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San Francisco-based Authentic enables entirely new virtual music experiences designed to meet the ever-changing preferences and desires of music fans and will offer interactive artists across all connected channels.
Authentic Artists’ virtual artists create music in a new way. The company has developed a proprietary, generative audiovisual production platform that instantly composes and produces fully formed songs performed by virtual artists. This allows authentic artists to create original and responsive musical content.
It could put real human artists out of work, or at least force them to work harder. It’s a sign of the times, like virtual animated streamers like Miko code have proven to be very popular.
But the company said it aims to meet both the content demands of high-growth channels and the needs of audiences whose expectations for music and entertainment have changed dramatically in the digital age.
“We are inventing a new category of entertainment, not replacing an existing one,” Chris McGarry, CEO of Authentic Artists, said in an email to GamesBeat. “We are not here to make a digital facsimile of what already exists, we are here to create radically new musical art, to share experiences and to perform. Our virtual artists are vectors of large-scale creative collaboration in a way that is exciting for artists and that will deepen fans’ relationship with music. Our artists will certainly never be human and vice versa. A drum machine, sampler, and other production tools are probably better comparisons. “
As evidenced by the hugely popular virtual concerts that took place in Fortnite and Roblox in 2020, many players around the world appreciate the blurring of the traditional lines between music and games, and Authentic Artists wants to bring generative music to these players.
McGarry said virtual entertainment is the new cultural center of gravity because digital natives (or young people) want an agency in their world. He said: “I saw an opportunity to use new technologies to unleash new forms of musical creativity and experience, to deepen the audience’s relationship with music, to create new arts and cultures, to s ‘have fun. Along the way, there were a few key moments for me.
The company has already prototyped 12 virtual artists using its blend of art and science. These include a lofi-loving cyborg and a high-octane half-iguana DJ, and each real-time creator gives concerts of virtual music.
I asked if this platform would put some human musicians or streamers out of work.
“Throughout history, new technologies have sparked new waves of creativity,” McGarry said. “We are actively engaged with the creative community to help develop our platform and our content. The contribution of incredible creators like Mike Shinoda and Young Guru has been invaluable not only to our development process, but also to educate on how best to empower other artists. We’ve set up our Machine Arts Lab specifically to support creators who are motivated to explore our creative toolset, and we’ll share more about that in the future. “
He added: “As is the case with any team of artists, we are a diverse set of creators: producers, developers, writers, artists, animators and more collaborating in the service of our vision of virtual art and public. Our virtual artists will involve more people, not fewer, in the creative process. “
The company’s investors and advisors include OVO Fund, Lupa Systems, Mixi Group, Bill Silva Ventures, Brian Ruder (co-head of global technology at Permira), Chad Hollingsworth (executive at Liberty Media), Craig Donato (executive at Roblox ), Liz Hamren (director of game engineering at Microsoft), Matt Emerman (director at JioSaavn), Mike Shinoda (co-founder of Linkin Park) and Young Guru (Grammy sound engineer for Jay-Z, Drake, Rihanna, DJ Khaled).
McGarry previously led vertical music development at Facebook’s Oculus. Audio Director Steve Pardo was Principal Composer at Harmonix Music Systems (Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Dance Central). Blake Wilkey, senior AI engineer, developed the AI platform for i.am + from Will.i.am. Executive Creative Director Jeff Nicholas has led creative initiatives for brands and artists such as Live Nation, Rihanna, Hulu, Major Lazer, Apple Music and Lil Wayne.
The company has seven employees, and she doesn’t say how much money she’s still raised. I also asked McGarry how he got the idea for the business.
“A childhood passion for comics and computer music (I was the proud owner of an alphaSyntauri digital synthesizer) probably planted the seeds of Authentic Artists. Gorillaz converged my interest in music and fantasy characters in a powerful way, ”he said. “The first immersive, audio-responsive VR music experiences revealed new ways of expressing and visualizing music and connecting audiences with it. While working for Oculus, the rise of VTubers and avatar-based entertainment sparked visions of what the digital artist of the future could look like. I began to wonder what was possible if we let go of the attempt to transpose music as we knew it into new mediums and really allowed ourselves to imagine entirely new ways of creating, presenting and sharing. the music.
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