AI to create her latest music video for ‘Japón’
We recently did an interview with the international pop artist Adrie. In the interview she talked about her new music video for ‘Japón’, and how they used AI to help create this video. A great example of how artists can maintain artistic integrity and use AI to enhance their music the right way. It can be a good thing to try something new. A lot of times, art is all about exploration. Below, Adrie talks about her experience with this and how it came to be.
“AI is definitely a scary concept for artists, and there’s a lot of uncertainty around how it’ll be used in the future. When ‘Japón’s’ music video director, Maia De Zan Hatch, suggested using AI, I was a little skeptical at first. However, Maia started working with different prompts, using some test shots I sent her, and the results were fascinating. We got to work right away to merge ‘traditional’ art with AI art. The idea was to combine camera shots that would turn into AI-powered animations with paintings that would transform within the video. In the music video, I go in and out of this Anime world, and the power of the visuals serves to propel the song. Overall, I am really happy that we experimented with AI. I feel like we were one of the first teams to utilize it in the way we did, and I’m excited to see how it continues to evolve!” – Adrie
Will AI destroy the creative process of musicians?
A lot of people are scared of the quick growth of AI, envisioning terrifying scenes like in iRobot or Terminator. Musicians typically hate the concept of anything tearing apart from the creative process and think it’s cheating. Which we can’t really disagree with in certain areas, but we think it’s all in how you use it. The way we think it can be helpful is how it can assist musicians with the boring stuff. Like having a bot handle the crap nobody else wants to do, so you can get back to what you love. But yes, AI is already writing some background music, will it eventually replace musicians? We sure as hell hope not, but time will tell on that one. For now, it’s here, it’s not going anywhere. Utilize it in the right way, before it does take over the world and we’re all part of a war against the machines.
Let AI driven softwares and tools handle what you don’t want, don’t be too afraid of change. Accept it and make it work for you. Plus, it’s cost effective, a lot of times free. A lot of independent musicians have tight budgets, this can really be beneficial and help to level the playing field. Don’t use AI to write out a full song for you, but maybe you can type in some ideas to ChatGPT for song melodies and see what chord progressions it comes up with, try some, play around with it. Maybe you have an idea for a new album, have some concept in mind but can’t totally build it out. Write the overall ideas in to ChatGPT and see if it helps fill in your ideas, build off that and maybe it can help get your creative juices flowing.
The future of music?
Change is scary, but the music industry has changed a lot over the years. Musicians hated the idea of music streaming at first with the likes of Spotify (See out thoughts on that), but for better or worse, it’s here. The future of music will look a lot different than it is now, we’re sure of that. How much will AI play in that? It’s already playing a large roll, and that’s going to just keep on growing, and become more and more normal. It comes down to how it’s all utilized. The future of music will be determined by the artists. Any way that independent musicians can find a way to be creative and succeed, is a good thing in our minds. Embrace the changes in the right way, and let it empower you to find the success in you’re music career you’ve always dreamed of.