Why it is Important for Artists to Collaborate

Artist collaboration has become more popular during recent times. We sent Charnjit to find out why…

Why it is Important for Artists to Collaborate

With the rise of artist collaborations, we sent our Rising Star in Journalism, Charnjit Gill to investigate why it has become such a phenomenon and the true importance of collaborating in the music industry. Take it away, Charnjit!

Artist collaborations have become really popular in recent years, we are seeing more music partnerships than ever before! One of the first collaborations I remember is Nelly and Kelly Rowland’s ‘Dilemma’ in 2002. This was the first time we saw Kelly Rowland outside of Destiny’s Child and it certainly propelled her career!

Nowadays, there are so many different types of artist collaborations; there are cross-genre collaborations like Little Mix and Stormzy’s ‘Power’ where pop meets grime or same-genre collaborations like French Montana and Swae Lee’s track ‘Unforgettable’.

We also very often see collaborations between high-profile artists and rising stars. These types of collaborations are great for boosting artists to the global stage. Justin Bieber’s single ‘Friends’ features Bloodpop. Now, I am sure none of you had heard of him before the single dropped! Bloodpop has actually written songs for Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga before, but ‘Friends’ is his first track released officially as a collaboration with lead-artist credit. This boosted Bloodpop’s career like nothing before!

By working together, artists share knowledge and experience on how they can make better and more successful music – both individually and collectively – and it usually ends with amazing results! For example, Zara Larsson orchestrated her first number one single by working with Clean Bandit on ‘Symphony’.

Collaborating is more than just a business deal though, it is a creative process that can unlock innovative ideas for both artists. For example, Calvin Harris’ ‘Feels’ comes to mind – and not because everyone mistakenly thought Katy Perry was singing “Don’t be afraid to catch fish” (listen to it, you can’t un-hear it!) – but because it features Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry and Big Sean. In this single, we get to enjoy a fusion of different beats, rapping, singing and everything in between.

Both business and creativity aside, collaborations are important on a sentimental level. Usually, the work they create is a one-off and everyone understands that a musical combination of that nature will never happen again. It cements their legacy in the industry and allows artists to focus on what they enjoy the most: creating art!

Now, I cannot write a thought piece like this without mentioning the king of collaborations; DJ Khaled. His reasoning for collaborating is very different to anything that has been mentioned yet. He’s worked with a variety of huge artists over the years which has helped him build up an image of being more than just a DJ, but also a producer and songwriter (despite being known amongst fans as the man who just shouts, “another one!” over tracks).

His recent single with Rihanna and Bryson Tiller, ‘Wild Thoughts’ broke records worldwide and introduced DJ Khaled to new, mass audiences. The mighty international following that Rihanna enjoys and the cool modern fan base Bryson Tiller has created all revelled to the track and knew more about DJ Khaled as a result. After ‘Wild Thoughts’ dropped, it was fair to say that DJ Khaled was officially a pop icon.

DJ Khaled Wild thoughts

It is without a doubt that collaborations are the future! With a quarter of the Big Top 40 Singles being artist collaborations, artists cannot afford to ignore its impact.

If you are an aspiring commercial artist, stats show that your ticket to success may just be collaborating with like-minded people.

Thanks, Charnjit. Do you know what else can increase your chances of getting in the Top 40? Applying for Capital XTRA’s Music Potential programme, offering you the chance to learn about and understand the industry. It’s coming to London, Birmingham and Belfast in 2018. If you want to take part, be sure to apply today.