Mike Posner & Timeflies in The Collaboration Room

PopCrush: We’re celebrating the back-to-school season with a new feature called The Collaboration Room, where we pair up two artists in a studio to see what tips, tricks and words of advice they can exchange. Our latest matchup happens to be an artist and a duo who have worked together before: Mike Posner and Timeflies.

The three musicians immediately began talking about the first time they collaborated as a group — they even referenced a book called Songwriters on Songwriting — and where to look for musical inspiration.

“I try not really to try,” Mike explained. “Anytime I try to force out a song, it’s never been good. It’s an intuitive thing. It’s a heart thing, a feel thing.”

Timeflies’ Cal Shapiro and Rob “Rez” Resnick also opened up about familiarizing themselves with the collaboration process.

Rez recalls the uncertainty about songwriting in the early stages of their career, saying, “Are we writing a song or are we going into a session and somebody’s going to kind of tell us the song we should make. And then you realize, you’ve got to be like, ‘Wait, this is the music that’s going on our album. We’re writing it.’”

Mike agreed, adding, “I believe collaboration is a skill that gets developed and owned, just like you would own your skill at guitar, piano or singing.”

When an artist is open to collaborating, great things can and will happen. One proven way to have a successful collaboration? Make the environment one in which every person is encouraged to contribute.

“We’re in the room with the most talented people in the world,” Mike said. “So if I make you comfortable or I make Pharrell comfortable or whoever I’m working with, I’m getting the best out of the best in the world. My job isn’t so hard at that point.”

Case in point? This episode of The Collaboration Room had a relaxed vibe, as all three men looked back on their successful careers as musicians. It was clear they’d already established a comfort level with each other, as they immediately chatted and opened up about writing and performing. Even when the cameras stopped rolling, Mike, Rez and Cal chatted and joked with each other, maintaining that comfort level for themselves and everyone else on set.

As an (amazing!) added bonus, music fans can see just how Mike and Timeflies collaborate, courtesy of a performance the trio gave for The Collaboration Room. Mike teamed up with Cal and Rez to perform Timeflies’ track “Amy”. Although the original version of the track (co-written by Mike Posner) is upbeat and has some hip-hop vibes, the trio changed the energy completely, slowing down the tempo and giving it even more emotion. From Mike’s incredible piano playing to the blending of the musicians’ voices, it’s apparent these guys are pros at collaborating!

One thing not caught on camera? Mike, Cal and Rez listening back to their performance of “Amy” later on and giving feedback to each other. Now that’s collaboration!

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