Community / 4 September 2020

Our six picks: Collaborations

Our 6 picks - collaborations

Collaboration is the name of the game. Countless hits, albums, performances have been collaborations. And there are many good reasons why artists everywhere are so caught up on the collab bandwagon.

But we’re not going to bore you with why we think collabs are worth your time. Instead, we pick six stellar collaborative tracks on BandLab, and we’ll let these artists tell you their story about their collaborations.

Caving in Quickly

@jonaxov3: Before “Caving in Quickly,” I made a lot of dubstep and other types of songs, but I had yet to make a future bounce song. So once I heard about the genre future bounce, I wanted to give future bounce a shot myself.

I decided to collaborate with @lisabethmusic was because I knew she had a great voice. Lisa Beth has a very unique voice and I knew she would be a great fit for my song.

The whole collaboration / song process took me about two months to create. It took me a month to create the song and make the music. And it took me another 3 weeks to add effects and process Lisa’s vocals for the song. During this time, Lisa and I also had to figure out what lyrics would be sung over the track. We had many sessions of us talking over Discord about planning what the lyrics would be about. Once the lyrics were complete I had to process and add effects to Lisa’s vocals. I made sure to get rid of harsh frequencies and de-ess her vocals. I added effects and layers to her vocals so the song could sound more professional. In the end, all our hard worked paid off and we got our final result of the song, “Caving in Quickly.”

Once we finished our collaboration, we published the song, submitted the song into a contest, and we were awaiting reviews from the community. I didn’t expect the song to do so well. I am glad the song had a very positive review in the community. And I’d like to say thanks to all of them for making the song such a big hit.

@lisabethmusic: I heard some of OV3 (@jonaxov3) and Jayden Ketterer’s (@kettboy) work together here on BandLab, and I was really impressed by the quality, so I started following both of them. When I realized that the music was created by OV3, since he was mainly focused on EDM, I started contacting him about working a collab.

A while later, he sent me the backing track for “Caving in Quickly.” I wrote the lyrics and the melody for the vocals. We ended up meeting up a couple of times on Discord to chat about the placement of the vocals and the lyrics. I think I once re-recorded because he shifted the pitch of the track to make it a bit lower (so that the mood of the song matched the lyrics). And then OV3 worked his production magic on the vocals to get them to their current state.


Oxygen

@vocalvixen: When Orius sent me the instrumental for this song, I closed my eyes and genuinely listened to it. It just all flowed so beautiful and easy, like breathing oxygen. Throughout the song I compare that feeling to a past relationship of mine that was just as easy to fall into. I was constantly going back to them because I was blinded by how I felt when we were together. I think a lot of people can relate to that, when you know someone isn’t right for you but you keep coming back to them for that feeling.

I saw a collaboration that Orius had done with another vocalist and when I heard his ornate production I just had to reach out to him. He sent me a few tracks to work on and I loved them. It was a ton of back and forth until Oxygen was finally ready. Then we worked on “Want You” and we will be coming out with a joint EP soon. We have great musical chemistry and it’s enabled us to become really good friends as well!

@oriusofficial: I produced the track using a piano melody and chord progression I wrote about a year ago, I created some synths that would make the bedrock of the track and wrote a simple “4 on the flooor” house beat which I added offbeat percussion to create a steady swing feel, I wrote out the initial track and then sent a preliminary version to Lauren, she sent back vocals, I edited them and built the remainder of the track around that, incorporating many vintage emulation synthesisers

I initially met Lauren through chance inside of BandLab. I was using BandLab as a music file storage site before making some of my songs public. Lauren then contacted me, saying she stumbled upon my music by chance and really liked the songs I was making. She asked to collaborate and I was blown away by her voice and musical improvisation ability. We chatted and decided that her voice and my music would be a brilliant fit for a collaboration. After a couple of different ideas we came to Oxygen, based on a piano melody and chords i had written about a year or two ago with an improvised vocal arrangement and melody Lauren came up with. It proved to be an excellent fit, we are planning on collaborating further and potentially release a joint EP and I cannot wait to see what the future holds!


