They might say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but when it comes to AI soundalikes Bad Bunny isn’t buying it. The artist, who released his 22-track album Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana in October, recently expressed strong disapproval of a song that’s gone viral on TikTok employing artificial intelligence to mimic his voice.
In a message posted Nov. 6 on his WhatsApp fan channel, Bad Bunny conveyed his disapproval of the track, stating, “there are people who I’m in understanding with and people who I’m not… there are people I connect with and people I don’t connect with…. If you happen to enjoy that subpar viral TikTok track, please leave this group immediately. You are not deserving of my friendship.”
He went on to demand that anyone who enjoys the viral TikTok song in question immediately leave his group, making it clear that he doesn’t want people engaging with it, while emphasizing that his new album was intended to be the focus of fans’ attention.
It is somewhat unclear as to which AI-generated song Bad Bunny is upset about, as there are several circulating the web. One is a reggaetón cut that emulates Bad Bunny and Spanish singer/rapper Bad Gyal called “NostalgIA,” which was created with the assistance of FlowGPT — a social media user who uses AI to create collaborations — and has made the rounds on TikTok over the past month. Another is called “Demo #5: Nostalgia’,” also created with FlowGPT, which has accumulated 1.2 million views on YouTube and features replicated voices from Daddy Yankee, Justin Bieber and Bad Bunny.
Fans, however, have been enjoying the track and have even taken to posting videos responding to Bad Bunny’s frustration with their own appreciation.
This trend of unauthorized AI-generated impersonations of popular artists and songs has grown recently with fans seeking out these imitations. Meanwhile, major labels have sent takedown notices to streaming services for AI soundalikes, and in a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative, the RIAA said certain AI vocal cloning sites infringe on their members’ copyrights and rights of publicity.
Back in April, both Drake and The Weeknd had their voices replicated for the track “Heart On My Sleeve” by a creator who goes by the name Ghostwriter.
In October, Ghostwriter and his manager explained to Billboard why deepfaking artists’ voices could be “the future of music.”
Bad Bunny’s reps did not return a request for comment.