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Why Collaborate?

by Keith Allen

Do you ever get tired of hearing yourself? I mean really sick and tired?

I did…I do…and probably always will! Ok, as a creative person (and we all fit that description in some shape or form) you are going to need outlets. So what are you, yes you, the budding musician, going to do about it?

Give up? Freshen things up? Or…Revive your ENTHUSIASM?

I started to construct (destruct, if you’re no fan of “Kallen” :) songs from quite an early age. This was where I could be myself, however charming or undesirable…mostly annoying … and get away with it. The result being hundreds of old C90 cassette tapes of ‘ideas.’ I would ‘bounce’ tracks back and forth from 2 cheapo cassette recorders (via the speakers), adding another instrument/vocal as it played. And oh yes…you can well imagine what the quality was like!

Then a shaft of sunlight came into my life. No, not a new girlfriend this time…but a 4 track cassette Portastudio. This was my personal blank ‘easel’ for so many years right up until 2011, where sadly its elastic band drive belt …snapped. Now then, this is the point where MP3unsigned came to my attention. I felt that I had taken all my own songs as far as they were ever going to go. To me, they all were beginning to sound a bit ‘samey’ …I felt…’samey’ and yes, I was still pretty much sick of hearing myself.

The solution had presented itself…COLLABORATIONS! is a web-based community where so many like-minded musicians (but not exactly the ‘samey’)  want to share their music and lend their own expertise and talents with ENTHUSIASM! Almost immediately Terry Wigmore, Kevin Gibbons and I fell into step together. Like-minded, yes, but different enough to bring new and exciting sounds to the table…or DAW as the case may be now.

We three began working together on many an original and exciting tune…each adding something different and unique…and of course the real icing on the top was…we became firm friends. The music? Well, it was a bit like supping cheap cider all your life and then discovering red wine…or maybe even a Moosehead Beer. (I still like cider :)

In the past 6 years we have had over 50 of our songs played on BBC Introducing, locally here on Radio Tees…under the various monikers of “Kallen” “KallenWAG” or as of at the moment “3…” That’s “3 dot dot dot.”

I’m immensely proud of that and it wouldn’t have happened without combining our 3 forces and collaborating ENTHUSIASTICALLY.

Collaborating was the personal key for reviving my interest in music. Working with others!

The tunes that came, particularly from Terry and Kevin, were so different, they stretched me, made me think and look at things in a new light.  Most of all it brought FUN back to the process. FUN is a crucial factor…if you really enjoy something yourself…that feeling will become infectious!

But…Ya gotta please yourself first and foremost!

Even my worst critic, HRH, she says that I sound more confident and professional now. Just how bad was I before, I wonder? 😊

Other musicians felt this fun too and now I've had the great honour and pleasure of helping out with other exciting artist’s songs. Want me to namedrop some?

Nah, I really mustn't …

Ok… here they are then:


Terry Wigmore, Kevin Gibbons (A Tuesday Paradox), Darren Gibbons, David Carter (DJC and Company), Alison Cowie (Christy), Deggsy, Vince Fedel, Andrew Shields (DNA Codex), Anna Bragg, Ray Brookes, Paul Dunk (Mon Che), Art Corey, Ricky Mancini (Rogue Fungi), Scott Slater, Raphael (Angel of Dawn), Sean Damon, Idle Writer

My apologies if Ive forgotten anyone…but Im of that age that I…………

So? Why have I said that word “enthusiasm” 3 times? The “Rule of 3?” Yes!

But whatever your talent is that you have…always do it with enthusiasm.

Am I still sick of hearing myself? Yes, but now… at last I can share it with YOU!

Kallen - Middlesbrough, UK, August,  2018  

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