Green Light

@yanagotvocalz: The track “Green Light,” didn’t actually turn out the way that I originally intended to go. The original name of the instrumental was titled “Green Light” from the producer @producedbyshogun. I was drawn to the beat after listening for several seconds so I went ahead and forked it.

I wanted to get someone on the song to help me finish the track. Brandon Rapz came to mind for a split second, but I thought that he might not like it. I sent it to him just for him to listen to it, but much to my surprise he did like it! He expressed that he really liked it and how that would be a type of track that he would get on.

I usually write and then change the name afterwards to base the title off of the song. But after hearing his verse, I realized that he wrote his part based off the title “Green light” and mine necessarily wasn’t. In a way both verses were about life, but different angles. So we both decided to keep it the way it was.

He’s a great lyricist and I’m also a fan of his work. He’s a very diverse artist and it’s not often that I come across artists with such talent. This isn’t the first collaboration we’ve done together, but it’s the first of many.

@brandonrapz: Well this was simply a beat that Yana liked and forked. She and then as i listened to I told her I was drawn in from the vibes. I believe she did an amazing job and she’s so talented. I love collab-ing with her.

Collaborations can be really interesting, you get to hear your sound mixed with someone else’s. It just makes it so much better.


Distant

@restinsleep: Honestly, I can’t remember how we met, but I know that it was through the BandLab app. Either he discovered me or the other way around (Jay might remember!) It has been a hot minute since we started talking. I feel like he’s one of my favourite artists I’ve discovered on BandLab. The process went great. I recorded my parts via my iPhone 7 with the headphones that came with it. 

@prosperousjay: This is basically a song about feeling distant while being in a relationship. @restinsleep is an extremely inspiring artist. For some reason when we collab, she gets me out of my shell and gets me in touch with my softer feelings. In fact, we got more coming soon!

I think collaborations are a great way to find inspiration and develop as an artist. It sets the bar for certain expectations. I didn’t think I had it in me to sing until collaborated with @restinsleep!


The Nite Time

@renaissance_child33: @stoplookin_ent reached out to me because we have very similar styles, the same inspirations, and we listen to similar artists. That alone was more than enough of a reason to collaborate on what became an awesome song. It was an awesome experience. So much so that we have other songs in the works!

I think collaborating on songs gives us the chance to learn how other artists go through the creative process. It also gives us the chance to experiment and create new sounds. It’s an amazing experience that I really enjoy. I also like meeting new people!

@stoplookin_ent: I was searching for artists to collaborate with who like to do hip hop, which on the underground scene is music that’s true to you or has more of a unique vibe. Collaborations for me, allow BandLab to be like a personal playground for music – you get to come online to interact with people who are artistic, instead of going to Xbox Live! I believe most artists of any kind love to enjoy their art with others whether they believe it or not.


Becoming

@vagabondvoice: “Becoming” is one of my favorite songs I’ve ever worked on. And it happened right here on BandLab. I actually joined by accident. I downloaded the app thinking it was a voice memo thing, and accidentally published a scratch vocal idea I was working on. I only realized it was a social network when people started commenting on my very unfinished project. Whoops!

So I started scrolling and got super lucky to discover Rob Chadwell right away. His “Soul Mask” beat sucked me in so much that I forked it immediately, before I even knew what forking really meant. I then messaged Rob to ask if he ever wanted to do an exclusive collaboration, and was lucky that he liked my voice enough to say yes. He sent me a couple of unreleased beats, including the track behind “Becoming.” I was blown away and the rest basically wrote itself. I gave it themes of dark and sexy moods to match the music, while aiming to keep it lyrically ambiguous. Rob is an incredible talent and one of the best secret weapons I’ve met in the production world, with an incredible attention to detail and the ability to make any vocalist shine.

