Since opening in March 2018, the Future Classic x Dropbox studio has become a place where established and emerging musicians can build community and bring collaborations to life.
Throughout the year, the Future Classic x Dropbox Studio has hosted events and created a working space for hundreds of artists, including Moses Sumney, JPEGMAFIA, Flight Facilities, Ryan Hemsworth, Clairo, Slauson Malone, UMI, Claud, SOPHIE, Clams Casino, Jacques Greene to name a few.
It’s given the team a chance to meet touring players, gifted songwriters, and brilliant young vocalists, and watch how they work.
“One of the coolest parts about this is, I can see someone working and then recommend that they work with this producer or this vocalist,” says Theo Bark, A&R at Future Classic. “We wanted to try that out and put a few people in a room for a few hours and see if they could get a song together from start to finish.”
It’s a new project they’re calling “24 Hours in the Studio.” A series of cameras were set up across the studio to capture the collaboration in action. For the first collaboration, the team asked Deaton Chris Anthony, Reo Cragun, and Ceci G to see what they could create.
What was it about these three artists that inspired you to invite them into the project?
Theo: Reo is an artist that we've all been fans of and have followed for a while, he's been through the studio a bunch and is generally just really talented and smart. He has an amazing voice and he works really quickly—but most importantly, he's great in the room. So he was kind of perfect.
DCA is an artist working out of LA. I don't think he left the studio for 2 weeks. So I was able to see how he worked. I knew he'd be a good fit. He was similarly really easy to work with: smart, talented, and kind. Also, he's fun to hang out with. He uses everything in the room, brings his own gear, including a talk box—so another easy call.
Finally, Ceci G is a producer and vocalist that I thought would be interesting to put in with DCA and Reo. She brings a bit more of a pop feel, but is similarly cool and talented. They all have their own distinct lanes, but so much of A&R and songwriting is trial and error, so we decided to film the whole thing and we're psyched about the result.
"Because we have so many artists coming through, and potentially so many conflicting schedules, we use Dropbox Paper internally, so the whole team can view the schedule in real time.”—Theo Bark
What were the most surprising insights that came out of the experience?
Theo: They worked on two songs. The second one didn't completely gel until the end of the session. I think it's really tricky when everyone's coming from very different musical perspectives, and you want to make sure everyone's kind of comfortable and heard in the session.
Sometimes there are moments, especially when the session is made up of more than two participants who may or may not have worked together before, where you're like "this might not work!" The funny thing is, both ideas they worked on were good. We just ended up feeling like the second one was most finished, and Ceci really kind of brought that home. So much respect to Ceci, and also respect to Reo and DCA.
As the Future Classic x Dropbox Studio continues to grow their community of artists, we’ll continue reporting on all the collaborative events happening here on the front lines of creativity. Stay tuned.