Who Is James Dupré? The Real Voice Behind The AI Randy Travis Song

Country star Randy Travis’ new song “Where That Came From” has been making waves since its release just a short while ago. It’s the star’s first song in a decade since recovering from a stroke that left him unable to speak. The song has been a pretty big deal, in part because it features vocals from Louisiana country star James Dupré. Or does it?

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Dupré had worked with Travis’ producer Kyle Lehning around 2011 to record the track. The song itself was written by John Scott Sherrill and Scotty Emerick. The version Dupré recorded never was released. However, Lehning decided to give the track another chance over a decade later with the new release of Travis’ “Where That Came From”.

“I really just thought he recorded it years ago and I never knew about it,” Dupré said in an interview with Rolling Stone. “Then they told me about the AI and I was just so fascinated.”

James Dupré’s Role in “Where That Came From” 

The song certainly sounds like a Randy Travis song. However, the AI-generated vocals were made to sound like the country star. Dupré’s original recorded vocals were used as a “canvas” for the AI-generated version of Travis.

The song is one of the first of its kind: an artist-backed commercially-released track. Travis can no longer sing due to the stroke he suffered over a decade ago. AI has given his career a new life. It’s certainly positive news when compared to the often negative depiction of AI’s role in music.

That being said, it’s not entirely clear how well Dupré will be compensated for providing a vocal bed for the AI-generated track. Again, this is brand-new territory in the music industry. A rep from the Warner label that Dupré originally worked with said that the country singer was paid for the song. However, they were not clear on whether or not Dupré would be compensated for the new rendition of the track using Travis’ AI-generated voice over his own.

Photo courtesy of James Dupré’s Facebook page

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