21 Ways to Collaborate with Other Artists & Bands to Get More Fans

One of the best ways for emerging bands to gain new fans is to be exposed to another band’s audience. Especially if you have similar target markets, fans are more likely to trust a recommendation coming from a band they already know and like. Here are some ideas on how you can collaborate with other artists and bands to grow your fan base:

21 Ways to Collaborate with Other Artists & Bands to Get More Fans

Collaborate on Live Shows

Likely the easiest and most common way to collaborate with other bands is to play gigs together. Here are a few different ways to collaborate on gigs:

1. Gig Swap

This is of course a no-brainer. Find other like-minded bands whose musical style either compliments you, or even better, that would make for an interesting combination, giving fans of both bands a unique experience. You can open for each other at different shows, and this will work especially well if the other band is based in a different (but nearby) city. You can do gig swaps to help each other break into new markets.

2. Festival gigs

If you’re playing a festival and there is an artist or members of a band that you want to collaborate with, why not create a special environment at your festival gig by collaborating on a song or two? I’ve seen artists collaborate on festival stages big and small, and it usually makes for a buzz-worthy performance that gets people talking.

3. Conference showcases

Same idea as with festivals, but if you manage to get a showcase at a music conference, why not bring in another artist to collaborate on a song? Just be sure to have rehearsed it live before showcasing.

4. Tours

Take the concept of playing live with another band even further and book a tour together. It could be just a weekend tour of a few cities close to home, or a full-out regional/national tour.

Collaborate on Recordings

For your next album, try and think of some like-minded artists that you can collaborate with. Collaborating on recordings can be done in many different ways, here are a few to consider:

5. Guest performances

The simplest thing you can do is perform on each other’s recordings (sing, play an instrument, DJ, rap, etc.). If you want to get the most bang for your buck, make sure that in the song title it actually lists the other artist “X Song Name (Featuring X Artist)”.

6. Co-write a song

Next step would be to co-write with another artist. This will not only be great for the sake of collaboration, but might help with each of your songwriting abilities and open up some new ideas, which is never a bad thing.

7. Cover a song

Why not cover a song by a fellow emerging band whose fan base would like your music? It’s a great way to flatter the band and also generate buzz for both of you.

8. Produce each other’s music

An even more involved way to collaborate in the studio is to take turns producing each other’s songs. This can give each of you a new perspective on the songs you choose to produce for each other.

Often emerging artists can’t afford to hire a producer, but having that objective ear can really help improve the songs. So if you have an opportunity to have a peer produce a song, it might be worthwhile to give it a try.

9. Remix songs

Another great way to collaborate is to approach an artist to do a remix of one of your songs. You can even remix each other’s songs, or take it further and do remix albums of each other’s music.

10. Release an exclusive single/EP

If you’ve collaborated with another band through guest appearances, songwriting, production, remixes, etc., why not release an exclusive digital single or EP through your website?

Even better, couple that digital release with the release of a limited edition vinyl: Vinyl sales already up 41% on the year.

Collaborate Using Video

There are also lots of possibilities to use video for collaborations:

11. Official music videos

If you’ve guested on a song, or co-written a song together, collaborating on an official music video is also a no-brainer.

12. Live videos

If you’ve collaborated with another band live on stage, be sure to get some footage of it for both bands to use to promote to their fans.

13. Cover song videos

Even if you haven’t covered the band’s song on your album, you can still release videos covering songs of fellow emerging bands that you want to collaborate with. Chances are that both of your fan bases will get a kick out of this.

14. Videos from the Studio

If you’re doing any kind of collaboration in the studio, be sure to get some footage of it to release on your website/YouTube, etc. Remember, when you’re in the studio, don’t shut out your fans.

15. Live streaming video

Why not use live streaming video while in studio, at a live gig, or even after a gig to chat with fans of both bands?

Collaborate Using Your Website

Don’t forget to use your website to help in your collaboration with other bands. Here are some of the ways to drive people to your website:

16. On Your Blog

It can be as simple as blogging about the other band. You can:

  • Talk about why you like their music
  • Do a review their album
  • Interview the band

17. Photo Galleries

Use photo galleries to highlight collaborations with other bands, including pictures from studio sessions, pictures from live shows, or just the bands hanging out together.

Note: Live Video & Exclusive Music

If you do decide to use live video streaming in your collaborations, be sure to host the video on your own site and not the streaming service’s site. Most services will let you embed HTML to host the feed directly on your own website.

And as mentioned earlier, if you do collaborate on a recording with another band, why not release the track(s) exclusively through your website? Take advantage of any excuse to drive traffic to your website where people can sign-up to your mailing list, shop at your online store, etc.

Collaborate Using Social Media

And last but not least, probably the quickest way to collaborate with other bands and help each other out is to use social media. You can:

18. Exchange Tweets

Tweet praise about each other and encourage your fans to follow each other’s band.

19. Host a Twitter Chat

Why not organize a Twitter chat session for fans of both bands so you can chat with each other’s fans. What’s a Twitter chat? Here’s a great article that explains what it is and how to set one up: http://mashable.com/2009/12/08/twitter-chat/

20. Use Facebook status updates

You can each talk about why you like the other band and be sure to link to each other’s fan page.

21. Post a Facebook Note

Create a Facebook note talking about the other band, just be sure to tag the other band in the note as Madalyn Sklar pointed out in her guest blog about Facebook Notes here on Bandzoogle.

Note: And it goes without saying, use social media to drive fans to your website to view your blog posts, video blogs, live video and other exclusive content on your website.

The bottom line is that the more emerging artists join forces to help each other out through collaborations, the more buzz it will generate, which will no doubt result in more fans for each band.

