I agree with this great post on Music Think Tank.

I recommend that you read it all, but the main point is that the author realised loads of people talking about how they made their breakthrough were inadvertently saying the same thing – that, at just the right moment, they were working with or collaborating with an unknown artist who was looking like they’d make it in the near future.

It’s a really simple point, but one that I agree with.

In my own experience, the songwriters and producers that I manage (and those that I worked with in the past) experienced MASSIVE success when they worked with an unknown act that was just starting to look like they might get a hit. They didn’t spend all their time looking for an opportunity (or leg-up!) from an established act (although, to be fair, this does happen a lot too) but rather they worked longer and harder on the developing artist. When that turned out well (i.e. a massive global hit), then the previously unknown songwriters were suddenly the ‘go to guys’.

And it’s not just the case for songwriters and producers – for a band, it also means working with the eager and 24/7 agent or promoter or young manager who won’t give up!

The truth is this: Just about everyone on these panels became successful because of their collaboration with virtual unknowns at the time when they started out. Time and time again, they told us that the people they work with now are people they started working with years and years ago when those people too were nobodies. Stargate (the production duo behind an onslaught of hits last year) shared about how they started working with Neyo when no one knew who Neyo was and no one knew who they were. And how that helped them excel in the U.S. with their career.

Read the whole piece – it’s a good point.