In this piece, rapper Novi Novak suggests several methods to employ when seeking to network and collaborate with other artists in the industry, whether you're simply seeking to get their attention or to build a long-term creative relationship.
Guest Post By Novi Novak from SmartRapper.com
Intermingle with their surrounding team and work your way inside the circle
This is the best possible way to get yourself into any clique or group of people you want to be involved with.
You start on the outside of the circle and work your way in.
It's the same way you would work your way into any crowd of people to get to the front, right? Exactly! :)
Let's put it like this, if one of your good friends you knew suddenly was telling you about a rapper and how cool and down to earth he is and how you need to meet him, wouldn't you be more open in considering letting that happen?
What if you friend was telling you all of the value this rapper could provide to your team? Would that not make you more interested in meeting and networking with this person?
The answer is yes. It's really that simple. I have a great example for you too.
A Real Life Example Of It Working
In 2012 one guy couldn't happen to catch my attention because so many fans were always talking to me, so what did he do? He went and talked to the person he knew was always by my side, my camera man. He established a solid connection and relationship with my camera man and within 6 months he flew out to Chicago and was chilling with us for a whole week at my house.
Anyways, it's clear that approaching from the outside to get in works. Maybe a bit too well. :P
Anyways this guy now runs a studio with my best friend in LA. We are all moving upwards at an insane pace. This method works! He went from me to my entire team to building studios with us.
How To Start Networking Like This Today
Get on social media and find people a big artist you want to link with is talking about or too. Then reach out to that person and offer them something you can do for them to provide value. If you can't think of anything, think harder and somehow find a way to impress them and gain their trust.
A relationship built on value is worth more than money. Eventually you guys will start making money together and you are now inside of that team's network.
Rent a room at a studio they usually work at and network with them there.
This is actually one of the first things that one of my industry friends ever told me. They told me that other big artists use this method in order to network with other big artists.
If you have the money, any studio will gladly let you use a room in their studio. It's what they are there for and it's how they stay in business.
All you need to do is find the studios that these big artist work in and rent out studio time at a time when you know they will be there recording.
Check their tour schedule, ask the people who work there in a passive way etc.
You are bound to run into the artist themselves or the artist's people in the hallway. If it is one of the artist's people you can go back to step one above and start providing value :)
When You Are Inside That Studio
Now that you are inside the studio, play your very best hit songs so loud they say who the f*** and wtf is playing in that next room. This can do 2 things 1) Make them want to come over there and tell you to turn it down. 2) Make them come over there and say "What the hell was that? Play that again for me?"
It's all planned in advance of course by you. Be smart ;)
Why does this work?
This works because other decently known rappers are already renting these studios to do the SAME EXACT THING I'M TELLING YOU. So even if you don't meet the bigger artist you are still meeting the mid level people and you can network with them.
When I was working in LA and we had a studio room in Raleigh Studios across from Paramount Studios. This was before Loud moved to his new and WAY MORE IMPROVED studio.
Anyways, tons of major artist had studio rooms in this building too such as Will-i-am who you would run across in the hallways from time to time. :)
Have Your Product Ready To Give Them At Any Moment
This applies to the above as well.
Your one shot could come at ANYTIME! Make sure you are ready.
Have a flash drive to hand anyone in the upper leagues. A Flash drive with your BEST SONGS with 1 open verse for them to hop on and all your contact information.
I just went to SXSW and handed a jump drive to more then 15 BIG rappers. It will probably result in them using a song I wrote or a collaboration. Remember I write songs for artist too. They are always looking for hot songs and hits that save them time and energy in trying to write them. That is a value I offer and they love me for it. You can do the same!
Write Songs For Artist
I write over 50 songs PER MONTH looking for my next hit or someone elses. If it is an amazing song but it isn't a song for me I simply consider the artist(s) who would love this song and could use it.
Now I have something I can sell to an artist, get a credit for, provide value and build a network with.
What a lot of people don't realize is that a lot of big time artist used to write songs for major artist for YEARS before they actually got on in the game.
Artist such as Ne-Yo and Katy Perry were writing songs for 4-8 years and then finally became their own artist.
Pay For The Collab
A lot of artists are out here for money or they are at least trying to milk the cash cow while the utters are in reach. If you hit up any artist's management team they will respond with a number for a collab.
Just for numbers I hit up people like The Game, Artist affiliated with Chief Keef etc. (this is because the more hood artists are more accessible). The Game's manager said $5,000 for a 16 and the other guys said $1,500.
If you have money and you are passionate and talented, they will most likely get on your songs. Depending on how talented you are, they might also promote it for you.
But this is THE fastest way to get an artist on a song with you.
I truly hope this helped you in some way!
Novi Novak is an iTunes Top 100 Charting Independent artist who has been featured on sites such as Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Complex Music, MSNBC and has even been the primary topic of discussion during an Episode of TMZ Live. He is also the creator SmartRapper.com