The AI-generated track that replicates Drake and The Weeknd's vocals will not be eligible for the upcoming Grammy Awards, despite recent comments from the Recording Academy pointing to songwriting award consideration.
Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. has since clarified statements from a New York Times interview in which he said anonymous artist Ghostwriter's viral track 'Heart On My Sleeve' would "absolutely [be] eligible because it was written by a human" in the songwriting categories. In a video statement posted to his Instagram this past weekend, Mason said, "This version of 'Heart On My Sleeve' using the AI voice modelling that sounds like Drake and The Weeknd, it’s not eligible for Grammy consideration".
Mason explained the licensing and rights issues are also key to Grammy eligibility. "Let me be extra, extra clear: Even though it was written by a human creator, the vocals were not legally obtained, the vocals were not cleared by the label or the artists and the song is not commercially available and because of that, it’s not eligible", he said.
The eligibility of AI-created music has been the centre of Grammys-related discussion ahead of the next awards in February 2024. Earlier this summer, the Recording Academy confirmed that music made with artificial intelligence tools would be considered "as long as the human [creator] is contributing in a more than de minimis amount, which to us means a meaningful way, they are and will always be considered for a nomination or a win", Mason said in a July interview with the Associated Press.
"Ghostwriter really has played an important role here to bring awareness and attention", Mason told the New York Times. "We know AI is going to play a role in our business. We can't pretend to turn our back on it and try to ban it… I’'m not scared of A.I., but I do believe work needs to be done to make sure that things are in place so that the creative community is protected".
Last week, Ghostwriter released a new AI-generated song called 'Whiplash' deepfaked Travis Scott and 21 Savage vocals.
See Harvey Mason Jr.'s full statement below.