How AI created the duet between João Gomes and Luiz Gonzaga

Discover how iFood used artificial intelligence to make the forró idol's dream of singing with the King of Baião at Arraial Estrelado come true

This story starts with a big dream. A fan's dream, realized by iFood, which used artificial intelligence to unite Pernambuco singers and composers João Gomes and Luiz Gonzaga — the latter who died in 1989 — in a duet.

This Sunday, July 9th, the two artists “met” in São Paulo, at Arraial Estrelado, sponsored by iFood. With a helping hand from technology, young João Gomes, a revelation in forró and piseiro, sang one of his biggest hits, “Eu Tem a Senha”, alongside Gonzagão, our King of Baião —and a great idol of João.

João dreamed of singing with Luiz Gonzaga. And iFood, a Brazilian company Connected with the country's cultural roots, she decided to face the challenge of making this partnership possible. 

“The idea came up just over a month ago”, says Fernanda Neder, Brand Experience manager at iFood. “We always look for unusual and innovative actions in everything we do.”

But how did artificial intelligence bring João Gomes and Luiz Gonzaga together?

To make João's dream come true, following his innovation footprint, iFood sought the expertise of two companies: Haute, responsible for the creative project, and the Analog Digital Atelier, who took care of the audiovisual project.

The Ateliê is run by audiovisual artist Caio Fazolin, who brought to iFood News some curious – and revealing – data about the work that gave rise to the duet between João Gomes and Luiz Gonzaga at Arraial Estrelado. 

“The audiovisual process was 100% carried out using artificial intelligence tools, there is no other technique in the production of audio or video”, explains Caio. “There were two distinct intelligences, one for sound and one for image.”

To compose Luiz Gonzaga's visual and vocal performance, the artificial intelligence tools needed to be “trained”. Voice preparation involved 80 minutes of isolated voice samples from Luiz Gonzaga, taken from almost one hundred songs in his repertoire.

Gonzagão's visual participation was divided into six generations, or phases, of training. Each one focused on different aspects of Luiz Gonzaga's figure, such as his physical type, his expressions and his clothes. In total, around 60 images were used in the process.

For more than a month, the work mobilized a team of 12 people considering the two partner companies, between planning, script and creative process.

The duet at Arraial Estrelado 

The end result of so much effort was seen by those who participated in Arraial Estrelado. And it was the realization of a big dream that appears in the video produced by artificial intelligence. 

Before singing in partnership, the images on the screen project an animation of João Gomes, transporting us to his childhood in the Pernambuco municipality of Serrita. It was there that his desire to one day sing with Luiz Gonzaga began.

“We took the video to a more playful nature, which is basically a way of understanding what artificial intelligence is doing, it is dreaming and not replicating the whole reality on stage”, explains Caio Fazolin. 

“The idea was never to replace Luiz Gonzaga, but rather to pay homage, because no machine can replace an artist like him.”

Drawing a parallel with the iFood business, Fernanda Neder describes the duet as “the delivery of an order”. “It’s in the company’s DNA,” he says. “And, in this case, what we delivered was the realization of João Gomes’ dream.”

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