Believed ‘leaked’ tracks of American singer-songwriter, Frank Ocean, which were sold on the artists’ communities on Discord and music forums, turned out to be AI-generated sold by a scammer.
According to Vice Motherboard’s investigation, the scammer who goes by the handle ‘mourningassasin’ posted a short snippet of the AI-generated Frank Ocean track to a leaked music forum in early April.
The scammer revealed to the news site that at least one of the tracks is authentic and that they leaked the snippet at first to establish credibility to successfully sell the AI-generated tracks.
“Instantly, I noticed everyone started to believe it,” the scammer told the news site.
They said that with the help of a musician and by using a model constructed using “very high-quality vocal snippets” of Frank Ocean’s voice, they managed to produce nine AI-generated tracks.
The scammer then claimed that numerous people approached them regarding the snippet, including buyers who are willing to pay a huge sum amount of money for it.
According to them, they made about $13,000 (CAD) from the sales of the AI-generated tracks.
On the other hand, the owner of the Frank Ocean fan Discord, Gamma, claimed that in mid to late April, the scammer offered them numerous songs for between $3,000 and $4,000 each. Gamma told the news site that it was “a high price but not unheard of for Frank Ocean.”
Gamma later wrote in a server-wide announcement earlier this month, stating, “We determined just about everything he has is fake,” pertaining to the ‘leaked’ tracks the scammer is selling.
The scammer said he has already admitted to the administrators that the tracks were only AI-generated. The scammer has been banned from the music-leaking forum since.
AI and music have been crossing paths a lot lately, such as in the high-profile case of David Guetta using Eminem’s AI-generated voice to create one his tracks and Grimes offering royalty to anyone who uses her AI-generated voice to create singles.
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