We just launched the Collaborations page here on the site. This is a key part of the BIGGER OUS project, where artists work together to create original material. The OUS Platform on the FB page has already generated some great material which is now on the link above. My own experience of writing with other artists is that it can be a fascinating and inspirational experience. With my own band The Small Change Diaries many of the tracks are co written with Jessica Bowie. Often between us we’ll knock a song into shape from the initial concept and to date some of the best material has emerged through this process. We meet every week and have done so for almost three years. I have realised that developing a body of work requires ongoing time and energy.
With The Original Ukulele Songs project, collaborations allow us as ukulele artists to work in an entirely new way. I am literally blown away by what’s already appearing with collaborations across the globe. This is from what I know something very different and opens up a world of new possibilities. The “ukulele community” has been criticized for being very insular and this initiative in my view creates a very different dynamic. I have worked on a few songs with Alan Thornton and also am working with Percy Copley and Phil Dolemen.
Of course many of the great songs were done through songwriting partnerships. Think Jagger/Richards, Lennon/McCartney and Goffin/King. In all these instances terrific original songs appeared through two minds working in unison. Sometimes one would write the lyrics, the other the music or one would have the main idea and the other would act as editor. The Original Ukulele Songs project is unfolding in very specific stages and in 2017 I’ll be revealing stage three would is quite amazing. Until then the current phase 2.5 is proving to be quite extraordinary and I applaud all those who have taken the time to work in this way. In a world where often material is simply recycled and presented as cover versions, it’s a genuine joy to hear something truly new and original.