Pakistani musician Shiraz Uppal faced what he deemed a “dearth of good female voices” in the country, leading him to craft a groundbreaking solution: Neha Gupta, the first “Indo-Pak” AI female singer.
Uppal, a celebrated musician, composer, and producer with a musical legacy spanning 25 years in both Pakistan and India, owns the renowned S.U. Studios in Lahore. Here, he seamlessly merged music and technology, giving rise to Gupta, an artificial intelligence-generated entity capable of producing music and vocals.
Fueled by a vision to address the shortage of quality female voices in Pakistan, Uppal utilized Gupta’s unique capabilities for his son Haadi Uppal’s latest track, “Cheti Aa,” released last Sunday.
Explaining his inventive approach, Uppal remarked, “There is a dearth of good female voices in Pakistan while India is full of female voices. So, I decided to create a unique [female] voice that I can use as per my will. This hasn’t been done in India yet.”
Despite the political tensions between Pakistan and India, he envisioned Gupta’s voice resonates globally wherever Urdu is spoken, emphasizing that “art has no boundaries.”
Pakistani artists, facing restrictions on working in India, often gain immense popularity in the neighbouring country. Uppal acknowledged this dilemma and, breaking conventional barriers, added Gupta, an Indian-named entity, to Neha.
Initiated last year, the project involved months of training AI to capture the essence of a female singer’s timbre and tonality. Uppal steered away from mimicking popular voices like Shreya Ghoshal, opting for a “raw voice” akin to Indian singers Rekha Bhardwaj and Sunidhi Chauhan.
Remarkably, Uppal employed a male voice mimicking falsetto to create Gupta’s sound, representing a middle-aged woman in her early 30s. The debut song, “Cheti Aa,” featuring his son, received positive acclaim, prompting Uppal to contemplate the creation of additional voices based on the response.
“I can create 10 more voices, but right now, I am waiting for the response I get for Neha Gupta. If it’s very good, I would love to create new male and female voices,” Uppal concluded.