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BLR shares 5 essential steps for successful studio collaborations

Leon Bolier, known by his alias, BLR, has carved a privileged position in the music industry with his deep, dark, yet melodious club-focused sound.

Photo credit: BLR – Facebook

His musical journey as BLR began with the release of ‘Nungwi,’ a track that was the inaugural release on Tiësto’s Aftr:Hrs label. This experimental and dancefloor-friendly sound instantly resonated with DJs, resulting in over 10 million Spotify streams. BLR’s popularity soared with his continuous flow of innovative music, making waves among fans and industry stalwarts alike.

Following his success, BLR received invitations to perform at music festivals, including Tomorrowland, Mysteryland, and World Club Dome, and at club gigs around the globe. In 2019, he unveiled his eagerly awaited debut album ‘Odyssee,’ a 15-song exploration of various facets of his musical style.

In his recent endeavor, BLR and Matt Sassari continue their exclusive collaboration on Truesoul with a recent single ‘Close Encounters’. Representing the pair, BLR breaks down five steps for effective studio collaborations, sharing invaluable advice covering both the music and business side of things.

1. Establish what you like in each other’s music

Make sure you’re clear about what it is that you like in the music of your production partner/collaborator. It saves so much time to already point out what it is in particular you’d want to see prevail in your collaborative effort before starting out, so with this in mind you can instantly move on to step 2.

2. Divide tasks

Having each other’s strong sides in mind, sketch out who does what. Who should start with the melodic and hook ideas? Who should lay down the backbone of a beat? Who is good at (or enjoys) arranging? This isn’t limited to the production process only, you could also agree on who pitches to what label, maybe one of the collaborators has better contacts in a certain scene, etc.

3. Choose workflow

Some people love working over calls/online meets, some like to be in the studio together (whenever that’s possible due to the geographical location), or just have each other do their own thing and send stems back and forth. Personally, I often enjoy working on my own till the point we can go over a nearly finished product and finish the whole shebang over a call (or in the studio together).

4. Decide on what’s good and what’s not early in the process

This also goes for my solo work, one of the best things I taught myself is to point out stuff I don’t like very early (enough) in the process and discard of it. This saves a lot of time as it frees time for me to focus on elements that matter and that end up in the final track rather than trying to save whatever will not work in the end anyway. With collabs this is especially important as it’s a bit harder to keep two (or more) people equally enthusiastic about something you’re working on.

5. Billing

Discuss billing beforehand rather than after finishing a track, so there are no surprises or possible headaches afterward. For myself, I like to be pretty straightforward with this, either based on ‘who started the idea’ (whoever did, goes first) or ‘billing changes every release’ (and for the first one we roll the dice on who goes first). It’s a great way to keep peace of mind and focus on what’s most important: making killer tunes!

BLR and Matt Sassari’s ‘Close Encounters’ is out now via Truesoul. Stream and download here.

Follow BLR: Spotify | Soundcloud | Instagram | Facebook
Follow Matt Sassari: Spotify | Soundcloud | Instagram | Facebook

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