Do You Really Need Talent to be in a Band?

This question really gets to the core of a lot of musicians because it really boils down to ego.

You Really Need Talent

Who likes being replaced? Who likes being seen as superfluous? Who likes being dismissed as a relic of the past? Last time I checked, nobody celebrated the fact that they were a dinosaur.

Let’s face it, most people like to feel that they matter. Most people would like to feel that they are important, at some level or another. And the problem is, when you are talking about talent in any kind of creative concept, these fears of being replaced come to the surface again and again.

People have this irrational reaction to any kind of feedback or any kind of scenario where they feel that they are going to be displaced. Everybody would like to feel that they offer something that is completely and totally irreplaceable. Otherwise, the feel disrespected. Otherwise, they feel that they don’t matter. And ultimately, they feel really scared because they are no longer in control.

And this is why the whole idea of talent and its centrality form the cornerstone of modern music making myth. But the truth is, thanks to technology, talent is not really needed if you’re in a band.

I know that’s depressing, I know that that’s probably going to rub you the wrong way. You probably want to close this window and curse me. Go ahead and do that. But that’s not going to make the fact go away because technology can turn somebody singing off key in a bathroom or shower somewhere into the next Justin Timberlake.

It’s really all about auto-tuning and auto-compositional skills. And that’s just old technology. Can you imagine how sound recordings would play out in the real world once machine learning Artificial Intelligence hits the music industry? Scary stuff.

Now, to put this in context, please understand that Artificial Intelligence is turning the world upside down. If you work in a factory, good luck. If you drive trucks for a living, I wish you good fortune. Why? Artificial Intelligence is gunning for those jobs first.

These are low-hanging fruits. There are self-driving trucks. There are self-driving cars. The vast majority of Uber and GrabTaxi drivers today will be out of a job soon enough, thanks to this technology.

In the world of creative arts, actors stand to be replaced by fully synthetic automated computer generated images. And we’re not talking about just emotionless, plastic, corny-looking contraptions that you see on the screen. These are not jokes.

We’re talking about real actors being scanned and then their information fed into software that makes predictions and learns from actual acting reels. In other words, the software “observes” actors and learns what they do in certain situations. And, check this out, it makes predictions as to how to react. How do you beat that?

So I don’t mean to depress you, but this really is the answer. You don’t need talent to be in a band. You don’t need talent to make music whatsoever because of technology.

Now, as scary, depressing, and discouraging as this may all sound, it actually opens tremendous opportunities because it takes creativity to a whole other level.

Because if you’re freaked out about a piece of software singing a song that you could have been singing, you’re missing the point. Somebody still has to write the song. Somebody still has to have the soul to write the song. Do you see how this works?

In other words, you are just pushed gently or, in certain cases, very rudely and roughly, to go up to the next notch higher in the food chain. It’s not all that bad if you think about it.