As I have said before, in different contexts, collaboration is a key element to musical success in our new music economy. Although our culture celebrates rock stars as individuals that “rise from the ashes” without help from anyone, the reality of this, like most rock star myths, is not based in fact.
It is encouraging that hip hop has always, and is still promoting the idea that collaboration is a stronger selling point than any one artist or idea. A modern hip hop record will be filled with producer and co-songwriting collaborations that create a work larger than a single artist. Even in collaborative rock bands, this idea is rarely engaged in the same obvious manner. Rock bands may be collaborative within their tight circle of a group, but beyond that it is usually an uncharted territory.
What does this mean for your music?
– Collaboration Is A Way Out.
If you are stuck with some element of your personal music endeavors, a collaborative approach, even if it steers you away from your initial goal, can be just enough to push you back into where you need to be. If your band lost a drummer and cannot find anyone to fill the shoes…. start another band. If there is no other band, offer to play a different instrument for a singer-songwriter project. It could be just enough to get your band to focus on what you really should be doing.
-Collaboration Forces You To Learn.
The notion that you are playing with someone new forces you into musical territory that will be foreign in some way. As long as this is taken as a positive attribute, you can only grow stronger as a musician from it.
– Your Audience Will Grow
Either your audience will grow in intensity, with a more focused musical idea, or your audience will grow in numbers due to an expansion of musical ideas. Both ways you win.