Lal Salaam: Legendary composer AR Rahman brings back these popular late singers using AI for the first time!

(This article is authored by Alar)

The Oscar-winning composer A.R. Rahman has achieved a remarkable feat in his latest song ‘Thimiri Yezhuda’ from the upcoming film ‘Lal Salaam’. He has used the artificial intelligence (AI) voice models of the late singers Bamba Bakya and Shahul Hameed, who were his close collaborators and friends, to create a stunning musical tribute.

Bamba Bakya, who passed away in 2022, was a versatile singer and musician who worked with Rahman in many projects, including the epic ‘Ponniyin Selvan’. Shahul Hameed, who died in 1997, was known for his iconic songs like ‘Urvasi Urvasi’, ‘Pettai Rap’, and ‘Usilampatti’, which defined the 90s pop culture.

Rahman, who has always been at the forefront of innovation and experimentation, teamed up with Timeless Voices, an AI startup that specializes in creating realistic voice models of legendary singers. He obtained the consent and compensation of the families of Bakya and Hameed, and used their voice algorithms to recreate their vocal styles and expressions in ‘Thimiri Yezhuda’.

The song, which is a high-octane number with a patriotic theme, features the voices of Bakya and Hameed along with Rahman himself and other singers. The film's team took to X,  wrote, “The mesmerizing voices of Bamba Bakya & Shahul Hameed in #ThimiriYezhuda from #LalSalaam made possible by @timelessvoicesx AI voice models. This marks the first time in the industry that a late legend’s voice has been brought back to life.”

Rahman also  expressed his gratitude and respect for Bakya and Hameed. He wrote, “We took permission from their families and sent deserving remuneration for using their voice algorithms… technology is not a threat and a nuisance if we use it right… #respect #nostalgia .”

'Lal Salaam' is a Tamil movie directed by Aishwarya, featuring Vishnu Vishal and Vikranth in lead roles and a special appearance by superstar Rajinikanth. The release date is scheduled for February 9, 2024. ‘Lal Salaam’, produced by Lyca Productions, is slated to release on February 9, 2024. The film is to be led with the stars Vikranth, Vishnu Vishal, Senthil, Vignesh, Livingston, Senthil, Jeevitha, K. S. Ravikumar and Thambi Ramaiah.