Alright folks – you’ve heard it hundreds, if not thousands of times before. The most infamously over used phrase among up and comers in the music industry.
How about… Let’s not and say we did? I really hate that f*cking phrase. Largely because it’s never the people you actually want to work with that say “Let’s Work.”
It reminds me of dating. Have you ever felt like the ones you want, don’t want you back… and the ones who want you, you don’t want them back?! That’s really the best way I can explain it.
Aside from that, its just a low effort attempt at getting someone to notice you. Go to any major artists Instagram page. Even mine! (and I’m not even at a level that would be considered as major). You’ll see “Let’s Work” every few comments.
By the way – I’m not the only one annoyed by that phrase, most of the industry is too. In fact, my good friend and talented producer, DG Mayne, was telling me about his recent experience at the A3C music conference in Atlanta. He told me that every major producer that spoke on the panel loudly re-iterated before coming off stage – “DO NOT COME UP TO ME AND SAY LET’S WORK!”
Before I go on, let me just say that in order for someone to take you seriously in life, no matter what it is – you have to exhibit value. A collaboration is supposed to result in a dual benefit for both parties to enjoy. Not someone who has proved ZERO to ride a successful person’s coat tails.
Fellas, would you ever go up to a girl you didn’t know and say “Let’s Date?” Try it, guarantee she laughs in your face and walks away.
With that said, I’ll get into 5 new artists that I really like in 2016. Yes, I would love to work with every person I’m about to mention, but I’m not gonna DM them on Instagram aimlessly, or spam tweet at them. Instead, I’m going to start by just putting it out into existence and see what happens.
Kehlani is one of the great success stories you’ve heard in urban music lately. Coming from tough circumstances, she made her way out of Oakland and onto the stage of America’s Got Talent. The connection she made with Nick Cannon as a result of AGT proved to be a critical one, as he reached out to her a few years later wanting to help her career in any way that he could. Turns out, Nick Cannon ended up becoming her manager and the rest was history.
From there, she dropped her 2014 mixtape, Cloud 19, which earned notoriety from outlets like Vice and Complex. She built a growing fan-base with the help of timely press mentions & features, along with a strong social media campaign. After landing a main stage slot on SXSW, she went on to sign a deal with Atlantic Records and release her debut album, You Should Be Here.
What I love about Kehlani is the fact that she broke through without having to compromise who she is as an artist. She’s a great writer and has a very soulful tone. I was sold when I heard track 12 – “Down For You” off her latest album. It really solidified to me that she’s a real deal artist that will be in the game for years to come.
What I’d love to do is just get in a session with her and build something from scratch. Start with guitar, keys, and vocals and let the vibe carry the rest.
For those who know me, I have a soft spot for dope musicians… especially guitar players. Gabi Wilson is a Sony/RCA singer-songwriter-guitarist under MBK ent. What really struck me about Gabi is the fact that she’s only 19 years old. I first learned about her at an SOB’s event where I caught her performance at a BET Music Matters showcase. She’s a young and raw talent at this point, with the world in front of her.
I really love that she plays electric guitar (and plays it very well). She also plays keys, and has a flavorful musical ear. As a guitar player myself, I think I could help cultivate her sound into something that is a balance of what is needed for commercial music as well as a product that is true to her artistry.
BJ The Chicago Kid
BJ The Chicago Kid is truly phenomenal. He exhibits an incredibly soulful sound, similar to that of the all time greats like Marvin Gaye, D’Angelo, Dave Hollister. He’s actually been in the game for a minute but has gained lots of notoriety in 2015, especially with his feature on Dr. Dre’s Compton Soundtrack.
He also collabed with an artist mentioned earlier in this list, Kehlani, on a song titled “Down For You.” The song was just really dope. You can tell it was 2 great artists that came together and made magic happen without forcing anything.
Because we both have similar styles and come from soulful backgrounds, I think BJ & I would create some incredible music. We speak the same musical language in many ways. He’s definitely on my radar as someone I’d love to get in touch with soon.
I first heard of Sebastian Kole a few years ago. I was in a studio session with a producer and friend of mine, K Quick, who was raving to me about how talented this guy is. I went to check out his song “Bigger Than My Body” and was blown away by the honesty of Sebastian’s pen. His writing is super real and aware. His voice soulful and rich, and not to mention, he plays acoustic guitar like me. I’d love to start a session with Sebastian – just guitar, keys, vocals and vibes. I personally think our styles would blend really well. Based on what I’ve heard from him, I think Sebastian would appreciate my song, “Speak With My Guitar.”
For those of you who don’t know, Sebastian is signed to Motown/EP Entertainment and was responsible for Canadian Superstar Alessia Cara’s smash hit, “Here.”
I’ve actually known Mally Stakz for awhile now, but we’ve haven’t collabed on a joint of our own as of yet. He’s a real talented and hard working dude. In fact, I’m pretty sure he goes to the studio every single day. I met Mally about a year ago through working with legendary hip hop production duo, The Heatmakerz, on various projects. I’ve been a fan of Mally’s writing, melodies, and approach to music ever since I heard a hook that he did for Joel Ortiz’s project on a song called “Music Saved My Life.” My new favorite joint from Mally is “Steph Curry” featuring Fred The Godson, (prod. by The Heatmakerz). Make sure you check that out!
Gaetano is a NYC based Singer, Songwriter, Producer, Guitarist that has worked with some of the biggest names in music. After releasing 2 EP’s and producing records for major artists, Gaetano has been documenting his music industry experiences via his blog.
To get in touch with Gaetano, follow him on Instagram: @official_gaetano