Creating A Successful Collaboration
When you work on a collab, you create a new ladder that helps you climb to the next level. Collaborations are highly popular in music due to the fruitful opportunities they bring. By working with another artist, you gain direct access to a whole new fanbase you wouldn’t have had access to previously.
By collaborating you get an extra pair of ears, hands and eyes to help you work… Oh, and another brain too, probably. With this you will overcome creative blocks and bring out new strains of creativity you didn’t know you had! More than that, you can unlock a brilliant new sound that you never would’ve made on your own, influencing your style and developing your sound more and more.
Many Independent Musicians love collaborating with other musicians. In fact, some artists have found themselves working on even more collabs recently because of the pandemic. With so many people feeling isolated, working on a collab provides growth and some well needed human interaction.
However, as an artist you need to get your priorities right before you work on this kind of project. Here, we will explain the importance of defining your Strengths, Weaknesses, Roles and Goals.
Strengths and Weaknesses
In order to get started, you need to know what you bring to the table and what your guest needs to bring. There’s no point looking for someone who’s bringing dessert if what you really need is a bottle of wine.
Assess yourself and evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. That way you’ll know what you’re looking for in a music collab. Ask yourself:
- What is your process missing?
- Is there something you need help with?
- What can you contribute?
- What do you need to take it to the next level?
Use your strengths and weaknesses to define appropriate roles in the collaboration. If the roles aren’t clear, you will step on each other’s toes and get frustrated. Good music partnerships are based on complimenting individual strengths.
Goals and Aspirations
Good collaborations start with the music. But they don’t stop there. The success of your collab will be based on the work you both put in to making it a success. Being on the same page about your goals is crucial. You both need to get the most out of your work together right now and in the future, so you want to ensure you collab with someone who will put in as much effort as you.
The idea behind a collaboration is to bring two artists together to mutually benefit. You will both open doorways to each others networks, provide a new platform for discovery and have double the man power pushing the track.
- What are the short-term goals with this release?
- Are there any long-term goals?
- Can you communicate with this person?
The most important thing here is communication. You will need to be able to work together in order to make the track a success.
How to find a collab partner
Sometimes it can be very easy to find an artist to collab with. Other times, it can be like finding a needle in haystack. Whoever it is, it needs to work for you. Invest time in picking the right partnership opportunities. Don’t waste your time on someone who won’t provide any positive growth for you.
- Look on music platforms to find people who have music you like. Check out Spotify, SoundCloud, YouTube, and contact them!
- Use your own network, see if your friends and family know anyone!
- Play live shows and attend live shows.
- Get involved in the local creative community.
When you look for a collab you need a partner who benefits you, whilst also benefiting from you. Look for people with similar audiences, that bring something you don’t have. You should be making a track that appeals to both of your audiences and enables both to pick up new fans from each other.
Right now we are in a challenging situation where in-person collaborations aren’t really any option. Just as artists have had to adapt their performing to live streaming, the same has had to be done with collaborations.
Every artist enjoys working in a different style. Some will enjoy working on an idea in private and exchanging the drafts or proposals after they’ve been fleshed out more. Other artists will like to stay in touch and take the journey together. A lot of artists find themselves somewhere in the middle of these strategies. For an effective collab, you’ll need someone who likes to work in a similar way to you.
Set up a meeting schedule that works for you to discuss, develop and build upon your ideas. In remote partnerships, video calls are ideal for exchanging ideas, lyrics, melodies and exploring the overall aesthetic of your track.
When it comes to crunch time, many music artists struggle to overcome the nerves and live in the moment. Insecurities can really hold you back and this is especially true for artists starting to create with others.
Whilst anxiety is very challenging to overcome, walking into a session unprepared will only make those issues more difficult. In order to offset that, do as much preparation as you can, develop some starting points and be ready to discuss those. Think about the message, style, lyrics and sound that you want to create. When you go in to your meeting, you will already have an idea of what you are looking for, making it much easier to feel confident in discussing this.
Whilst co-writing sessions usually happen together, don’t go in with no ideas. You will need inspiration to create the lyrics, so brainstorm before hand in order to start effectively. A prolonged session will be unproductive and probably escalate any anxieties you have.
Also, ensure that you focus on work before play. It may be fun to catch up for an hour or two before starting, but you will get tired and lose your creative juices. You don’t want to waste all of your energy on talking about your crazy night out and leave none for your track. Aim to reach the peak of productivity earlier in the day, and chat later.
When you collaborate, you need to enjoy yourself. If you don’t, then don’t bother!
Collabs tend to be received really well by audiences when they have a genuine, authentic energy. You need to enjoy yourself and connect well with your partner in order to get this.
Be sure to let your partner know that you value their work before, during and after the track is put together. You’ll both work hard and help each other’s careers. Celebrate that and keep a positive relationship going!
Are you looking to get your music out there? With Identity Music you can get your music all over the globe in order to gain the maximum exposure. By using our distribution and music promotion services, you’ll be able to take control while watching your music reach new heights.
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