Music Education

Why and How Independent Artists Should Collaborate [Free Split Sheet]

Collaborating with other musicians has the potential to yield incredible results. At minimum, teaming up with other artists or producers can pull you from the grasp of crippling creator's block, spark new ideas, and introduce you to new songwriting or production techniques. Beyond being an antidote to creative block, collaborating with peers comes with career-changing advantages - especially for independent musicians. Increased exposure, networking expansion, and tapping into entirely new fanbases are just a few of the outcomes you can experience when joining forces. The question is, how do you find the right collaborators for you and your music? And what can those benefits look like long term? Finding the perfect collaborator is easier said than done, but we have some tips and insights to help make the process less daunting. Let's get into it.

The Benefits of Collaboration 

Double Your Exposure 

Collaborating with other artists, especially those with different genres or backgrounds, can help you reach a wider audience. Take collaborators Kaytranada and Aminé for example – within two weeks of KAYTRAMINÉ's release of their debut single "4EVA", Venice partner Aminé saw a massive boost for his 2021 album TWOPOINTFIVE, reaching 14% more listeners than in the previous month. Kaytranada also saw a significant jump on his 2019 album 'Bubba', bringing an album from years prior back into the search spotlight. This collaboration allowed both artists to tap into each other's fanbase , exposing his music to new listeners that hadn't yet discovered his catalog.


Expanding Your Creative Network

Collaborating doesn't always have to mean making music together. Teaming up with other creatives can open doors to valuable industry connections and opportunities that can help accelerate your career in ways you may have not thought possible. 

Be conscious of who your friends and peers keep in their close circle, and be open to giving and asking for introductions. Make it a goal to invite other creatives into your life that may work outside the industry, such as: 

  • Graphic designers
  • Fashion Designers 
  • Dancers
  • Producers 
  • Venue owners or workers 
  • Filmmakers
  • Marketing professionals 
  • Content creators and influencers

If you're wondering how you can meet these creatives, there are a number of creative networking platforms you can choose from that can help get you acquainted: 

Behance: Join a vibrant community of artists, designers, and creatives on Behance. Showcase your portfolio, discover inspiring projects, and connect with fellow professionals across various disciplines.

Meetup: Expand your creative circle offline with Meetup. Discover local events and gatherings focused on specific creative interests, such as photography, writing, or entrepreneurship. Connect with fellow enthusiasts and forge valuable connections in person.

LinkedIn: While primarily known as a professional networking platform, LinkedIn offers a rich space for creatives as well. Join relevant groups, engage in discussions, and leverage the power of your professional network to forge meaningful creative connections.

Slack communities: Dive into Slack communities tailored to the creators you'd like to connect with. Find dedicated spaces for creative mediums from design to photography where you can connect, collaborate, and learn from other passionate individuals.

Splice: Besides being a platform for music production and sample libraries, Splice offers a community aspect where musicians can connect, collaborate, and share projects with one another.

Learn New Techniques and Skills 

Learning new skills and techniques to enhance your sound is a vital practice in the ever-evolving music industry. When artists join forces to create, they bring diverse perspectives, techniques, and skill sets to the table, enriching the creative process and sharing knowledge. By collaborating, musicians are exposed to different musical styles, genres, and approaches, expanding their artistic horizons. This exchange of ideas allows artists to pick up new production techniques, develop their songwriting abilities, and discover unique performing methods. Additionally, working closely with talented artists and producers provides an opportunity to observe and learn from their expertise, helping to enhance your skills. Embracing music collaboration is a journey of constant growth and improvement as you constantly push the boundaries of your creativity.

Kickstarting Your Collab Efforts 

Finding the perfect artist or producer to collaborate with can come with various challenges and checkboxes to tick off. You want to ensure you're collaborating with a creative whose sound, goals, and timeline aligns with yours. Fortunately, you can take advantage of several resources and tools to ensure your collaborative efforts are a success. 

Music Networking Events 

Challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone and social circle by attending a digital or IRL networking event. When you open your arms to new musicians, you're also opening up to that person's fanbase, industry experience, and creative skillset. Venice Music has monthly Community Networking events, allowing you to engage and share goals with Venice's diverse community of artists, producers, and industry professionals - entirely from the comfort of your couch. Industry networking events like these allow you to meet potential collaborators and expose you to a more extensive network of aspirational music and industry enthusiasts. You never know when you may need the advice of other talented songwriters, producers, or sound engineers. 

TikTok Duets and Open Verse Challenges 

It's no secret that TikTok is an unparalleled channel for music discovery and promotion. TikTok's unique algorithm and higher-than-average engagement rate make it the perfect platform for encouraging interaction with your music. Running an Open Verse Challenge can take the heavy lifting of networking and outreach off your plate and instead bring your next collaborator to YOU. To get started, all you need to do is distribute your music to TikTok and follow the outlined steps in our 'Running an Open Verse Challenge' blog. 

Managing Collaborator Splits 

When you finally team up and release music with your collaborator, you'll need an efficient way to split royalty payments amongst yourselves. Many music distributors allow you to split revenue payments with your collaborators automatically; however, these distributors will often require your collaborator to pay steep membership fees to collect their deserved royalties. Be sure to sign up with a music distributor like Venice to save your collaborator from expensive sign-up charges. Once you distribute your song collab, Venice will automatically pay your collaborators and team members with "splits" – no membership sign-up necessary. 

Create a Split Sheet 

Split sheets are vital written agreements that identify all contributors to a song and their respective ownership percentages. Understanding these percentages is crucial as they determine how publishing royalties will be distributed between song collaborators. Once all creators sign, the split sheet becomes legally binding. This prevents disagreements and confusion surrounding royalty splits further down the road and should be filled out and signed before your song is distributed or used commercially. 

Download our free Split Sheet template below to have on hand:

Split Sheet Template Blog Image-page-001-3



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