Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Art of Collaboration

As an artist, creating is what I do. I’m inspired and translate that mental inspiration into a physical expression to share with others. For a creative soul such as myself, there’s nothing like it. When the creative juices are flowing and you’re in the zone, creating new music and making something out of nothing is easy. Then to see a new song resonate with fans is an indescribable feeling because it's so personal that it feels like a sense of validation for me. But this creative process is a much different experience when I collaborate with someone.

Recently, I was fortunate to be able to work with Bryan Stratman of Capricorn Studios on my new single All Night Long (Stratman Remix). The experience was awesome and we shared so many new things that have helped me progress as an artist. Collaborating always shows me a different creative method, and seeing how another artist works gives me a new perspective and well to go to for inspiration. Plus, it prepares me for working with other artists in the future. Practice makes perfect!

The key word here is inspiration. I’m a firm believer that there’s a difference between being inspired and forcing inspiration. For artists, just like with any other job, there are deadlines. So at times artists have to go to what I call their “familiar game,” which is their comfort zone of creativity. For a rapper it might be the catch phrases and subject matter they’re most familiar with. Or for a producer it might be the chords and melodies they’re most comfortable using. I believe creative inspiration is when a creative mind is exposed to a new stimulus and the result is the artist’s repackaging of this new experience and perspective they deliver back to the audience. So working with someone else you are exposed to their world and their perspective. This process gives you a new perspective and you can’t help but be inspired. Collaborating helps you grow as an artist, but remixing songs is not an easy process.

The first thing you’ve got to have to ensure success is a unified sense of direction for the project - what do we want the final product to accomplish? My recent collaboration with Stratman was a process in developing music, so we sat down and asked each other, “How do we want people to feel when they hear this,” and went from there. Once we began getting into it, I found that the hardest part of the process was to try not to do everything. Being a songwriter and producer myself made this especially difficult. I had to hold back and try not to take the reins or grab full control. Technology was a big help because I could physically distance myself from the project but still have direct hands-on involvement. All in all, I’m stoked on the final product.

Overall I had a great time working on the new single, which is available on Amazon and iTunes, because it lets fans experience something new through my music and I got to grow as an artist. Vibing with another artist, letting go of control, having a narrow focus, and channeling inspiration - these are all part of the art of collaboration.



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