I love collabs and I’ve done many over the years. I love how the merge is always greater than the sum of the parts, but for that to happen, some things may need to be done before:
4 THOUGHTS FROM ME
1. When collaborating with someone, make the most of it. Instead of just making a song, make it a growth experience. Learn how your collab partner works, learn the techniques he/she uses you find interesting, learn about his/her workflow, and try to learn as much as you can. It can be only about the song, but, as long as you want to, it’s an opportunity to learn and develop yourself as well. Some things you can learn: Workflow; Techniques; Sound design; Exchange packs; how to mix and master, etc. Make it a COLLABORATION, not a dispute.
2. You’re not collaborating to steal an audience or to get the technique you’ve been wanting to put your hands in. That’s an outcome focus and you should focus on the journey, as always with music. Have fun instead. The experience of doing a song along with an artist that you admire is an opportunity to have fun and also gain from it. People notice when ‘you are there for the wrong intentions’, so just enjoy the process.
3. It’s always important to discuss the terms of a collab at the beginning of a collab. How will this work? Will it work with stems or within someone’s DAW? Which label are you both aiming for? There’s nothing worse than having to leave a song you liked working on because of a difference of interests. Therefore, get it out of the way before you even start to effectively collab, which is something I suggest not only for producer collabs, but also for vocal collabs, as mentioned in this post.
4. As with any relationship, collabs require compromise. Something you did that you love may not be liked by your partner, and that’s fine. However, you shouldn’t need to ‘settle’ in a collab. Discuss and, if necessary, redo it until you reach common ground. Most importantly, if you’re not happy with the result, don’t hide it. You’re both in this together.
1 QUESTION FOR YOU
1. How do you normally find collab partners? Here are some ways that worked for me in the past:
a. List the people you want to work with and email them, one at a time. Look for their email on their Facebook/Instagram page;
b. If someone reaches out to you for a collab, ask if they have any melodies to show you. Many collabs of mine happened like this;
c. Go to a forum, like discord, ask for feedback and, if anyone gave you really good ideas, ask that person to collab with you. Maybe those ideas could be better executed by them.