August 28, 2023

Tech takes, gives jobs – Eclipse Nkasi, who created Africa’s first AI-powered music album

Tech takes, gives job — Eclipse Nkasi, who created African first AI-powered music album

Eclipse Nkasi

By Biodun Busari

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is spreading across the globe to aid commerce, communication, media, law, medicine, and even music; and while many embrace it, some are nursing fear that it will relieve millions of their jobs.

Nigerian multi-talented musician, Nkasiobi Chukwu popularly known as Eclipse Nkasi, who created the first AI-generated music album in Africa, spoke with Vanguard’s BIODUN BUSARI, on the new opportunities of AI in this digital world.

Embracing AI is launch to new possibilities

The world is fast changing to a tech-driven space and Artificial Intelligence has become a tool to assist humans in achieving their career aspirations. However, there are worries that many people will lose their jobs as AI assumes a significant role in the workspace. 

Speaking about the impact, Nkasi, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Wakati Media, said that people should not be afraid of embracing AI, rather they should utilise it to have new possibilities.

Nkasi said, “I think any major invention whether tech-driven or not, whether AI or not, would always affect your new jobs, but at the same time would create new ones.” 

Speaking about the projects his company is working on, he said, “In the coming months, Wakati Media, the company I founded, we are looking to do more projects that will require creatives to come on board, be employed, be paid, and also earn royalties, even though the project will still be AI-driven. 

“And what that means is there will be roles that are ordinarily not existing before. AI will impact jobs, but for people who are open to embracing it. It will give them new opportunities and they will have completely brand new roles to come up with as a result of Artificial Intelligence.” 

Creating first AI-powered music album in Africa

Nkasi produced Infinite Echoes with AI this year. Shedding light on the achievement, he noted that AI will open opportunities to a lot of people to be music creatives in the entertainment industry.

“I mean, like what everybody already knows is that Artificial Intelligence is something that is clearly here now. And, it’s here to stay and there is no avoiding it. But, as regards music, it’s been a very tricky one so far, but the biggest impact that is going to have is that it is going to lower the barrier to entry which means it is going to give more people the chance to create,” he noted. 

“People who don’t think of themselves as artistes before but understand music can find a way to express themselves and their talents. Those people that have always been creative, will open doors to new possibilities and angles to work with.” 

Being the first to achieve that big project on the African continent, Nkasi said, “I’m the person to create the first AI-powered music album from all of Africa. There are people who I’m sure have tried to dabble in it, but nobody has done this coherently. So, yes, the first AI music album from Africa was created by me.”

AI has vast capacities in music industry

There is virtually nothing AI cannot leverage in the music industry, but there are aspects still handled by humans. The music guru said AI is capable of working on instrumentation, recording, mixing, and mastering.

“There is so much that can be done but the album that we created was leveraged on conversations, especially with songwriting, also the instrumentation and the production in itself when thinking of recording, mixing and mastering that was still handled by humans,” Nkasi said.  

“There is so much that we can do with AI, with the audio, and recording and what is called voice sentences. When you are able to generate voices using the Artificial Intelligence on the project. Of course, not all the voices are Artificial Intelligence. Some are still human, but we were able to do that and get AI to do it to bring it to the impressive level.”

AI is tool, humans are ultimate

The concerns and agitations of people about AI impacting jobs are infinitesimal if people respect others’ rights, and understand that AI is just a tool. While people should focus on ethics, AI still needs human beings to be in charge and control, Nkasi said.

“And, one of the things I like to emphasise that people should focus on is the ethical application of AI, which means it has to be handled ethically. We have to see to it that, as much as possible, it still retains human influence and human direction.

“It has to be used in a way that would not compromise people’s copyrights or try to infringe on people’s rights and ultimately AI in itself is just a tool. It is important that we are intentional in the way we handle it and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” Nkasi added.