I’ve been hearing about global music collaborations since the dawn of the web. Similarly minded artists meet on the net, send each other tracks, and then boom, international mixtape…. but EXACTLY how do you do this?
I tracked down electronic artist Soma, who was recently featured on a global collaboration, Cosmic Core Volume 1 (22 tracks, 19 countries), to find out how he did it.
How did you meet your collaborators?
Around Christmas I started this new project (Soma). Bought a legitimate copy of Ableton Live (music production/performance software), and started working with it. I’m new to this program so I spent a lot of time cruising YouTube for tutorials.…a lot of the best videos are coming from this guy Tom Cosm from New Zealand. He’s really down-to-earth, excited about what he’s doing, knowledgable, and shares tonnes of information for free. I joined the forum on his website (a community of something like 12,000 members sharing information and resources for making electronic music), and started getting involved a little bit. I’ve never really been active on a web forum and people from all over the world listening to each other’s music, giving feedback, advice, etc.
How did your music end up on the compilation?
Shortly after I joined the forum, someone floated the idea of putting out a mix-tape of user’s material. I was just finishing up the first track that I had done on Ableton (RainSong), so I submitted it in time and it got thrown into the mix.A tonne of work went into the album behind the scenes, a lot of guys wrote tracks specifically for it (including Tom Cosm himself), and most of the tracks needed mastering work which was done by a fellow on the forum on a volunteer basis.It was pretty frantic for the couple of days leading up to the release, I’m pretty sure a few all-nighters were pulled to get it ready in time. I’m really lucky to have been able to just post a track and have all these super committed people haul ass to make it happen.
What’s been the benefit to you ?
In my experience, making progress in a career as an artist is all about demonstrating legitimacy. Just being able to say that I’ve released material on an international compilation album is a really interesting step, especially when the project is so new. It’s really cool to see what can be accomplished by people who aren’t motivated by money. A committed group of people, doing something for the simple pleasure of doing it, can be a surprisingly powerful thing.
So long story short, you get to work with international artists, once you start making friends with them. Cosmic Volume 1 was made in the electronic world with engaged forum users, but the lessons can be applied to any genre –> As long as you find a community like Soma did, or create a community like Tom Cosm, international collaborations can be achieved. Just do it.