Jimmy Iovine, the co-founder of Interscope Records and Beats by Dr. Dre, shares his thoughts on today’s music industry and how he now feels that “fame has replaced greatness.”
During an interview with Effect of sound, published online on Monday, the legendary music manager and business mogul was asked for his thoughts on the use of artificial intelligence in songwriting and music production. AI has been at the center of the debate lately in several industries, including entertainment.
“I’m not saying it’s good or bad, but I think AI is going to play a huge role in songwriting on many levels,” he said in response. “One, at a very basic level, if someone is stuck and you want to experiment and get an idea. Secondly, not everyone, but too many people are making records for TikTok these days.”
He continued, “They used to make records for radio, but now it’s TikTok. That’s why all these pop records sound exactly the same. So if you make records like this, make records with this formula, you’re going to see big hits written and recorded with AI.”
Iovine then quickly clarified that he wasn’t specifically talking about “big” hits, but rather “big” hits, as he believes that with modern technology like streaming, AI and social media, “fame has replaced great.”
“Artists make so much money in so many different places, which is great, but after they have a hit, they can make a lot of money on Instagram and all that stuff,” he said. “I feel like a lot of people, a lot of artists, not all, but a lot of artists are taking their foot off the gas in the record-making category. And that affects the quality of the work. And I think you see that in a lot of different genres right now.”
The conversation around music creation and AI is nothing new, with artists and music managers on both sides. Warner Music CEO Robert Kyncl has previously emphasized that “the bottom line is: artists have a choice” when it comes to using AI.
Kyncl explained, “There are some who may not like it, and that’s fine. And then there are some who will embrace it. And that’s fine too.”
Another big debate is whether AI-created songs should be eligible for prizes.
Earlier this year, in an extensive interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Grammys CEO Harvey Mason Jr. confirmed that the Recording Academy “will not award a Grammy to AI.” However, he noted that the Grammys will honor music created with AI elements, but the majority of the song must be human-made.
Mason Jr. added: “We will continue to honor humans and their participation or their part in a creation, knowing that there may be AI parts.”