Interview With Taishi Fukuyama, COO of Songwriting AI Platform Amadeus Code

October 4, 2018 | Interviews

Taishi Fukuyama has a diverse career in music and tech, from consulting the business and strategy of various industry leading technology companies, including:

  • Launching the first Music Hack Day in Asia in Tokyo 2014.
  • Becoming the first Red Bull Soundclash champion in Japan.
  • Producing the music of chart topping Japanese and Korean artists.

With a unique mixed experience as a performing artist, record producer and technologist, Taishi continues to provide insights to industry media and conferences.

Uptown Plug had the opportunity to catch up with Taishi to talk about the technology Amadeus Code provides to independent artists, helping songwriters create, AI’s role in music and plenty more!

1. Tell us about Amadeus Code and the company’s journey up to this point.

Amadeus Code is a collaborative artificial intelligence-powered songwriting assistant currently available in the iOS app store.

The 3 co-founders of Amadeus Code have extensive experience and academic backgrounds working as professional musicians/producers, producing music for some of the biggest names in pop music in Japan and Korea.

The idea for Amadeus Code originally came from first-hand necessity of constantly and consistently creating music at the highest levels of the commercial music industry.

2. How does Amadeus Code aim to help songwriters with writer’s block?

First, writer’s block is a condition in which an author/artist loses the ability to produce new work, or experiences a creative slowdown.

The benefit of an idea-generating AI in a phone is that it’s ready all the time and can produce infinite quality ideas instantly.

Because they are unique, original melodies, the user can take these melodies as they are or build on top of them.

Ideas and melodies created by Amadeus Code have the ability to inspire new ideas from the user.

3. How can artists most effectively use the app and integrate it into their creative process?

The Amadeus Code app has hundreds of chord progressions inspired by hit songs of the past.

These songs are searchable by artist name, song title and various attributes such as tempo, key, mood and genre.

Once a chord progression has been selected, Amadeus Code can instantly generate a new melody for you.

If you don’t like it, simply swipe it out and re-generate another one, or edit the melody setting parameters and guide how Amadeus Code creates melodies.

Once you have an idea you like, you can save the melodies/chords to your account and export the audio and MIDI files as well.

4. Tell us a little bit about the Harmony Library feature and where that idea came from.

As mentioned above, Amadeus Code’s songwriting AI is powered by hit songs of the past.

With Harmony Library, we’ve organized these songs and are giving users direct access to the chord progressions that power the Amadeus Code songwriting AI.

Chord progressions are being added weekly, and users can even request a track through the app as well.

5. Do artists using the app need to worry at all about copyright infringement?

No, there are preventive mechanisms in the app to address this.

6. What do you think is the biggest misconception about AI’s role in music?

I think many have the misconception that AI will take over the role of artists, which we believe to be untrue. AI may be able to create decent stock music, but that is merely only one application.

Often times, when a new creative technology is introduced to creative people, what history tells us is that we first debate if it will replace humans, but when that technology finds its place in the right creative hands, a whole new economy of opportunities is created, not taken away.

The drum machine eventually created electronic dance music, the sampler created hip hop, electric guitars, rock. AI has the potential to be the next technology to create the next genre of popular music, and that will for sure be a huge opportunity.

For the foreseeable future, no AI will be able to tell you about its own struggles or illuminate your inner worlds with original storytelling. These intimate experiences are what we value in music and they will continue to be created by human artists.

7. How do you see the future of songwriting and music generation, and how should artists adapt to this future?

New technology will continue to enable artists to produce better music faster.

But when all of the tools have been democratized, and we are all sounding better all the same, what will be the differentiating aspect of what we make individually?

More than ever, it’s important to remember the saying, “a tool is only as good as its user,” also has a separate iteration, “you’re only as good as your tools.”

The way a thesaurus or a rhyming dictionary allows us to extend our limited vocabulary is similar to how artists can use artificial intelligence with apps like Amadeus Code to extend their creative limitations.

We encourage artists to embrace these tools and create the next page for popular music.

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