Johnny Cash Sings “Barbie Girl” in the Style of “Folsom Prison Blues” … with a Little Help from A.I.

The YouTube chan­nel There I Ruined It cre­ates new ver­sions of songs using AI-gen­er­at­ed voic­es. For Dustin Bal­lard, the chan­nel’s cre­ator, the point is to “lov­ing­ly destroy your favorite songs.” Take the exam­ple above. Here, an AI ver­sion of John­ny Cash’s voice sings the lyrics of Aqua’s “Bar­bie Girl,” set to the music of Cash’s “Fol­som Prison Blues.” Recent­ly, Bal­lard explained his approach to Busi­ness Insid­er:

My process for these is a lit­tle dif­fer­ent than most peo­ple. I first record the vocals myself so that I can do my best imi­ta­tion of the cadence of the orig­i­nal singer. Then I use one of their own songs (like ‘Fol­som Prison Blues’ rather than the orig­i­nal ‘Bar­bie Girl’ music) to add to the illu­sion that this is a ‘real’ song in the artist’s cat­a­log, though clear­ly all done in jest. Final­ly, I use an AI voice mod­el trained on snip­pets of the orig­i­nal artist’s singing to trans­form my voice into theirs. I have a guy in Argenti­na I often call upon for this train­ing (although the John­ny Cash one already exist­ed).

If you head over to There I Ruined It, you can hear oth­er AI cre­ations: Hank Williams sings “Straight Out­ta Comp­ton,” Louis Arm­strong sings Flo Rida’s “Low,” Frank Sina­tra sings Lil Jon’s “Get Low” and more.

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