• Laura Smith

The AI Song Contest is back for 2021!


AI Song Contest 2021 logo

Everyone’s favourite algorithm-fuelled song contest is back, and this year’s edition is bigger and better than ever!


From Swedish folk to American funk, minimalist piano compositions to an unusual Spanish lullaby, and even traditional Nepali music mixed with grindcore, the 2021 Artificial Intelligence Song Contest is full of diverse musical compositions spanning a huge range of genres and styles from all corners of the globe.


The AI Song Contest began in 2020 and was organised by Dutch broadcaster VPRO in collaboration with NPO Innovation and NPO 3FM. Teams from all over the world create their own songs with the help of artificial intelligence, vying to be crowned the winner by a panel of AI experts and an international audience.


A lot has changed since last year’s Eurovision-themed contest. This year’s contest has been organised independently, and the brief has been expanded to include songs from any and all music genres. The time limit for compositions has also been increased to 4 minutes and lyrics are not compulsory.


38 teams from all over the world have entered their AI Song Contest songs. They’ll be hoping to follow in the footsteps of last year’s winner, Australia’s very own Uncanny Valley, who won the contest with their song ‘Beautiful The World’. Uncanny Valley are jury members for this year’s AI Song Contest, and expressed what they are looking for from 2021’s entrants:

“We are interested in harnessing the latest technology that can augment the way music is created and experienced and will be interested to see how others interpret this process and what the outcomes are. We are very much guided by music theory and applying our expert system into that process. The contest in 2021 allows for a much broader scope of entry, so we are rather curious to see what genres surface most often. The advancements in technology in one year are significant, so we look forward to seeing the varying approaches and uses of those too. We wish all the teams the best of luck in creating their next AI stadium rock anthem or dance banger!”

They’ll be joined by the other members of the jury:

  • Imogen Heap (Award-winning composer, recording artist and technology enthusiast)

  • Ajay Kapur (Associate Provost for Creative Technologies at the California Institute of the Arts)

  • Anna Huang (Research Scientist at Google Brain working on the Magenta Project)

  • Rujing Huang (Singer-songwriter, postdoctoral researcher and ethnomusicologist)

  • Hendrik Vincent Koops (AI Researcher and Composer working on AI multimedia projects at RTL Netherlands)

  • Ryan Groves (Founder of Melodrive and Infinite Album and expert in AI-driven music composition)

  • Mark Simos (Songwriter, composer and professor at Berklee College of Music)

You can listen to all of this year’s AI Song Contest entries and vote in the AI Song Contest by evaluating each song at https://www.aisongcontest.com/participants. From here, you can click on each participant's page, listen to their song, and scroll down to the voting form where you can answer whether you like the song or not, whether you think the song is original, and how likely you are to recommend it to a friend. You can vote for as many songs as you like.


Voting is open now so make sure to have your say! The results of the contest will be decided by the expert jury members listed above and also by the public, so your vote matters! The public vote will close on 1st July 2021.


The online sessions & award ceremony for the 2021 AI Song Contest will take place on Tuesday 6th July 2021.


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