Breathing visuals into music

GRAMMY award-winning musician Laufey visualizes deeply personal stories with help from Microsoft Copilot.

Laufey is a GRAMMY award‒winning, LA-based singer, composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist whose transportive jazz songs about young love and self-discovery are filled with wonder and wanderlust. Her songs are far from a mere “listening” experience. In fact, according to Laufey, music is just as much a “visual” experience. That’s because with each lyric and note you hear, there’s an image associated with it—whether we see it in our heads, in a music video, or on stage, it’s when the sound meets the visual that a complete story is told.

And with AI tools like Microsoft Copilot, musicians can explore new possibilities in visual representations of their music and collaborate in different ways, which helps them tell the story they truly set out to tell.

So Laufey, along with twin sister and creative director Junia and visual artist Sam Cannon, used Microsoft Copilot to find inspiration for stage visuals for a special live performance—giving fans a deeper look at the artist behind the music.

Timeless with modern twists

Laufey’s music takes classic, vintage sound and aesthetics, making them feel fresh and modern. It’s all about iteration; Laufey takes what came before—things like old films, records, and photographs—finds her inspiration there, and then repurposes them to make something unique and different.

As a tool, Microsoft Copilot helps create something new. When given a prompt, Copilot brings back ideas for completely fresh directions and creations. From there, the artists draw their own inspiration from what the AI has given them and create something entirely original.

For Laufey’s performance, she and Junia worked with Sam to cover all of the key emotions, atmospheres, and colors they wanted each song to display. Then, Sam, as the architect, would use the visual capabilities of Microsoft Designer, study the iterations, and help Laufey and Junia arrive at a direction and visual treatment for each song.

New technologies can help you tell stories in the best way possible, and support your team in the best way.
Sam Cannon
visual artist

Shared visions

When seeking a collaborator for this performance, there was perhaps no better candidate than Sam, whose work bridges traditional mediums with innovation. She explains that working with new technologies has been “built into her understanding of how to make art.” With her background, Sam would help Laufey and Junia discover the perfect visuals for each song in her performance.

Each song was an exciting new challenge, as each comes with its own personality and story to tell, which visually could come to life in so many exciting ways. Microsoft Copilot helps focus those thoughts and brainstorms. When talking to Sam, she shared that “starting from such a wide pool, and then having [Microsoft Copilot] contract it down, is such a nice process.”

For each song Laufey performed, you could see the result of their creativity and collaboration play out in spectacular fashion.

From sound to sight

For Laufey’s song “California and Me,” it was important to convey the bright, warm embrace of the state through the visuals—a feeling Laufey knows well, given that she calls The Golden State[smj1]  home. So Sam prompted Copilot, which then iterated and generated various art directions for the song’s performance. Laufey, Junia, and Sam chose their favorite directions and refined them into their own visuals, adding elements like a grainy filter to give the visuals that vintage, lived-in feel.

In Laufey’s song “Goddess,” you hear the lyrics “I’m a goddess on stage.” So Laufey and her team asked: What does that look like? How do we bring that to life?

Using that specific lyric as a creative touchpoint, Laufey, Junia, and Sam decided to prompt Copilot with elements of theater, tying in visual devices like a blue curtain to make the song and its story feel like a truly grand, celestial performance.

The art of collaboration

Behind each of Laufey’s songs lies a deeper interpretation or expression—a greater insight into the artist behind the work. And with technology’s help, Laufey, Junia, and Sam were able to bring those insights to the surface and connect with audiences in deeper ways than ever before.

But it didn’t just take a collaboration with technology: It took a combined talent, from different backgrounds, disciplines, and processes, that allowed this experience to happen—with Copilot to support their creation process.

With AI, more doors than ever are opening for artists of all backgrounds to tell their stories: merging mediums from visual to audio and beyond, creating deeper and richer experiences to inspire other artists and fans everywhere.