We’ve previously shared with you the collab rules according to Beyoncé and the 5 times you should not collaborate with another artist. Today, however, we’re delving even further giving you a checklist of 10 pivotal questions you should answer before comititng to a collaboration in order to benefit both you and your ‘co-worker’. Nobody likes getting the short end of the stick and your aim should be to have a fruitful collaborative effort that will positively reflect back on both of you in the long-run.
10. Is the collab artist equal to you in social engagement?
If the discrepancy between your brands’ social engagement is too wide and too far, it will result in an uneven spectrum of reactions, promotional value, and royalty payout. Unless you are a successful artist trying to genuinely help the new guy, you are better off skipping on a collaboration that will mostly benefit one artist and bring no value to the other.
9. Do your brand statements align?
If you choose to collaborate with an artist whose values go against yours, you are betraying your entire fanbase. Imagine you support someone you deeply admire because they stand for equality, freedom, and protection of animals, when all of a sudden, that artist decides to collaborate with someone who is racist, imposes their politicial stance on everyone else, and wears real fur. You will begin hating the original artist with the same passion you used to support them. So use MAJOR caution when collaborating with someone.
8. What is the collab act’s trajectory for the next year, or five?
Let’s assume they match your social engagement rates, they have similar values, but lack any continuity plan for their career while you are about to empty your bank account to invest in the new album. You will feel robbed if the collaborating artist will not try to progress on his/her own after your collaboration is completed. By associating yourself with someone who will advance irrespectively of how the collaboration goes, you are placing yourself for future success. Every single time an artist is discovered and his catalog churned through, all of his past songs receive major attention so keep this in mind before signing on the dotted line.
7. Do you have a marketing plan in place?
Because nothing will spell wasted effort more than focusing on the creative and technical process alone. For a song to even matter and move the needle for both of your careers, a common marketing plan must be established well in advance. Decide what channels will be used, how frequently, how will you incentivize your fans to check each other’s music out, for how long will the social media links stay in place, etc, etc, etc. The more details you can be extremely specific about beforehand, the more satisfied everyone will be and the more traction the collaboration will provide for both artists.
6. What are both of your expectations from the collaboration?
If there are underlying expectations that will not be met upon the release of the song and eventual marketing steps, resentment will overtake professionalism and bridges will be burned. Ensure you don’t promise things you are not certain of, and that equally you don’t place unfair expectations on the collaborating artist. Have the hard conversations in advance to avoid later headaches.
5. Do you sincerely believe in them and they in you?
Because energy does make itself felt and if the intention is not genuine, the soul won’t be in it and the fans won’t wholeheartedly jump behind supporting the record. A collaboration will equally benefit two artists if and only if the artists sincerely admire one another and are excited to be working together.
4. Do you have a previous form of relationship?
A stick with more than two edges. Ideally, you want the other artist to be a semi-friend but not a full-on real friend. If they know you too well, you might take their efforts for granted and they may equally not appreciate your presence on the song. If the relationship, on the other hand, never went further than supportive social media comments and maybe a shared show or two, that’s a sweet spot to be in. Familiarity will help you both relax but the lack of too much history will compel respect at the basis of the common song.
3. How will you split the royalties?
Too many new artists don’t know the complexities of sharing royalties with another artist and how to cap the earnings and at what milestone. It is complicated work and it is best done with the help of a lawyer or industry consultant. But do not, simply proceed forward with publishing a song on all streaming platforms just because you can. If there are other people involved, ensure you both know the percentage you’re owed and how you will cash out.
2. How will you perform the song separately?
You will not always be available for performing the song together and you will not always even be able to stay in touch with each other. So how will either of you proceed with performing the song without the presence of the collaborative act? Will you legally allow each other to hire fill-in artists for the shows or do you cut their part out entirely? It is an aspect overlooked by beginners but much-needed to discuss well in advance.
1. Do you feel at ease communicating with the person?
Almost any arising issue can be worked upon and agreed upon if both parties are good communicators. If the collaborative act is not someone you feel at ease addressing your opinions and concerns because you fear conflict, you should NOT collaborate with them. Problems are a given whereas good character is rare. Do not create more stress than you already have to put up with as an independent artist.
Blue Rhymez Entertainment ©2023
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