Blackheath Chronicles 4

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This week collaboration came up repeatedly. I did a little talk at an inaugural network gathering which was focussed on collaboration. A few days later, Bruno Mars and Anderson.Paak dropped the intro and first single of the Silk Sonic collaboration we knew nothing about. They kept it under wraps and surprised millions of fans this week.

 Lived Values

Collaboration is based on the lived values of generosity, trust and respect. It’s not something you can pay lip-service too, nor something you can manufacture, it’s organic. Watch that lovely Apple TV YouTube episode featuring Paak and Mars where they talk about their collaboration. Both these artists have collaborated with others in the past but you can see and feel how deep, true and fun this collaboration was. 

 Unlocking Each Other’s Gifts

Collaboration puts the spotlight on the unique gifts each person brings to the party and it reveals the brilliance and heart of that particular gift. Like Mars says, it lifts everyone’s game. Gifts can shine by themselves but it is in collaboration where they are often raised to levels not seen before. I know this is true for me. I shine more brightly when others hold a space where I’m seen, respected, appreciated and where I can make a contribution that is uniquely mine to make.

The Process

The best collaborations are a natural flow which starts with meaningful connection and/or friendship. You need to spend time together, working, eating and playing. It – the collaboration – needs space to breath and develop.

Keeping it secret or not? I think some collaborations do better when it’s done away from the public gaze and consequent high expectations. The Paak-Mars Silk Sonic collaboration seems to have benefited from privacy. Others are fun to be a part of from the get-go. The recent Lee Minho x Lee Seunggi collaboration was one of those. The first episode just pulled you in and fans were happy with how it unfolded. I was one of those satisfied fans although I had a different expectation of what the outcome would be. It was good to see the process of the latter because of the bond between the two and the feeling of being included in something that’s unfolding.

It’s difficult to create magic by yourself and it is nigh impossible to accomplish great things alone. Collaboration is the key that unlocks the gate to the kingdom of magic. I can’t wait to hear the rest of the magic that is Silk Sonic.