Music App Endel Is Now The First Algorithm Signed To An Actual Record Deal

By Brad Nash
25 March 2019
Credit: Endel
And 'it' can count Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars and Madonna as label mates

Music App Endel is already one of the coolest tech innovations in the biz right now. An adaptive platform that's designed to make soundscapes and sound-tracks in real time based on your biometric data and environment you're in, Endel hopes to revolutionise the way music helps people relax and focus in their day to day lives.

However, in doing so, they've also reached an odd new milestone, and one that could change the record industry's approach to algorithm-composed music altogether. Endel has just penned an album deal with recording giant Warner Music, making the app the first 'artist', to use the term loosely, that's actually just an algorithm.

“Warner approached us and we were hesitant at first because it counters what we’re doing here,” Endel’s co-founder and sound designer Dmitry Evgrafov told Rolling Stone. “Our whole idea is making soundscapes that are real-time and adaptive. But they were like, ‘Yeah, but can you still make albums?’ So we did it as an experiment. When a label like Warner approaches you, you have to say ‘Why not.'”

Apparently, Endel is contracted to produce 20 albums for Warner Music over an undetermined period of time, which is still not too bad considering the deal that actual human being Kanye West is currently trying to wriggle his way out of.

Amazingly though, all all 20 albums are apparently already done. They will all come out of Endel’s core algorithm, so they were technically, as Evgrafov says, “all made just by pressing one button.”

Five of the albums are already available in the form of “sleep soundscapes” (Clear Night, Rainy Night, Cloudy Afternoon, Cloudy Night and Foggy Morning), which are designed to reduce anxiety. You can listen to them all now on Apple Music and Spotify.

“Their innovative compositions provide unique listening experiences that will be introduced to a larger audience,” stated Kevin Gore, president of WMG’s Arts Division.

The deal could prove to be a groundbreaking one in the future of music composition, however it's  “We had to hire a copyright lawyer to answer all these questions they were asking, like, ‘Who’s going to collect the mechanical royalties for you’ and ‘Whose names do we put on the copyright,'” Stavitsky said. “We are a collective of designers and sound engineers. We didn’t know these terms! We ended up putting in all the names of the software engineers as the songwriters.”

Amazon’s Alexa Fund, Japanese conglomerate Avex Inc and Major Lazer’s Jillionaire can all count themselves as investors into the app.

Via GQ Australia