We went through why you need to collab with other artists in a previous post, but how would you approach artists if you’ve never done it before? Here are a couple of ways that you can try reaching out to producers:
5 THOUGHTS FROM ME
1. Before you start approaching artists, make a list of artists that you’d love to collab with and order it from top to bottom. It’s important to know who you want to collab with and why. What is that person bringing to the table? Normally, list the artist that would bring more than just experience to you first, but the important thing is that you’ll have a list of artists and a starting point to go through when reaching out to artists. To make this list, go to Youtube/Streaming platform and try to find songs in playlists that you see yourself in. For example, if you’re a melodic house producer, search for Melodic house playlists and list 10 artists that you’d realistically have a chance to collab with since major artists will be harder to accept. Then, put them on a list and get their emails / Instagram so you could try reaching out to them.
2. Find mutual friends who have worked with your desired collab artist and ask for an introduction. After making the list on item #1, try to find mutual friends between these artists and yourself. For example, if I wanted to collab with Matt Fax, I’d reach out to my friend Pete K who is really great friends with Matt and ask for an introduction. This is not a guarantee of success, but it’s MUCH easier than sending an email out of nowhere. As a second example, I met Pete K because of my former manager who introduced Pete to me, and Pete and I have done multiple things together because of that, which made things a LOT easier. Therefore, make sure to check who of these artists have mutual friends with you as they can help you tremendously when reaching out to these desired collab artists.
3. Reach out directly to your desired artist via email or Instagram. If you don’t know anyone who could introduce you to artists, you can try reaching out to these artists via email, like what I’ve done when I started my career. When I started producing progressive trance in 2017, I didn’t know anyone in the scene and I emailed several artists after making my ‘top 10 artists to collab’ list. Since you’re the one reaching out for a collab, always reach out with an idea for the collab since it’s easier to convince an artist you want to collab with them if you already have something to show other than just a thought. Of course, it can’t be a finished song, but something that gives a GOOD idea of the song and is enticing enough for someone to come in. I’ve tried this approach several times, including with artists that previously supported my songs, and it’s really effective when you have a good melody with you.
4. If you have been signed by a label, ask the label if they could introduce you to any artist for a collab. When you start working with a label and you don’t know anyone to collab with, ask them if they know anyone that you could collab with from their roster. If they like your music, they will most likely introduce you to someone that is signed to them as this could result in an even better song from artists that they have previously signed with, which could be another potential signing for the label. This approach can also work for remixes as well and definitely another way for you to meet new artists to collab.
5. If you just want to collab with someone, join forums and Discord servers that promote Collab Competitions to find a collab partner. LAR, a producer signed on multiple labels, hosts some collab competitions on his Discord and we are also going to start hosting Collab competitions soon at Abstrakt’s Discord Server, which could be an opportunity to collab with someone without needing to reach out to anyone as you’ll likely be paired with someone. But, you can also try reaching out to artists asking for feedback on these servers if they would be willing to do a collab with you. In this last approach, I recommend you to (1) give feedback to the producer and mention that you’ll send a direct message to him/her about the song. Then, in your DM, suggest a list of things you could do if you guys collabed together and hope they accept your offer.
1 QUESTION FOR YOU
How else can you find artists for collabs?
1. Go to Events and Clubs: When you go to events and clubs, you can try to meet the artists who are performing there, who could later become collab partners. That’s how I met JES, a famous singer who asked for a collab when I personally reached out in Miami during an event to thank her for supporting my tracks.
2. Ask mutual friends if they know any artists that it would be worth meeting: Sometimes, friends who are not related to music can introduce you to other artists they know, who could become friends and later collab partners. That’s how I met several vocalists that I’ve worked with…
3. Network the most you can and meet as many producers as you can: The more producers you meet and the more open you are to giving feedback, the more you’ll receive tracks that you could ask for a collab. As mentioned, Discord Servers are a good way to meet producers.