Arts & Entertainment, Music



Lesson time 11:06 min

Working with others isn't always easy. In this chapter, Usher guides you through his approach to collaboration, including insights into his work with artists such as David Guetta and Alicia Keys.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Rules of collaboration • How to choose a collaborator • How to stay connected and flexible during a collaboration • Adding a feature artist


Since the beginning of my career, I've been collaborating. You may have thought that wait. It's just one person because there's only one person on the stage. Even though there's a band that actually sells you music the way that you got it, there's a DJ that sells you the music the way you got it, there has always been a collaboration. There is always a collaboration. Allow yourself to be open enough to reach higher levels. Some are blessed to have all of the talents, right-- producing, writing, and be an artist, and be fashionable. But then, the idea of collaboration comes into play. Managers, record companies, executives, whatever it may, the idea of collaboration is the most important part, because it takes a village to make an incredible project, right? It takes an entire staff of people that consider different angles, different ideas, things that you may not consider, things that you will consider. And then you put it all together. And it becomes this mixture in this collaborative effort. Never be afraid of someone else's interpretation of what you're trying to say. The idea of collaboration, the fact that we are working together, creates something incredible. [MUSIC PLAYING] If there were three keys to collaboration, one would be there is no right or wrong way to collaborate. Two, you really do have to be open minded in the process of how you work. Even though you have your idea of what you represent, you have to be open if you want to collaborate with someone. The next is to think outside the box. Be willing to reach into other areas so that you can grow. There is a big world out here. Imagine if you only decided to work within a confined space. You're only going to have a certain amount of exposure. If you allow yourself to reach into other areas of the genres of music, other ways of understanding the process of making the music, you'll grow. [MUSIC PLAYING] The idea of a good collaborator is someone who is flexible, is able to reach into other areas, try different things that they might not necessarily would have, get out of their comfort zone. All of those things make a good collaborator. You make them aware of what your vision is. You see what they're working on, you kind of get an idea of where they're headed, and see if there's some synergy between where they are and where you are, and if you guys can collaborate. Paul Epworth was someone that I really was fond of, have spoken many times about working with. I reached out after hearing a song that he and John Legend had worked on that I actually cut from my album. And I solicited more music. The first step is being able to have at least some music, and attractive-- you know, make sure that there is a connection, and then we can collaborate. If he has a song or has produced a song that I could work on, than I'll try it. That get's the wheels rolling. That's...

About the Instructor

Usher, winner of 8 Grammy Awards, reveals the technical skills, career lessons and breakthrough advice that he has used to captivate audiences for over 25 years. For the first time ever, learn how Usher approaches performance and wins over audiences from the studio to the stage. There has never been a class like this before.

Featured Masterclass Instructor


In his first ever online class, Usher teaches you his personal techniques to captivate audiences across 16 video lessons.

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