Mon. Jun 24th, 2024

Johnny Cash Sings “Barbie Girl” in the Style of “Folsom Prison Blues” … with a Little Help from A.I.


The YouTube channel There I Ruined It creates new versions of songs using AI-generated voices. For Dustin Ballard, the channel’s creator, the point is to “lovingly destroy your favorite songs.” Take the example above. Here, an AI version of Johnny Cash’s voice sings the lyrics of Aqua’s “Barbie Girl,” set to the music of Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues.” Recently, Ballard explained his approach to Business Insider:

My process for these is a little different than most people. I first record the vocals myself so that I can do my best imitation of the cadence of the original singer. Then I use one of their own songs (like ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ rather than the original ‘Barbie Girl’ music) to add to the illusion that this is a ‘real’ song in the artist’s catalog, though clearly all done in jest. Finally, I use an AI voice model trained on snippets of the original artist’s singing to transform my voice into theirs. I have a guy in Argentina I often call upon for this training (although the Johnny Cash one already existed).

If you head over to There I Ruined It, you can hear other AI creations: Hank Williams sings “Straight Outta Compton,” Louis Armstrong sings Flo Rida’s “Low,” Frank Sinatra sings Lil Jon’s “Get Low” and more.

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