Controversy Erupts Over Amr Mostafa’s Use of Artificial Intelligence to Recreate Umm Kulthum’s Voice

Composer and artist Amr Mostafa announced that he would present a song composed and composed by Umm Kulthum, using artificial intelligence technology, after he published a clip of the song on his Facebook page, in preparation for its full release at a later time.

Amr Mostafa commented on the clip he published, saying, “Over 24 years, during which I presented many melodies to the stars of the Arab world, and with the development of technology and artificial intelligence, I liked to listen if Kawkab al-Sharq Umm Kulthum sang from my tunes.”

Comments on the post came among those who strongly rejected this initiative, considering it an attack on intellectual property rights and a distortion of the history of Umm Kulthum, and among supporters who were enthusiastic about the idea and considered it a “return to the time of beautiful art”, and some of them asked to do the same thing with the voice of the late artist Abdel Halim Hafez, and advised others to pay attention Clarity and sound quality.

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judicial confrontation

As soon as the song was announced, producer Mohsen Jaber, owner of the “Alam Al-Fan- Musica” company, issued an official statement in which he said, “No one, including Amr Mostafa – despite my close relationship with him – dares to use artificial intelligence to evoke the voice of Planet East, Mrs. Umm Kulthum, or Using her name and image, there are eternal moral rights that are not imprescriptible.”

He revealed that he intends to “take legal measures against any farce or tampering with Umm Kulthum’s voice,” according to what was stated in the statement, which concluded that Umm Kulthum is “a great symbol that no one may copy or tamper with.”

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Amr Mostafa responded to the statement, saying that he would work to “revive the heritage…but without using a picture or a person’s name in order to preserve the rights of others.”

between experimentation and disadvantages of technology

Art critic Magda Khairallah commented on the matter in a phone call to the “End of the Day” program with the journalist Tamer Amin, and said that technology has made achievements, but it also leaves disasters.

She added, “The experience will be according to the size of the one who presents it,” and that Umm Kulthum “presented songs with Riyad Al-Sunbati, Baligh Hamdi, and Muhammad Abdel-Wahhab, so how will we see it with Amr Mustafa? The greatness of Umm Kulthum was not only in the choice of words and melody.”

Magda says, “There is a big difference between what Umm Kulthum presented and the song that Amr Mostafa intends to present.” “The human element will remain the basis and will not resemble the original.”

As for music critic Mohamed Attia, he said in exclusive statements to Al-Jazeera Net that “the matter is considered a legitimate and daring experiment from a technical point of view.” He emphasized that he was not against experimentation as long as it would result in something new.

He said, “We have to wait for what Amr Mostafa will produce, especially since we will see Umm Kulthum in a different formulation, and he will present it in a song from his words and melodies.” He added, “Abdul Halim Hafez was keen during his career to always develop and follow everything new. His career lasted for more years, perhaps he also cooperated with Hamid Al Shaeri in the nineties (of the last century), for example, but Umm Kulthum was somewhat apprehensive, and therefore the experience would show her in a different way.

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Attia commented on the prosecution of Amr Mostafa by the “Alam Al Fan” company, saying that the Egyptian composer in this case cannot be sued because he did not use the lyrical heritage of Umm Kulthum.

He explained, “Artificial intelligence and technology certainly have positive and negative repercussions as well, as it helped rap singers and festivals by using programs that help improve their voices that were exposed on the stage, but in the end, any artist has the right to try.”

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