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THE CONCEPT A.I. ALBUM: Pioneering artists embrace new creative frontier

In partnership with BACARDÍ

By Dale Fox

Stylised image of several musicians against a tropical orange and yellow background
(Left to Right) Kyle Dion, Blackway, Savannah Ré, Floyd Fuji, Bellah. [Screens: Boi-1da] (Image: Emma Trim; Paula "Narcography" Abu; Aijani Payne)

An intriguing musical experiment has officially arrived with the release of THE CONCEPT A.I. ALBUM, developed through a partnership between legendary producer  Boi-1da and BACARDÍ.

The genre-defying project has seen Boi-1da training proprietary A.I. systems on his signature production aesthetic to generate unique instrumentals. These cutting-edge beats have then been crafted into full songs by a hand-picked roster of rising talents.

They span UK R&B songstress Bellah, eclectic crooner and Florida native Kyle Dion, Virginia-based Floyd Fuji, Canadian powerhouse Savannah Ré, and Ghanaian-US rapper Blackway. The project is part of BACARDÍ’s Music Liberates Music campaign uplifting emerging global talents.

“A.I. can’t tell my stories the way I can tell my stories” – Bellah

While created with assistance from artificial intelligence, creative control remained firmly in the artists’ hands. As collaborator Bellah explains: “A.I. can’t tell my stories the way I can tell my stories, and it doesn’t have my experience. I think if we use A.I. as a tool to assist, and not as a tool to completely replace, then [artistic integrity] should be preserved.”

Bellah sings onstage to a busy crowd
Bellah brings the house down during the THE CONCEPT A.I. ALBUM listening party (Image: Aaron Parsons photography)

True enough, standout cuts like Bellah’s soulful ‘Something to Prove’ and Kyle Dion’s moody ‘All You Wanted’ bleed with raw human emotion throughout, alongside the futuristic touches of machine learning. “A.I. can’t be human,” muses Dion. “So there are things that will never, you know, be me.”

“We have the power to unlock near-limitless creative possibilities” – Boi-1da

But the technology behind THE CONCEPT A.I. ALBUM aims to liberate music, not replace musicians. As Boi-1da shares: “By working with A.I. at the beginning of the music creation process, we have the power to unlock near-limitless creative possibilities and provide opportunities to collaborate in ways we could never previously imagine.”

Boi-1da sits on a couch holding a bottle of Bacardi
Boi-1da (Image: AIJANI PAYNE)

Indeed, Bellah sees A.I. in music as a valuable tool that levels the playing field: “Technology has helped music for how many years? I think this is how we get there.” Fellow album star Savannah Rè also notes, “I think we’re at the helm of something new, but that’s exciting.” And Blackway, who admits he was met with “genuine surprise” when hearing his A.I.-powered track, believes it has artistic merit. “It felt completely different from the original, but it was dope,” he says. “I feel like it was just as impactful as the original song.”

Stunning the crowds at THE CONCEPT A.I. ALBUM launch party

That hand-crafted artistry took centre stage at an exclusive THE CONCEPT A.I. ALBUM launch party in London on 6 December, hosted by BBC 1Xtra’s Nadia Jae. Bellah wowed the celebrity-studded crowd with a world-first live performance of her album track, backed by her live band and dancers. With driving rhythms and soaring vocals, she performed a passionate set of four songs, including three of her biggest hits.

Guests ranging from Professor Green to DJ Cuppy were there to witness Bellah’s stunning performance, before partying into the night enjoying bespoke BACARDÍ cocktails to a soundtrack of classic hip hop and R&B hits.

Raising creative ambitions to new heights

Now available on all major streaming platforms, THE CONCEPT A.I. ALBUM may mark a revolutionary moment for the industry. But above all, it captures pioneering artists doing what they do best: pouring their hearts into songwriting, storytelling, and sound. Just as Bellah raised the roof with her powerhouse showcase, this rising generation of musicians now look to raise their creative ambitions to new heights.

THE CONCEPT A.I. ALBUM is available to stream on Spotify now – click here to listen.

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