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Artist Spotlight: Sia releases holiday lo-fi album with the help of AI

The most wonderful time of year can also be the most stressful. This season, singer-songwriter Sia has worked with Endel to launch two new soundscape albums to encourage happier, cozier holidays. 

Sia, who boasts over 64 million monthly listeners on Spotify, has been a bastion of modern pop since her debut solo album "onlysee," released in 1997. Since then, she has released nine studio albums, including iconic hits like "Chandelier" and "Cheap Thrills."

Her influence doesn't stop at music streaming platforms, as the singer has frequently made her mark in the film industry. Sia has written or performed songs in movies like "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," "Zootopia" and "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse." In 2021, she wrote and directed "Music," a movie starring Kate Hudson, Leslie Odom Jr. and Maddie Ziegler. 

Along with her impressive discography, she is also known for her modern and unique stylistic choices. The Australian singer often wears a wig that obscures her face to protect her privacy. This iconic hairdo has graced dozens of television screens, red carpets and magazine covers. 

Around the holiday season, you may have heard Sia's holiday hit, "Snowman," played on radios across the country. "Snowman" is one of the top 10 most streamed Christmas songs of all time. These songs, recently re-released as "Gimme Christmas: (Lo Fi Soundscape)," have become synonymous with winter-time merriment. 

These contemporary holiday favorites can be enjoyed through two unique listening experiences thanks to artificial intelligence (AI) technology. 

Gimme Christmas (Lo Fi Soundscape) was released on Dec. 4. This lo-fi-style album is a reimagined version of her album "Everyday Is Christmas."

The nine-time Grammy-nominated artist worked with Endel, an AI sound wellness company. Endel uses AI technology to create digital soundscapes that decrease stress and support sleep, focus and relaxation. Endel has worked with chart-topping artists like Grimes, James Blake and Miguel and amassed an audience of nearly 3 million monthly listeners/users across its various platforms. 

Endel used audio stems from Sia's original tracks and transformed them using AI-powered technology to give the songs a scientifically guided functional twist.

"Gimme Christmas (Lo-fi Soundscapes)" re-envisions Sia's holiday hits into relaxed tracks while maintaining the holiday spirit and original feel of Sia's songs. The songs are a fitting background track to studying during finals season but are not so obviously holiday-themed that they can't be listened to year-round. 

There is no debate that AI technology has spiked in popularity within the century. Its impact has become apparent in almost every realm, and the music industry is no exception. 

With AI's increasing influence, it makes sense for popular artists to utilize modern technology to their advantage. The controversies surrounding AI, reimaging tracks in the way Sia and Endel have, will slowly become more common. 

Another album by Sia and Endel, "Gimme Christmas (Sleep Soundscape)," will be released on Dec. 11. Listen to Sia and Endel's new album, "Gimme" Christmas (Lo-fi Soundscapes)" here.


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