Rappers do it best

The amount of collaborations and guest appearances that happen in hip hop eclipse’s other genres. As discussed in a Digital Music News Article “The Top 8 Reasons Why Rappers Make Better Businessmen…”, guest appearances help amplify your music to new audiences, and rappers use this tactic often and to great effect.

Making the news these days is the high-profile collaboration between Kanye West and Jay-Z called “Watch the Throne”. But I’ll end this post with a more old-school example.

Here’s a video of one of the most famous collaborations that crossed over genres and garnered both groups increased sales, awards, and arguably spawned a new genre of music:

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Posted by SAMANTHANEWARK1 on Oct 7 2011 4:03 PM
Hey Everyone, I'm loving Bandzoogle - so great and super easy to admin all my own content. My brand new album is coming out on October 21st So I have my single and teaser tracks up from the new record on my site. Would love all so stop by and say hi, especially if you are a "Jem and the holograms" fan!!! "Stay Outrageous" xo Samantha Newark aka "Voice of JEM and JERRICA" WWW.SAMANTHANEWARK.COM
Mayan Fox
Posted by Mayan Fox on Aug 26 2011 8:07 AM
We're doing a stripped back/acoustic 'soiree' at the end of the year at a fans house and bringing in a couple of other bands.
Etone Entertainment
Posted by Etone Entertainment on Aug 27 2011 6:03 PM
Hi All, As an independent Artist I have learned to create my own showcases and weekly events. This helps my marketing and promotional campaign tremendously. I am currently using a club in my own downtown area to host my events, the Dj's play my music and I coolaborate with other up and coming artists as well as signed artists. i charge a cover fee at the door to cover my advertisement via flyers and radio promotions. Everyone involved including door people Dj's and performing acts help each other out by cross promotions with flyers social networks, ect...stop on by to take a look @ our promotion for our labor day event! Also if any artist would like to Host, or perform at this weekly event stop in and give me a holler. We play Dance music , Top 40 , hip-hop and reggae. The Art Bar Downtown Ft. Lauderdale Fl. thanks much Etone
Wilton Said...
Posted by Wilton Said... on Aug 28 2011 11:22 PM
Lots of great ideas but I find that at times it ends up being a one way street. For a few years I organized NUANCE Art Rock festivals and showcases and had similar genre bands play at it. Think many of these bands asked my band to play with them at gigs they booked. No! Think any of these bands came out to shows other then the ones they were playing at, very rarely. I used to go out and support other bands, but i find that support isn't reciprocate which is a shame seeing as none of us are superstars. I'll try again next year and hopefully things will be different. Wilton
Fronz Arp
Posted by Fronz Arp on Aug 29 2011 12:19 AM
Yeah a good collaboration is a great way to share audiences. Recently for a national tour (in Australia) I organised a free download album including songs from every band on the tour, where anyone that pre-ordered tickets got sent a code to download it from Bandcamp. Was really successful and really got a lot of people to pre-purchase. Plus everyone got exposed to each other's audience and all the bands got to know each other a bit. Highly recommend. I'll be doing it again
Dave Cool
Posted by Dave Cool on Sep 1 2011 6:40 PM
@wiltonsaid Yeah, this can happen sometimes. I know a few artists in the same boat, but every so often they find those like-minded artists that do reciprocate, making it all worth it. Hang in there... Cheers, Dave Cool Community Manager Bandzoogle
Dave Cool
Posted by Dave Cool on Sep 1 2011 6:46 PM
@benstewartonline That's a great idea! I worked with a festival here in Montreal that used dropcards for the tickets to their festival, which included a download of every artist performing at the festival. Lots of innovative ideas out there, thanks for sharing. Cheers, Dave Cool Community Manager Bandzoogle
Posted by themicawbers.com on Sep 2 2011 12:04 PM
In my old band .Sub we were the only band that actually booked other artists that we LIKED and thought our audience would like. We started to make posters with just the singers of the band present and the names of the bands above. This REALLY worked because it wasn't false, it was a geniune night of bands who liked each other as people and as musicians. We were honestly one of the only bands that sold out shows on a regular basis and I put this down to the roster of good music. More often than not bands who wanted to look good would book awful bands with no fans just to make themselves look better and more popular. It's just disrespectful to the fans.
Nik Kolidas
Posted by Nik Kolidas on Sep 18 2011 4:08 PM
I love these concepts, but find it often difficult to get musicians who consider themselves an "in front" artist to collaborate or even exchange ideas. The "one way street" theory is very real. I used to really try hard to almost "unionize" with similar artists to lift each other up, but it's often very frustrating as they seem more interested in tweeting about their every move then talking about song structure and business. There seems to be a thousand actors and models that want to get involved in projects, but indy acts are often too full of themselves to soundboard. Amazingly, I've found the bigger music acts tend to be more respective to collaboration. Go figure!
Dave Cool
Posted by Dave Cool on Sep 29 2011 4:38 PM
@ themicawbers & @ Nik Kolidas - Oh, I hear ya, it can be very difficult to find like-minded artists who also see the benefit of win-win situations, rather than only seeing what's in it for them. I'm managing a band right now and we're working hard on several collaborations, but it's challenging no doubt, and there's always healthy scepticism towards intentions, etc. But we aim to push through and make sure that we show people it can always be a win-win when artists work together. Easier said than done though, no doubt... Cheers, Dave
Posted by SAMANTHA NEWARK on Oct 7 2011 4:03 PM
Hey Everyone, I'm loving Bandzoogle - so great and super easy to admin all my own content. My brand new album is coming out on October 21st So I have my single and teaser tracks up from the new record on my site. Would love all so stop by and say hi, especially if you are a "Jem and the holograms" fan!!! "Stay Outrageous" xo Samantha Newark aka "Voice of JEM and JERRICA" WWW.SAMANTHANEWARK.COM