There’s something magical about creating music across states, countries and continents. It connects us deeply during a time that we can’t do it in person.

I’m very grateful for the BandLab community. I never would have met Rob or created this song and others, if it weren’t for collaborations. I’ve now worked with people in Florida, Brazil, South Africa, England, India, Italy, Texas, The Netherlands, Canada and more. There’s something magical about creating music across states, countries and continents. It connects us deeply during a time that we can’t do it in person. All of my concert tours were immediately canceled post March, including a year’s worth of cross country (USA) and European shows with my band Whitherward. Creating music remotely with people all over the world has given me purpose as a musician when I’ve never felt more lost. And. In my humble opinion, you’re only as good as the people you work with. I come from Nashville, where multiple artists sit in a room and write music together daily.

There’s never been a better time to bring this practice online. When I find people that can add their creativity to my creativity, it’s only that much better. It feels amazing to sit on this train of BandLab music makers. Sure, we don’t know what lies ahead. But we are proud of what we’re creating now…what we are “Becoming.”

@robchadwell: When I make beats in BandLab, I’m always testing a specific set of concepts I want to learn, to see how they resonate with other musicians and vocalists. It’s kind of a “did I get this down” final exam. The beat for “Becoming” was an unreleased idea I was working on in Ableton Live titled “Dark Pop 2”. I’m so creative with beat names! I wanted to learn three concepts: using foley to replace traditional percussion and impacts, crafting and incorporating reversed loops into a beat, and automating filters with vocal chops and percussion loops to bring motion to phrases. For example, at 0:30 you hear a filtered vocal chop. The sweep/impact at 0:36 is a chair sliding across the floor followed by a car door closing – followed by a reverse loop. Creating a reverse loop is stupid hard. I had to play the arps backward, but I also had to play the whole phrase backward from the end to the beginning.  That way when I reversed that loop the chords would match up to the bass that was NOT being reversed. To this day I can’t believe it worked out.

Before “Becoming”, I had never shipped an unreleased beat to a BandLab artist because I usually want as many different artists to test my ideas as possible. That way I can learn from how they interact with a beat: do they get stuck on certain phrases, is the structure unclear, do they feel the flow, etc.  That help me to become a better beatmaker. I found Ashley from a fork she did on “Soul Mask”. Her vocals blew me away! We chatted on BandLab around how to drop the song and how to promote it with LIVE shows and engagement, and we share a similar passion for just getting out there and connecting. 

I knew that I absolutely had to work with her again, so I sent her DARK POP 2″ (maybe it sounds cooler in all caps). She wrote that song in record time and sent me the stems to mix, and I swear she was working on a video before I even finished mixing the song! Ashley is so fast, and so laser-perfect on her vocals that mixing her is a breeze. So, the song comes out, she rocks a video, it gets love from our peers, and the result is one of my favorite collabs in the Lab. It’s a beast though – 64 tracks. There’s a lot going on in there. You may be able to find the popping cork riser fill, but can you find the hairspray bottle noise faller or the scotch glass hitting a table impact?

I’ve never had a collaboration where, at some point, I don’t absolutely hate the song and swear to never collaborate again. There is always that dip in the middle of a song that I struggle to grind through. My collaborators will tell you that I am obsessively detailed, always looking for the magic, and never satisfied until I can hear the song in my head and still sleep at night. My favorite collabs are ones where everyone involved is humble and rowing in the same direction. I’ve had some bad collabs in the Lab – I think we all have, but the good collabs make it worth the effort. Feeling the love from my fellow artists and collaborators is why I keep trying to find the magic, and why you might hear a chimpanzee throwing a coconut against a motorcycle as the main snare in my next song.


Collaborations are super easy on BandLab. Find how to collaborate here. And there are many different ways you can collaborate, whether by forking someone else’s track, or starting a collaboration from scratch – it’s all up to you. Plus, did you know you can collaborate with up to 50 collaborators?

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