BIMM graduate Ele Breslin (Zapho) has co-launched The X Collective: a collaborative, creative platform that has opened its doors to the Irish music industry. With music and artistic expression at its core, The X Collective focuses on the production and promotion of Irish recording artists and industry creatives. Launching in these uncertain times, the new initiative proves that you can’t stop creativity.
Alongside Emily Shaw of Oiche Events, BIMM Dublin graduate Ele Breslin (Zapho) has formed the new collaboration-based collective that’s currently just shy of 70 members. The X Collective brings together people with a variety of skills and expertise from the Irish music and creative arts scenes, such as artists, rappers, directors, producers, writers, dancers, spoken word artists, graphic designers, instrumentalists, photographers, editors, digital marketing/PR and advertising teams, and more.
“Now seems like no better time to join together, encourage and launch this collective…to open up a space where collaboration is possible and creatives can continue to create”, says co-founder Emily Shaw. “The X Collective will see each artist collaborate with a fellow musician to create original songs, passing it on to our creatives to package the product, which we will then release via the collective and promote as a community. Under the current climate, these collaborations will be from a distance.”
As said by Emily, the community members work together to optimise creativity and achieve combined success. Independent artists can collaborate within the X Collective to benefit from higher creativity, as well as wider exposure. They’ll receive much-needed support from fellow music industry professionals, available to share their guidance and expertise.
Four of the main artists are BIMM students: Ele (Zapho), Toshín, Gemma Bradley and ELKAE. Additionally, a huge number of the participants are BIMM students and alumni, from songwriters, producers, band members and additional creatives.
Alongside BIMM students, the X Collective has already seen some of Ireland’s leading artists joining the collective. These include Shiv, Tolu Makay, Shookrah, Shy Mascot, Mutant Vinyl, Brenna Carroll, Zeenie Summers, as well as a host of music industry professionals working to promote and elevate the music industry landscape in Ireland and beyond.
“The X collective aims to highlight a diverse range of social, political and musical ideas that are important to the Irish music community”, says Ele. She continues:
Through the work of our artists, we will bring a voice to topics such as diversity, inclusivity, women in music, LGBT rights, gender imbalance in the music industry, mixed heritage; mental health, kindness, freedom, the housing crisis, Covid-19 related issues, creativity, fashion, spirituality and much more.”
– Ele Breslin (Zapho), The X Collective Co-Founder.
The X Collective present ‘Collide’
Even though we can’t be together physically at the moment, The X Collective have still managed to collaborate and release their first project. Their first track ‘Collide’ is brought to you by Zapho, Tolü Makay and Jenny Browne. Recorded during lockdown, the track sees musicians collaborating from across counties and countries.
Speaking about the release of ‘Collide’, Emily Shaw commented: “Collide’ is The X Collective’s first artistic collaboration. It’s been amazing to watch this song grow wings, from a mere idea in Zapho’s brain almost one year ago, to ultimately a tangible and beautiful product with the involvement of over 20 creatives. It takes a village to raise a child, and one could say the same effort is required in releasing a song.”
Zapho (producer/songwriter) approached Tolü Makay and Jenny Browne to come up with a narrative where they all equally had a voice. The song tells the story of a building new interest in two people (souls), figuring out where they are, but not sure of what the outcome may be. They are in the moment and realise the emotions they have for one another may not be able to fully manifest due to uncertainty either from others’ perception, or personal beliefs.
Tolü says, “This song is me standing in solidarity for people who look like me, especially living in Ireland, that don’t feel they have the freedom to freely be themselves. In light of everything that has happened last month around Black Lives Matter campaigns, and this month being Pride month, I feel it’s important to share this song. Being an Afro Irish singer living in Ireland, it’s important there’s something for everyone.”
We wish The X Collective the best of luck and can’t wait to see what other exciting projects they create. If you’re interested in learning more about our student successes, and about BIMM Institute in general, we are now offering Virtual Open Days. Sign up here.