Kavita Krishnamurthy: ‘Very scared of use of AI in music’

The 66-year-old singer has given voice to some of the timeless songs in Indian cinema.

Kavita Krishnamurthy (Photo credit: Google Image)

Mohnish Singh

Even as some artists have started using Artificial Intelligence to push their music amid the debate over the challenges and opportunities it offers, legendary singer Kavita Krishnamurthy has said that there can be a lot of misuse of AI and she feels scared.

In an exclusive interview with ANI, Krishnamurthy spoke of an individual’s deep personal connection with music and said an artist should be able to pass on an emotion to the listener or the audience.

“Technology is okay, but I do feel scared of Artificial Intelligence (AI). And unless it’s used for medicine or something, science or something like that, for music, when you think of AI, I feel very scared and I feel there can be a lot of misuse,” she said.

The renowned singer said AI may make it possible to create a song using her voice in any difficult language of the world and asked if it will carry emotions.

“Take my voice and sample and say…I can get it (AI) to sing a song in Arabic or French, the most difficult language in the world, Russian or whatever, Japanese, or Chinese, I wouldn’t be happy to hear a song of mine in Chinese, which I have not actually worked hard and sung myself. Because it’s Chinese, fine, it’s my voice, but do you think it’ll have my emotion?” she asked.

“My question is what happens? A song is supposed to have emotion, right? The main part of singing is emotion, in any form, whether it is a spiritual song, it’s a happy song or it’s a sad song. If you’re not able to pass on an emotion, then you’re not an artist. Is AI going to pass on the emotion of my voice, or what other way I sing, or the way Alka (Yagnik) sings, or the way Shreya (Ghoshal) sings, or Arijit (Singh) sings? Will AI bring in a Chinese song or a Russian song? I don’t know,” she added.

Music maestro AR Rahman recently used AI for his latest song ‘Thimiri Yezhuda’ from Rajinikanth-starrer Lal Salaam which featured the voices of late singers Bamba Bakya and Shahul Hameed.

While some people liked the use of AI in the ‘Thimiri Yezhuda’ song, some others called out the makers for this move and said Rahman could have given an opportunity to aspiring singers.

Krishnamurthy also talked about K-pop and said that is not her “kind of music” and that she would feel “terrified” if AI made her sing a K-pop song.

“I also hear this sometimes, these children are crazy about K-pop and all that, right? I’m not that generation. I listen to that music. It doesn’t touch my heart. I know I’m not young. Maybe if I was young and I was able to dance, I would have enjoyed that music. You know, very pretty, pretty youngsters singing songs like that but that’s not my kind of music. I’m not going to enjoy it. So, if AI makes me sing a K-pop song, actually I’d be terrified,” she said

The ‘Nimbooda’ singer expressed apprehensions that AI could destroy some copyright rules and there would be infringement.

“Suppose I sing a song which is K-pop or Russian or something and suddenly my bank balance is going to be in crores. I don’t think I want that money because it’s not me. That’s why I worry about AI. It’s because I feel it’s going to destroy some copyright rules. There’s going to be a lot of infringement in copyright rules and a lot of misuse. I feel…my voice can be misused in the sense it can be used on somebody in distress. There can be so many misuses of a voice,” Krishnamurthy told ANI.

Kavita Krishnamurthy, a Padma Shri awardee, has spent nearly 45 years in the music industry.

The 66-year-old singer has given voice to some of the timeless songs in Indian cinema.