How best to represent "aliases"/nicknames?

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4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

hi, i have a table with a list of musicians’ real names.
now, many of them use multiple aliases / nicknames / pseudonyms

now i have another table listing albums
sometimes, i need to credit the same artist twice, with different aliases

and later i need to be able to retrieve all related data

how best to model this?

12 Replies 12

Add an Alias table, related to Artists. Then, in Albums you could link to Alias, and bring fields from Artists with Lookup fields.

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

yeah but sometimes the album’s artist name lies in the artist table, and sometimes the name lies in the alias table… and sometimes both…how to model this?

8 - Airtable Astronomer
8 - Airtable Astronomer

I would suggest 3 tables, Artist, Aliases, and Albums.

Artist table will have real names, and a linked record field where you can add the aliases.

Alias table will be just that, a list of aliases, but once the aliases are linked in the Artist table, they will also automatically show up in the Alias table.

Album table will have a linked record for the Alias. That way when you click on the Alias record, you can see the Artist real name, and could use a rollup to get the real name in the Album table if you like.

Additionally, you should be able to use a rollup field in the Artist table to get the list of albums.

I didn’t test this, but I think the logic will work.

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

even this doesn’t solve it, cos sometimes i need to enter artist names from the artist table, and sometimes aliases from the alias table, and sometimes, both!

how to do this

th eonly solution i can think of, is to add the aliases into the artist table, and then do a self linked record? or?

you can definitely put all of the aliases and artist names in a single table and self link within the table. Then just add an extra field drop down for ‘real name’ or ‘alias’ so you can filter.

I feel that 2 tables for name and alias was cleaner, but either way should work.

I like your solution of having a [Names] table including both real names and aliases. I’d add a checkbox field called {Is Alias} so you can filter or color-flag records where {Is Alias} is checked but {Real Name} is blank or vice-versa.

Keep in mind, you’ll have to create Airtable reciprocal links yourself. That is, when you link an alias to a real name, you have to link that real name to the alias, as well.

michael how does the 2 tables solution work for my use case? when entering data in the “albums” table, i have a column called “artists” which is a linked record to the artists table.

but then i cant pull aliases!

And that is why I think having an Alias table is a better option.

If you have the aliases in the Artists table, you could link to them too. As yourself suggested :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

The idea is to have the “original name” also as an Alias:

  • Artist: Tim Bergling
  • Aliases: Tim Bergling, Avicii
4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

so the alias table contains only aliases, AND artist names? then i am simply duplicating the artists names column arent i?

No because the Alias that aren’t Artists are not in the Artists table.

An Artist represent the person, who has date of birth, family, start of career, and so on. The Aliases are the ‘alter-egos’ of that persons, than can have style of music, photo (different for each alias), and so on.

If an Artist just have one Alias, it seems silly to have the Artist record, but that structure allows you to have several Alias, let’s say in the same song, even for the same Artist.

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

so, in the albums list, i need to list all personnel

how do i do this?

i make a linked record to the artists table, and now i need to pick from the alias column

but sometimes i need the artist name as well!

I think you need to read the thread again