3 Tried & Trucities of Collaborucity: The Artist’s Navigation with Collaboration.

There is nothing more exciting than seeing creative minds collaborate to create awesome products and services for people across the world. Agree? Whether its music artists, fashion designers or traditional corporate organizations; many partnerships have been forged across diverse industries to turn innovative ideas and concepts into trendsetting products, services, and experiences for thirsty consumers. It’s important to keep an eye on industry trend to understand how the landscape is changing. Here is a quick glance at how different industries have come together to collaborate with one another and transform business, as we know it.


1. Step in the Right Direction: Gorillaz in Chucks!?


One of Britain’s leading bands, the Gorillaz, is known for making music videos using nothing but cartoons, but that hasn’t stopped them from going platinum five times in the United Kingdom and double platinum in the United States. They scored six Grammy Award nominations, taking home one of them. Their success led to making a deal with shoemaker Converse, to design a line of shoes. One of the band’s co-founders, comic book creator Jamie Hewlett, designed a series of Gorillaz-themed Chuck Taylor All Star shoes. Now the Gorillaz fan base have a pair of shoes they can dance in at their next concert. It’s these type of brand extensions that take businesses to another level, as they stretch themselves to relate to different lifestyles creating genuine relationships. These new Gorillaz-themed Chuck Taylor’s hit stores last February.

Following Converse’s new philosophy of Collaboration came a marketing strategy that fit perfect with the brands direction.  To launch the trendy new Gorillaz inspired shoe, Converse gathered up notable artists, The Gorillaz, Andre 3000, and James Murphy in a London flat, to record a new song and shoot a music video. Check out the newest 3 Artists, 1 Song video. Plus, hear the original track and check out the limited edition Chuck Taylor All Star Gorillaz Collection, here:

Also check out the making of this video here:


2. Purpose Inspires Creativity: Tracey Emin Knows Giving.

Tracey ErminWhen Vogue asked Tracey Emin what her views were on the relationship between art and fashion, Ms. Emin responded, “ In Britain, art and fashion have always gone very well together as street fashion has always been considered to be artistic and cutting edge;

In 2011, Tracy’s Ideology proved inspiring with a philanthropic twist. Bleynda Macpherson, head designer for the Bondi-based cashmere clothing line, Banjo & Matilde partnered up with Tracey Emin to work on the company’s annual charity sweater project. Emin is known across the world for her works dealing extensively with traditional crafts such as embroidery, sewing and textile work. Some of her works included blankets such as “Something I’ve Always Been Afraid Of”, “I Do Not Expect” and “It’s the Way We Think”. These works inspired the creation of three cashmere pullovers, all available to be purchased by the general public for $399. Each pullover sold contributed $100 to the Terrence Higgins Trust to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS.






3. EXTEND YOUR Hand/Brand: Ghostly with the Mostly.

Ghostly International, a leading indie record label, teamed up with eyeglass maker Warby Parker to design a line of eyeglasses geared towards a unique niche of fans across the world. This creative duo recognized a growing market of trendy nerd/rocker-like glasses that were popular with individuals who were heavy into EDM music and probably had a liberal outlook; they call them the Curtis”. These line of sunglasses, priced at around $95, come in two colors – Revolver Black and Ghostly Grey Matte. It’s within the company’s policy that for every pair of glasses sold, one set would be donated to someone in need of eyeglasses. This is an awesome example of how two companies can come together to identify a unique niche and offer a product to this eccentric audience. At the same time, Warby Parker was still able to maintain its consistent commitment to its philanthropic efforts of improving eyesight for people across the world. Although Ghostly International is considered an indie label and Warby Parker is a traditional corporate organization – both came together to offer its product through a non-traditional “indie” business model and go straight to the consumer. This has allowed the company to cut out the “middleman” and go straight to the end-user. Customers in the end avoided having to pay hefty prices for their product. By circumventing distributors, Warby Parker is able to provide high-quality eyeglasses to customers for a fraction of the price! In return Ghostly was able to highlight some of their artist’s on the Warby Parker site through a cool music player. Tune in and look at the cool glasses and listen to some dope instrumentals (<–Click on dope instrumentals!). With every purchase of the sunglasses you receive a code for free month of listening. My favorite is Gold Panda.

Everyone benefits when the creative juices of different minds come together to forge one unique vision that will inevitably translate into a product or service. Whether it’s a line of shoes, glasses or new music – everyone stands to benefit from creative collaboration of different types of businesses and organizations. It’s important that to keep in mind the overall goal when going into collaboration, ask yourself, what’s the purpose of this partnership?  Remember these 3 key “Tried & Trucities” that have worked already for the companies we’ve discussed in this article. Just to recap:


1. Step in the RIGHT Direction: Understand where your business (i.e.: artist brand) should to go. What’s the next destination?

2. Purpose Inspires Creativity:  Although we’re all in business to increase profit, if you can find a worthy mission to add to that goal, it can catapult your brand to a different extreme.

3. Extend Your Hand/Brand:  Once you have the first two down, find the businesses that share the same values as you. Think about it. Why do you see McDonald’s in Wal-Mart vs. Starbuck’s in Target? Extending yourself gives you more reach, but it must be done with businesses that align with your “Brand Essence”.

Use these examples to take your brand to a different level. Have you ever heard the term; I can only be at one place at a time? Well collaboration combats that ideology altogether. By collaborating you have consciously decided to grow extra arms and legs, you can be everywhere at once. Make noise!

– Klass Jones Junior


Short Author Bio : 

Klass Jones Junior is an Independent Hip-Hop Artist stuck in a Marketing Guy’s body.  He is obsessed by the idea that thoughts can be brought into reality and influence people. That a single idea can revolutionize a culture. His desire is to keep his finger on the tipping point as trends develop. It’s a sum of these things that spark him to write.

Follow him at @KlassJonesMusic, www.SoundCloud.com/Jonesjuniormusic, & www.Klasswiththetitans.tumblr.com

Artist Bio : 
Born as Howard Jones Jr. in Minneapolis, MN, Klass would eventually move and grow up in Syracuse NY. As an only child, Klass was left with idle time to experiment and develop an imagination. From the once creative potions consisting of elaborate mixes of lotions, bleach and other household items he had no business touching as a child, to today’s creative element that breaths through his music and poetry, Klass continues to cook up mixes that display his creativity. No pun intended, but Klass is in a class by himself.With an extremely diverse musical background, Klass never allows himself to be categorized. He is an artist. At the early age of 8, Klass was introduced to poetry by his father. Even as a kid, his ability to perform stood out as he won a NY State Poetry competition performing Shel Silverstien’s “Crocodile and the Dentist.” His love of poetry soon developed into songwriting. Klass later became drawn to Hip-Hop due to the poetic nature of the music and rhyme scheme. With inspiration from artists like “Andre 3000” and “Kanye West,” Klass quickly learned to embrace his uniqueness and now seeks to experiment with different sounds and genres in music.

His work can be described as “thought provoking” in the concepts, approach, lyrics, delivery, and in the production. With a touch of sarcasm Klass delivers his passion, feelings and concept through complex simplicity.

In his own words, “I’m looking to push Hip-Hop forward and to be progressive. I fight complacency, conformity, and my mission is to celebrate every one’s God-Given uniqueness. My music is created to motivate and inspire others to deal with themselves first, and then the environment around them. My music is different, thought provoking, fun, and I hope you. Enjoy it.”

Music Marketing