Melbourne producer Alice Ivy has collaborated with quite a few artists in her day. With a slightly jazzy, chilled electronic vibe to her tunes, she's enlisted the likes of raucous punk voice Ecca Vandal, indie pop singer E^ST, bands like Northeast Party House and recently, Canadian rapper Cadence Weapon on her new song Sunrise.
There's an art to collaborating with someone successfully to create something that isn't a rehashed version of something you've heard a billion times already, and to actually concoct something unique.
Multi-genre collaborations are in this year (and for the past few years) - just look at Kevin Parker working with Post Malone, Justin Bieber's hit with country duo Dan & Shay or blink-182's Travis Barker working with countless rappers and popstars - so we had Alice write us a few tips on how she makes her feature artists work so well.
Listen to a bunch of music; internationally and locally and reach out to artists whose music you really connect with. Everyone always thinks the bigger the artist you work with the better the song will be. 100% not true! I think it’s super important to keep open-minded about working with all kinds of artists, more developed or less developed. Some of the best sessions I've ever had have been with artists who aren’t published, or signed to a label!
2. Use Your Imagination!
The coolest collaborations for me are the ones where you read the artist names in the track title and go, "How could that ever work!?", and then you listen to the song and it just blows you away! Don’t limit yourself as a producer to just working in the specific genre that the feature artist you're working with lives in, or your own for that matter. Meet them in the middle :) It’s amazing what creative spaces you can find.
3. It's All About The Vibe!
When you have a good vibe going in the studio you know you're onto something special. My favourite sessions are when nobody is sitting down because everyone is so excited about the song you're writing together. It’s the same feeling as when you play a hometown show, super exciting!
4. You've Got To Click!
Going into writing sessions can be super weird, and it doesn’t necessarily get less weird the more you do it. It almost feels like a Tinder date for me because I work with a lot of new artists that I’ve never met before and you gotta go through the intro process, ask how their day’s going, get a coffee together, talk about the music they're listening to and show each other demos. It’s really important to show and have respect for one another in a writing session and leave your ego at the door, because writing good music is about pouring your heart out. You've gotta establish a safe space to do that in!
5. Make sure you’re both happy with the final bounce!
It’s the worst when a song gets released and you haven’t had a final listen or approval on the mix. Make sure everyone's happy with the final bounce before it gets mastered and released because there's nothing worse than it coming out in a form that you or your feature artists is unhappy with. You should be stoked on every single piece of music that you release.