The future of music

IDLES ‘Grace’ video harnesses AI to reimagine Coldplay’s ‘Yellow’

February 22, 2024
IDLES 'Grace' video
Joe Talbot (IDLES) and Chris Martin (COLDPLAY)

Key takeaways

  • IDLES ‘Grace’ video showcases Chris Martin, powered by deepfake AI technology, performing the new track through Coldplay’s original ‘Yellow’ footage.
  • A collaborative effort with production studios and AI tech enhances authenticity.
  • Chris Martin actively participated in the creation of the video, ensuring a seamless blend of past and present.

IDLES have ventured into the realm of AI to craft their latest music video for ‘Grace’, paying homage to the iconic ‘Yellow’ by Coldplay. The video showcases Chris Martin, powered by deepfake technology, performing the new IDLES track. 

This creative endeavor involved a partnership with a skilled production studio and the exploration of various AI techniques to perfect the lip-syncing, making Martin’s performance convincingly real.

Chris Martin, the enduring voice behind ‘Yellow’, fully embraced this innovative project. His involvement in the AI training phase guaranteed that the video retained a genuine emotional resonance. 

The final product not only demonstrates the enriching capabilities of AI in art but also offers a novel take on a music video classic, beautifully capturing the transition from dusk until dawn.

Behind the scenes of IDLES ‘Grace’ video

The genesis of this creative fusion came from Joe Talbot, the frontman of IDLES, who dreamt about it. His vision materialized into an interesting visual narrative where ‘Grace’ stands as a beacon of hope against despair. 

The concerted efforts of Nigel Godrich, Kenny Beats, and Mark Bowen in the song’s production highlight IDLES’ dedication to musical evolution and thematic depth.

Commissioned by John Moule, the project tasked the production studio Joyrider with blending the sentimental value of ‘Yellow’ with the contemporary essence of ‘Grace’. 

Under Jonathan Irwin’s guidance, the team embarked on a thorough exploration of AI technologies to authentically capture Chris Martin performing ‘Grace’, all while honoring the original video’s essence.

Initial attempts using AI tools like wac2lip fell short of the desired perfection due to the continuous presence of Martin throughout the song. The breakthrough came with an intricate method of filming a mouth rendition of ‘Grace’. This was followed by rigorous deepfake training and synchronization, enhanced by the expertise of the original ‘Yellow’ VFX specialists. This ensured a flawless integration of new and original footage, amplifying the authenticity of Martin’s portrayal.

Elevating the project further, the “real” Chris Martin was filmed performing ‘Grace’ at an accelerated pace. This footage was then meticulously slowed to align with the original video’s rhythm, adding a subtle layer to the AI-enhanced performance. 

This intricate process, involving over five million iterations in DeepFaceLab, exemplifies the meticulous attention to detail that went into preserving the integrity of ‘Yellow’ while infusing it with the spirit of ‘Grace’.

About IDLES and their new album, “Tangk

Originating from Bristol in 2009, IDLES stands at the forefront of punk rock, known for their candid and politically charged lyrics. Their latest album, “Tangk”, signifies a shift towards a more tender yet equally fervent exploration of societal issues, weaving a narrative of love and loss that transcends conventional love songs. We can clearly listen to this shift on the ‘Grace’ track.

IDLES 'Grace' video harnesses AI to reimagine Coldplay's 'Yellow' 1
The members of the band IDLES

The ‘Grace’ video, with its pioneering use of AI, illustrates the transformative potential of technology in redefining artistic legacies. This venture encourages artists to embrace innovation, melding their influences with technological wizardry to create a diverse landscape that spans generations.

As IDLES delve into AI-driven music, they open a new chapter where artistry and technology converge, challenging artists to redefine the boundaries of their creative expression. This blending of past and present through AI not only honors musical traditions but also propels them into the future, hinting at a new era of collaborative and technologically augmented art.

Sabrina Bonini

Sabrina Bonini is a content specialist, writer, and educator focused on Web3 and entrepreneurship. She started her career as an audio engineer and musician, and has been passionate about the intersection of music and cutting-edge technology since then.

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