Cosmic Boys are a French duo known for their explosive techno tracks that can be found at the top of the Beatport sales charts and heard in the DJ sets of people like Adam Beyer. Beyond their solo releases, they are renowned for collaborations with some of the biggest names in Techno – including UMEK & The YellowHeads.
These days, lots of artists share ideas and collaborate either in person or via the internet. We asked these seasoned veterans to lift the lid on how best to share the creative process and work with another artist.
Recently the Cosmic Boys teamed up with up-and-coming German producer AKKI, so now seemed like the perfect time to get their opinions on this topic…
Hi Guys, it is great to be talking with you today. Are you still in lockdown?
Hey, very happy to talk with you too. No, there is no more lockdown here, and the restrictions for festivals and clubs are starting to be removed. We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it feels good!
Who are some of the people you have collaborated on music with, and what made you pick them?
We have collaborated with The YellowHeads, Umek and recently with AKKI. We love what these artists offer musically, so when we had the opportunity to collaborate, we had to say yes.
How do you usually make contact with someone you want to work with?
Well, usually we chat on social networks or by email, as that’s usually the fastest way to exchange ideas.
Once you have agreed to work with another producer, what is the first step in the music-making process?
Either we or them make a simple loop based on a concept we discussed, and then we bounce it backwards and forwards, each time making tweaks to add our own ideas and some new sounds. This way we both input elements of our own individual style until the finished tracks are a perfect hybrid.
After you have started the music, what is the best way to make sure both artists give input on the creative process?
We share our ideas a lot during the production process, and we add or remove certain elements until both sides are satisfied with the result. It is important that both artists feel like they can hear themselves in the track. Sometimes it’s a bit like walking over a tightrope trying to find the perfect balance on both sides.
What was your most recent collaboration; could you tell us a little about the track?
We recently released a collaboration with AKKI, who is a German artist that we love. That track is called ‘Dark Places’, and it has had a huge public response, already charting No.5 in Beatport’s techno section. We want to thank all our fans for the support they give, and we have our fingers crossed it will go No.1.
Which label released your most recent collaboration, and how do you decide which labels are the best to work with?
We are lucky to have our label – Legend – where we release almost all of our tracks. The label has a big following & we usually enter the Beatport chart with every release. So, it was only natural that we released our new collaboration with AKKI on Legend.
Without mentioning any names, has there ever been a collaboration that has gone wrong, or you have had to cancel?
All our collaborations have always gone really well. With sharing, listening & kindness – it is important to look for compromises, and remember that it is as much the other person’s track as ours, so their opinion is equally important.
Do you have any tips to help keep everyone on a project motivated to stay focused until it is finished?
It is important to stay focused on your project and always bring something to completion because it gives a good feeling of accomplishment. Also, because people can hear the effort you put into something, and you want your emotions to come through in your music. So, it is essential to be determined, especially because we think music is a door that opens up your soul.
How does the process of collaborating with someone change, depending on if you are working in person or via the internet?
For the moment, we have only done collaborations via the internet. But we imagine that working in person with another artist should be faster, because the inspiration, the decisions and the modification are all done immediately.
This has been really insightful, is there anything you want to add before we finish?
We are very happy to have been able to answer your questions. We want to add that we are looking forward to reconnecting with our audience around the world and be able to DJ in clubs again. We hope that the pandemic situation can soon subside and everyone can soon enjoy the freedom of a dancefloor again.
Cosmic Boys latest release – ‘Dark Places’ with AKKI (DE) – is out now.