4
| Video |

Moving Pictures: Gorillaz video raises a weird question

^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

"Stylo," the newest single from super-group collaborator's Gorillaz hit the intertubes a couple days ago (trailer above -- watch full video here). In case you've been living in a cardboard box the last few years, you'll be aware the group makes their living on collaborating with a wide range of artists, this particular song featuring the staple, Damon Albarn, and guests both Mos Def and Bobby Womack (the video features Bruce Willis to boot). The full-length album, due out next Tuesday, features a wide range of artists, from Lou Reed to Gruff Rhys and more. With all these guests it go us thinking, do these featured artists get paid?

We did some digging and came up with a variety of answers, but nothing too concrete. It looks like many artists negotiate deals beforehand. When a collaboration happens in the name of friendship, these deals are done in private and maybe involve a lunch here or a case of beer there. If the artists are working under the same label, compensation might also come in the form of perks, bonuses or other forms of payment (strippers? crystal meth? sandwiches?).

In the case of cross publisher collaborations, the water gets a bit muddy. In some cases featured guests will be paid similar to studio musicians, one up front payment. In others, perhaps in the case of singles, contracts might be written up that include a percentage of sales. Although rare, these types of contracts likely come when big names are featured on songs by smaller acts (i.e., Kanye West appearing on anything).

The flip side, of course, comes when a big name features a smaller artist (i.e., Kanye West featuring anyone); these collaborations can be seen as potential selling points for upcoming albums, and the exposure, in and of itself, might justify any time spent working on the project.

Ultimately there is really no solid evidence to confirm one way or the other. It appears to be handled on a case by case basis decided by labels, publishers and bands.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.