What we’ll cover:
What is a collaboration? 1
How to find other musicians to collaborate with? 2
What is a collaboration?
In music, collaboration is the act of working with someone else to produce material or content. This could include vocalists, DJs, mixers and producers. As an emerging artist, working collaboratively with more established names can help improve your social reach and reputation and enable you to establish a network with other people in the industry. Working collaboratively has changed dramatically since the start of the digital age with artists now being able to work together without actually ever meeting.
Collaborative projects can have a massive impact on your career; Ed Sheeran’s ‘No.5 Collaborations Project’, which featured music with a variety of future grime stars like Wiley and Devlin, was a critically acclaimed success and arguably led to Sheeran’s signing at a record label.
How to find other musicians to collaborate with
Whilst collaboration is an important tool for an emerging artist, musicians often cite the inability to find suitable collaborators as the main reason why they fail to capitalise and take on collaborative projects. Try using the following tips and tricks to help find fellow collaborators:
1 Get out there – go to local gigs and open mic nights to find and experience artists who you want to work with. Think about the venues they are playing at and the amount of fans that turn up; however, don’t limit yourself to thinking just about numbers – make sure you also think about the potential of some these artists and if they could help showcase your talents. Remember to go and see things that are outside of your comfort zone, try nightclubs and think about finding DJs to produce potential remixes or exploring the choral scene to add emotional depth to your backing vocals.
2 Check out your contemporaries – think about who other bands or artists are working with; did you like a particular song or video by a band, if so, check out who wrote it or who produced the video. Also consider asking contemporaries to work with you, chances are that both your fan base and theirs will have a lot in common so capitalise on this – maybe your vocalist could feature on one of their tracks or you could join them on stage at a local show for one of their numbers.
3 Think about your level and think about where you want to go – you’re not the only one at this stage of their career, think about approaching other artists or DJs who are talented but are also yet to receive their big break in the industry (think about Ed Sheeran and his relationship with grime). These artists are more likely to want to get involved and together you can produce something of high quality.
4 …but go big too! – one of the main purposes behind a collaboration, from the point of view of an emerging artist, is to get a leg up from the collaborator. You want to use their presence to help push your music, whilst you do need to think realistically don’t be scared to contact artists who you think may be just out of your reach.
5 Back yourself up – if you contact someone to collaborate with you then you need to make sure that you are professional and have a solid social media presence and YouTube channel to back yourself up. Try seeing things from their perspective, these people won’t collaborate with someone who won’t do anything for their own career.
6 Social collaboration – make sure you look through social media and YouTube to find potential collaborators. Remember to think about the amount of social presence and reach that someone has on social media, by collaborating with them then you have found a quick fire way of boosting your exposure.
7 SoundCloud – statistically considered to be the leading place to find a collaborator; SoundCloud is a leading audio distribution platform that has grown incredibly popular with emerging artists receptive to collaborative projects, notably DJs and vocalists.
8 Pay for guidance – if you’re really struggling to find someone to work with then there are industry experts with whole networks of contacts who can put you in touch with people. Of course, this comes at a price!
9 Listen if people come to you – if people come to you with an idea for a collaborative project then make sure you hear them out. The opportunity might be too good to turn down!
10 Try using some of the following apps and sites to find musicians online:
1 Find a Musician: https://www.find-a-musician.com
2 Meet Up: https://www.meetup.com/
3 Meet&Jam: https://meetandjam.com/
4 Gumtree: https://www.gumtree.com/
5 Join My Band: https://www.joinmyband.co.uk/
6 JamKazam: https://www.jamkazam.com/
7 BandMix: https://www.bandmix.co.uk/
8 Bandhub: https://www.bandhub.com/