Frank Ocean has become the latest artist to have his voice copied by artificial intelligence — however, this time, a scammer was able to profit from it.
Since 2016’s Blond, fans of the California singer have been begging for new music, but things might have gone too far this time as a scammer known as mourningassassin has released a series of AI-generated tracks via Discord.
In an interview with Motherboard, the scammer revealed they hired a musician to create nine fake Frank Ocean tracks using “very high quality vocal snippets” of Ocean’s voice. The snippet was posted by them on the platform in early April, which caught the attention of many of the singer’s fans.
“Instantly, I noticed everyone started to believe it,” mourningassasin told the publication.
The scammer noted that multiple people had contacted them about the clip — these included two buyers who wanted to collect Frank Ocean music and “pay big money for it.” In total, the scammer said they made around $13,000.
A few fans, including Gamma, the owner of a Discord server, pointed out that several of the tracks had indeed been made using AI, but it was too late.
“We determined just about everything he has is fake,” Gamma wrote in a server-wide announcement on Discord earlier this month.
At this time, neither Frank Ocean nor his team have publicly commented on the issue.
It’s not just Frank Ocean whose voice has been copied by AI. In April, a person who calls themselves ghostwriter created a track titled “heart on my sleeve,” which featured artificial vocals from both Drake and The Weeknd.
“I came in with my ex like Selena to flex/ Bumping Justin Bieber the fever ain’t left/ She know all she need, I need her she blessed, giving her my best/ I got my heart on my sleeve with a knife in my back what’s with that?/ (Aye) 21, I love him that my brother that’s my slatt,” AI Drake raps.
On the same wave, The Weeknd’s cloned voice arrives, making it clear he no longer thinks about Gomez, since their split in 2017: “Got these pearls on my neck, got these girls on my check like Selena baby/ Oh my genie maybe yeah, she taking the lambo for a drive using the fancy door/ When she went out the store, I throw my heart on my sleeve.”