A music video has been produced using deep-fake technology by the family of a Birmingham musician who was killed in 2013 to raise awareness of the impact of knife crime.
The song, Life Cut Short, portrays Joshua Ribera, aka Depzman, as he was when he died.
He was killed after being stabbed in Selly Oak in 2013 and has since been viewed as one of the founders of Birmingham’s grime scene having been on tour with the likes of Skepta when he was aged just 16.
His mother, Alison Cope, was one of the main forces behind the video after saying that she felt not enough was being done to prevent knife crime.
Alison, who has won the Pride of Birmingham award for her work, said: “The idea behind the music video was to inspire change through Joshua’s words and Joshua’s image to reduce knife crime across the UK.”
Since releasing the video, it has already soared to 150,000 views in a few days, and circulated across social media platforms.
“For me personally it was very difficult because when I saw the original demo I thought ‘gosh, this is such a strange difficult idea’,” she said.
“A campaign like this has never really been done before, so I had to put my mum head to the side and really go for what I believed was the right thing to do, which was to try bring change for someone else’s child.”
Alison added that she believed there should be a move to make knife crime education compulsory in the UK. She said: “That way it will make a bigger impact.”
Despite the success of the song, Alison said it would be a one-off.
“It was never about bringing Josh back, It was just to spread a message,” she said.
The full interview can be seen below: