Being able to work with A-list artists has been a tremendous blessing. Each artist brings a whole new learning experience for me because each one shares a whole new perspective on sharing their message with the world.
I invited a producer friend of mine, Kevin Rudolf, to my studio and we went through a bunch of random ideas I had lying around in my hard drive. He heard a track that caught his attention and the two of us started coming up with some ideas for melodies. The next week he calls me up and says Sia wanted to work on the idea with us. Of course I said, “How dare she!” No, not really, I was excited to have her on-board.
So we finished the song and I was really happy with the end product. Now, it was time to shop the tune and get it placed. I had Sia writing and demo singing the song, so I figured it was a no-brainer for anyone to jump on and have it placed right away. Well, it was a grueling process of four years before anyone decided to use the song.
What I learned were these two important lessons:
Your old stuff is someone else’s hot new single
Just because I’ve heard the song a million times and it sat on my hard drive for three years, I thought it was an old idea and wouldn’t be relevant anymore to anyone. But that was not the case for a couple of people in my close network who heard the song. Understand that some of your older works can be rehashed and cleaned up to fit a new audience. After revisiting the song, I gave it a facelift, which allowed Kygo’s manager to hear it and want it for his album. Try to bring some of your old ideas to life by entering into new collaboration scenarios or remixing your older stuff for a new audience.
10% of something is better than 100% of nothing
This is something I say a lot and it stems from working on this project. When the time came to get the song placed on Kygo’s album, there were now four writers involved in the process. So it became the name game, who had the bigger name to own the bigger piece of the pie. Well, to be honest, I could have stopped the whole thing from happening just by simply saying it was “my” track and song therefore no one can have it unless I was given a koala and a briefcase full of cash. The reality is, you need to know that when working with others, sometimes compromise is needed for long-term gain.
Don’t let ego and greediness get in the way of a healthy compromise that can eventually be more beneficial for you than holding on to every little percentage of something that could easily fall apart.