Music collaboration presents itself in many forms and offers a great way to make new connections and reach new fans. But what are the ways best for artists to find musicians to collaborate with, and put themselves in the position to start mutually-beneficial musical relationships?
Jimmy Bortolo from music collaboration app Kwaver offers his advice when it comes to finding and working with other musicians.
How to collaborate with other musicians
1. Swap gigs
Get in touch with other bands or artists, invite them to your hometown, put them up for a few days and do a show together. They simply have to do the same for you, which will give you the chance to travel and reach new audiences.
2. Record a single
One of my favorite metal bands Gojira broke the American market by inviting Randy Blythe from hardcore pioneers Lamb of God to provide guest vocals on one of their tracks. This kind of collaboration can open new possibilities, and there really is no limit to what kind of artist can collaborate with you. Everybody shares, everybody wins.
3. Music collaboration app
An app focused on music collaboration, Kwaver is aimed at musicians who love collaborating with others. As opposed to spamming our fellow artists with your latest release, you can now jam on someone else's track adding instant value to that connection. And with a growing network of users from all over the world there’s no saying what will be added to your melody once you put it out there.
As a creative, you may know at least one working or aspiring filmmaker. Great visuals need great music to accompany it, and offer an entirely new medium to promote your music on. This applies to short films, art school projects, skate videos, YouTube clips – you name it!
5. Joint release
Got a new single and some unreleased material? It could be perfect for making a joint release with another up and coming band. You can release a limited number and make them a kind of special edition to be purchased every time you two perform together, or release it online through a music aggregator like Ditto Music. It’s totally the indie thing to do!
6. Impromptu appearance
We all have friends around the world in bands right? Travelling both short and long distances is now easier than ever, so it’s not difficult to convince your friend’s group to play one of your songs and have you sing it while you’re visiting the area.
We all know how expensive a professional producer costs – and for good reason! That’s why I believe that emerging artists can really learn a lot by producing each other’s music. Aside from reaching both of your fan bases, it’s a wonderful learning experience and can help to bring you closer with other performers and build on existing relationships.
8. Facebook it
Why not go to your favourite local band’s gig, take a few shots and post something about it? Do all the necessary tagging on the various platforms your band uses and give a good heartfelt write up on why your band digs this band. Fans from both parties will have chance to read, which can help put yours and their music in front of new audiences.
Rather than covering Wonderwall for the 100th time, why not cover a song from the independent scene? It doesn’t have to be a well-polished studio release, in fact, a low-key acoustic interpretation of an indie musician’s track will probably be seen as a big honor for song’s original creators, and is likely to be shared by the writers themselves, reaching their fans directly.
And finally the art of co-writing. Sometimes a lot of ideas get tossed to the side and eventually forgotten, but I believe it’s important to keep track of any ideas that could really use an outside writer. Co-writing with another artist offers the opportunity to learn new writing techniques and more importantly leave no song unfinished. Well, most of them.