Streaming services remove fake number Drake and The Weeknd Yesterday, 20:48 in Abroad , Culture & Media The song went viral in recent days, but was made with artificial intelligence. The artists’ record label calls it a copyright violation.

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Singer The Weeknd (left) and rapper Drake
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A new song featuring the voices of rapper Drake and singer The Weeknd has been removed from music streaming services. Both Canadian artists are not involved in the song at all: it was made with artificial intelligence. According to record company Universal Music Group, it is a copyright violation.

The song Heart on my sleeve appeared on social media on Friday and quickly went viral. On Tiktok it had more than 8 million views in a few days and on YouTube different variants of the song have already been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.

The song was posted by someone calling themselves @Ghostwriter on TikTok. He did this not because he is a big fan of the artists, but out of dissatisfaction with his salary as a lyricist in the music industry. “I was a ghostwriter for years and almost didn’t get paid while major labels made a profit,” he writes under one of his posts on TikTok. “The future is here.”

The record company Universal Music Group, which represents both Drake and The Weeknd, has since removed the song from streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer. At that time it had already been listened to more than 600,000 times on Spotify. The original video has also been removed from TikTok and YouTube.

Selena Gomez

The song is about, among others, Selena Gomez, with whom The Weeknd has had a relationship. According to radio DJ at FunX Fernando Halman, that is already reason to doubt the authenticity. “It is controversial in terms of content. You hear The Weekend sing that his ex, Selena Gomez, has cheated. And anyway I don’t see a collaboration between Drake and The Weeknd happening that quickly. It doesn’t get along very well between the two.”

As for the sound, according to Halman it is less clear that it is a fake number. “It’s very well done. Only if you listen very closely you can hear intonations from Drake that you wouldn’t normally expect on a track like this. But the average person just hears Drake.”

Danger to creativity

On the one hand, the radio DJ sees the joke of imitating voices via artificial intelligence (AI), but also warns about the dark side. “Artists who are busy making music, with creative expression, are in danger. It gets annoying the moment you want to earn money over someone else’s back. I have been the voice of NPO Zapp for years. Imagine that Zapp says: we have an AI version of you. We press the button once and do all the voiceovers. That can be difficult for people who live on their voice.”

No matter how good the voices seem, according to Halman, AI can never replace real music. “You can never imitate the creative expression of a human being. That is a feeling, an emotion. That is the magic of creativity. You cannot program ideas that just arise.”

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