Randy Travis in a white shirt

With the Help of AI, Randy Travis Releases 'Where That Came From'

May 6, 2024 11:53 am GMT

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When country legend Randy Travis teased a new song last week, many fans and followers were left elated but also likely left thinking "how?"

The artist and his voice came to define the country music genre in the 1980s and '90s; however, in 2013, the 'Three Wooden Crosses' star suffered a stroke that has inhibited his speech and therefore his ability to sing. It has been over a decade since Travis has released new music until now.

'Where That Came From' arrived Friday (May 3). The sweeping serenade, carried on his hallmark heavenly baritone, is a striking example of the artist's unparalleled talent but also an unexpected reminder of his ability to still aim straight for the heart.

Soon after the song's release, it was revealed to have been made possible through AI. On Sunday (May 5), CBS Sunday Morning offered a behind-the-scenes look at the new song, the dream and the team that made it happen.

During the segment for the morning television program, Warner Music Nashville's co-chair and co-president, Cris Lacy, discussed how the label began to navigate the topic of artificial intelligence, saying, "And the first thing that came to mind was, we would give Randy Travis his voice back."

The artist's longtime producer Kyle Lehning helmed the project, which involved pulling over 40 of Travis' tracks from the vault and stripping away the music to leave only the singer's vocals. Then the label brought in a "surrogate" voice in the form of singer James DuPre to record the new song.

An AI program then took Travis' vocals and DuPre's singing, attempting to marry the two through an overlaying process, and somewhere along the way, the team got what would be 'Where That Came From.' It was no easy feat, however. "It's not about how it sounds; it's about how it feels," Lehning offered.

They seem to have achieved that feeling, the segment showing Travis' friends and family blown away by the track from the first listen. But being able to do it all again is proving difficult.

"We don't exactly know how to get here again," Lacy explained, revealing there is a second song currently in the works that has been tougher to tackle. However, after over a decade, Travis' post-stroke debut is here and that feels like a win.

"Eleven years ago I never thought I would be able to have a hand in music production of any kind, but by God’s grace and the support of family, friends, fellow artists, and fans, I’m able to create the music I so dearly love," the legend shared of the moment on social media. "Working with Kyle Lehning and Warner Music Nashville again has been so special and nostalgic, and I’m so excited to share my new song 'Where That Came From' with you today. Many thanks to my wonderful team and the best fans in the world for putting me back in the saddle again! I’ve enjoyed every moment of it."

For more on Randy Travis, see below:

Written by Alli Patton
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