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Music In The AI Era: Run-DMC’s Darryl McDaniels & Industry Professionals Weigh In

By CHRISSY NEWTON: Remember LimeWire, the free peer-to-peer file-sharing software Generation X and Millennials used to disrupt the music industry in the early 2000s? Because of Lime Wire’s technological advancements, music labels reluctantly had to change their business models and evolve with the appearance of new technology as society entered the new millennium. The technological evolution that began with such technologies forever changed how music is consumed and jumpstarted ethical conversations on the value of the art that musicians produce.

Similar to developments decades ago, a new kind of technology is reshaping the music industry today: artificial intelligence. Like LimeWire in the past, AI-generated music is shifting the landscape in both the music and technology industries. However, the origins of AI-generated music aren’t as recent as many may think. The first use of computers to assist in the creation of music dates back to the mid-1950s, when computer scientists began exploring algorithms for musical composition. One of the early results was The Illiac Suite, drawing its name from the ILLIAC I computer that Lejaren Hiller and Leonard Isaacson used to create it in 1957. Today, it is widely regarded as the first electronically composed musical score. THE EVOLUTION OF AI MUSIC: A COMPANY FOCUSED ON HUMAN ABILITY AND PERFORMANCE

Fast forward to the present day, as AI music companies are emerging around the world, many of them employing novel approaches to the application of machine learning to music composition.

Co-founded by Canadian-British entrepreneur, tech executive, and former Top 10 Canadian EDM DJ Neel Lee Chauhan and his two sons, Evan C and EC^2, MNDLB5 (pronounced Mind Labs) was launched in partnership with American music producer Andrew Hogarth. The idea came to Neel when he noticed that his sons performed better in sports while listening to their favorite EDM tracks.

“I was with my boys and they both play ice hockey as good Canadians,” Chauhan recently reminisced during an on-camera interview with The Debrief. “We live here in the New York area, and they both play for the Junior Devils, and what I noticed [was] they were listening to a lot of music on their way to games, and they started to put headphones in.”

“I noticed that whenever both my kids were listening to their favorite EDM tracks, which they’re big fans of, they would skate faster with better focus and accuracy,” Chauhan said. Following his intuition, Chauhan assembled a team of alumni from Google, Salesforce, and Toronto Metropolitan University. Together, they conducted an academic literature review, which confirmed that music could enhance human focus, engagement, and performance.

“The research overwhelmingly over multiple decades says that music does drive human performance, focus, and engagement, including in sports, in work, coding, and countless use cases. So that became the researcher and scientific foundation for the founding of MNDLB5 (Mind Labs), and the name is no mistake,” Chauhan said.

“Artificial intelligence and other modern technologies come in, [and] we’re using those technologies to accelerate the impact and the ability to an efficient and creative way, produce music that drives human performance,” Chauhan also added. In the past year, MNDLB5 has launched six new electronic dance music (EDM) tracks that utilize AI to elevate music production and human performance. These six tracks represent some of the earliest electronic dance music creations developed with AI, including generative AI like ChatGPT, in a comprehensive production process that encompasses songwriting, vocal translations, sound effects, cover art, and social media videos.

“MNDLB5 brings together a world-class team of electronic music artists combined with experts in Artificial Intelligence with the goal of engineering Electronic Dance Music that drives human performance,” Chauhan says. “The opportunity to make history driving the evolution of Electronic Dance Music gets me excited about MNDLB5,” said Andrew Hogarth, who is the lead producer and sound engineer for MNDLB5.”

The Jump Lab Mix, featuring AI-enhanced vocals by Evan C and EC^2, was released on March 15. A new track titled Toxic Lab Mix is set for release on Friday, March 22, during Miami Music Week, which will showcase an “AI Duet” between Canadian singer Ricki Ayela and the AI-generated voice of MNDLB5.

Neel began his career as an EDM DJ in Toronto, where he headlined underground raves and big room clubs alongside world-renowned electronic DJs like Deep Dish, Roger Sanchez, Armand Van Helden, “Magic” Juan Atkins, DJ Sneak, and Derrick Carter. His performances were regular features on CTV’s Much Music, Canada’s premier music channel. Neel has since transitioned into a tech executive based in New York, holding leadership positions at Google, Nectar Loyalty (Acquired by AIMIA), and Yodle (Acquired by Read more in the original publication:


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