Most often we find so many musicians featuring fellow artists thinking their relevance on the song is going make a huge difference only to finish everything and then get disappointed. There are so many things to consider before you even think about working with another person. You can have the money in the whole wide world but then if you don’t meet the criteria and consider a few things, you might pick the wrong deal for yourself and if possible, you record the label as well.
Some people think that having a big name on their productions is the key to success. This may be true in some cases but not all of them. The truth is you have to leverage for the work and not the name. Some labels focus on really showcasing their artists and even giving them a free placement instead of actually paying for the production.
Some artists may also think that featuring a friend or associate is easier than doing legwork. You can actually hire someone who will do the legwork for you (for a price). But if you want to take an artist feature for yourself, then there are some things you should consider before even contacting another artist.
The first thing to consider is the Concept of the song. A concept is an abstract idea representing an idea or invention to help sell or publicize a commodity. I mean you should be able to tell your audience why they have to pay attention to you. Without a concept, your entire project is basically noise. The title must come from the concept and make sure you commit to it I mean both you and the artist you featuring cos if you don’t, I mean it’s your project, not his or hers.
Type of Song. The Genre of music is important because it easily helps you accomplish the next step, finding the best artist who fits the genre. It’s good to add flavor to a song sometimes but the wrong flavor from the wrong brand can put you in a very tight corner. Picking the genre really helps you stay true to your sound and originality.
Make a list of artists who best fit the genre and the concept. On Wiki, a duet was explained as a musical composition for two performers in which the performers have equal importance to the piece, emphasis should be on the equal importance. This is where many magically ignore and then choose to do whatever pleases them. There have been several occasions where I have heard artists go like “We met in the studio and then we kicked it off after playing with few verses “. Yes!! It might work sometimes but most of the time, it backfires easily. The list will also help you cross-check each artist and their abilities. This is to know the strength and weakness of each artiste on the list and this can only be done if you are a big fan of these artists, I mean you can’t work with someone from whom you´ve never heard a song from.
Set Roles and Give Space. Setting roles makes the work easier. Something like who writes the lyrics or what number of the verse, who takes the lead. It should be a communication thing and also give space on how often you guys can rehearse. There shouldn’t be pressure on the person writing the lyrics as adequate time is need to pull out the best and besides sickness can reduce the abilities of an individual.
Review the lyrics with the Sound Engineer, Producer, even before or during recording maybe there might be some corrections to be made. As a producer, you have to understand your role and realize that the featured artist is not there to boost your ego but there because they want something from you, just like you want something from them.
Consider the price. When it comes to a price, you should consider how much their presence on the song is really worth. Is it just a free placement that doesn’t even include a verse or is it a feature with verses? Most artists will not agree to give away half the track for free. You can offer them some percentage of the sale and see if they are interested. However, if you are working with someone who has been on major labels before and trying to get them for a cheaper price may sound weird.
Appreciation. After everything is done please kindly let the person know you appreciate their effort. You can buy something small for the person. Find a bar and have some cocktails, etc.