Looking at Ricky Reed’s discography, it’s hard to find somebody he hasn’t worked with. From Lizzo and Twenty One Pilots to Meghan Trainor and Jason Derulo, there’s no shortage of A-listers that Reed’s name sits right next to.
Despite his impressive resume, Reed has had to take a new approach to collaboration in 2020. The circumstances of this year forced Reed to take a step back from his busy schedule and sit with the uncomfortable weight of idle time. As a self-proclaimed extrovert, Reed found that the need for connection could only be somewhat satisfied through his live-streamed songwriting sessions. He needed something that would re-energize his purpose as a musician.
Finally, Reed found he had time for a project that had been wavering in the back of his mind for a while — his own solo album. The Room, released August 28, ended up being the perfect distraction from the chaotic world around him. Despite the circumstances, Reed was able to pack in a long list of collaborators such as Leon Bridges, Kiana Ledé and Alessia Cara.
Reed’s characteristically collaborative nature is a trademark ideology for who he is as a producer and a big reason for the opportunities that have opened up for him. He encourages other songwriters to prioritize collaboration as much as he has.
“If you don’t put in extra energy to connect yourself to others and find your scene right now, you might as well consider what you’re doing a hobby,” Reed says. “To all the songwriters and producers I publish, I say, ‘If you’re listening to a Spotify playlist and find someone you like, just DM the artist. Don’t hold back.’”
Speaking to artists as well, he continues: “You have an artist you want featured on your song or you want to do an acoustic performance on someone’s Instagram, reach out. This is the time. And if you don’t, it’s going to be extra tough.”
In a simple and final call to action, Reed advises musicians above all to be disciplined with creating in order to facilitate collaboration. “Make great stuff and make a lot of it. And reach out to everybody you can.”
Watch the music video for “Better” below and check out the rest of The Room on streaming platforms now.