Collaborate And Split The Audience
Collaborate With Other Musicians and Split Your Collective Audience
Believe it or not but there was a time not long ago when all collaborations in music didn’t include Pitbull. A time before seeing “Feat” wasn’t met with a grimace at the thought of another cheesy, self indulgent, irrelevant verse in a pop song. Hard to believe I know.
There was a time when collaborations were the coming together of great artists, to put together a fantastic track. Whether that collab was joint vocals, a guitar riff or even a harmonica solo, it didn’t matter, as a fan seeing a band you enjoy collaborating with another well known name was great! Especially if it is an artist or band you also enjoy.
So, how to get started? As I’m assuming you don’t have any contacts to Pitbull or Sean Paul and you want to avoid recreating the sinfully awkward Mick Jagger/David Bowie fiasco, I’d say start by looking at yourself.
What ever level you think you’re at, look at your fan base and find the connections. Use tools like Last.fm & Twitter to see what bands are similar to you (and therefore likely to have a similar fan base) and see who your followers are also following. What connections to other bands do you have that you haven’t noticed before. Check their location & check the location of their audience (which you can do using Facebook to see what regions they make the biggest impact), have they got a large southern fan base, but are lacking in the North West? Do you need help in the South but are big pimpin’ in the North West? Add it together and you’ve got equal opportunities for both of you.
Some bands/aritsts I guess would find it odd to be approached about a collaboration by a random band. So approach it slowly, why not follow them on Twitter first, open up a dialogue, let them know you enjoy their music, then approach the subject from there. Try & move the conversation to email, as to explain it all in 140 characters would be a pain in the backside.
I’m sure you’re wondering “what about the cost?” – I know studio time etc can be expensive, let alone travel, accommodation, beer, food etc. so in this ingenious digital era, what is stopping you recording separately? Have your collab record their part in a location, local to them & have it sent over so it can be mixed & mastered with your own parts. You can use tools like Dropbox for the sharing of large files if needed. Or maybe the band is on tour, if they’re passing a nearby town, why not have them pop in to lay down the tracks in between gigging?
Going on tour? Well you’ve already done one part, you’ve found a band with a similar fan base & style to yourself. So why not record an acoustic version of one of your tracks with the collab one night while on tour and throw it up on Youtube, or if it’s just audio, put it up on Soundcloud & let people download it for free, what have you lost? Having different versions of your songs online is great! Be they live, lyric videos, still images, official videos or acoustics! When people then search for your video the right hand bar is taken up by these versions instead of other non-related videos. Yourself and the other band/artist can plug the video, you’ll get views from the bands fans & get recognised by association, they may enjoy the acoustic version, check out the original, from which they SHOULD easily be able to find links to you Facebook, Twitter, Website etc. and be able to check you out in more detail (given you’ve customised your Youtube Channel properly).
By recording an acoustic version while on tour, you’re giving both band’s audiences an insight into the backstage goings on, which in itself is nothing special anymore now bands can Tweet & Instagram about what beer & sandwiches they’re being given. Like i’ve already said a collab will introduce each band’s fans to the other.
I understand that there are some logistical issues with what I’ve suggested, but I’m sure you could find a way to make it work. Having that association with another band or artist could bring some more traffic, and from that traffic more fans, and potentially from those fans, more sales. You could find an entirely new fan base in a region you were struggling to enter, you could come to the attention of bloggers, promoters, etc who may have had an eye on this other band or artist and their interest could spread to yourselves. You could even return the favour down the line if you wanted. You’ve created a professional relationship between yourself and the other band, who knows how that could work out for you further down the line.
So that’s it, to summarise: Check your connections > find a collab > approach > organise > plug > watch the effects.
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What I’m listening to: French Wives
Tags: audience, bands, collaborations, David Bowie, digital, digital marketing, dropbox, Facebook, fanbase, feat, featuring, indie, last.fm, marketing, Mick jagger, music, Pitbull, promotion, SEO, soundcloud, tips, twitter, unsigned, video, youtube
About Tom SatchwellCommunity Manager at Fortitude Magazine. Read Tom's Industry blog at: www.BeatsOnToast.wordpress.com and follow him on Twitter: @TomSSatchwell
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