Crowdfunding my debut single '27'
So its here! We successfully did a 1 week ninja crowdfund (something I have never done before) to fund my debut single. This meant I could go to a studio with the full band, add trumpets, make it the big awesome production i always wanted. And wow, it has turned out great, just how I imagined when i wrote the song! Now it's all set and ready to be put out on 2nd March 2017 with an almighty release party to boot!
I am amazed when I think back, super nervous about doing this, that it would all work out so well in such a short amount of time. It's such a good feeling to know people are behind what you are doing, and it has made the whole process of recording/producing the song more special! I could't be more grateful and humbled.
I can't wait for that party and i'm stoked to have my 2 good friends on the bill -
Josephson (frontman of the amazing Moski Jo) and Byron Short (Byron Short and the Sunset Junkies)
A bit of background on how this all happened -
A couple of months back we sat at home, wondering how I could do a record a quality single, to basically get to the next step with my music. We had this crazy idea of trying to crowdfund my debut single, thinking at this point we have nothing to lose. However, I have never done this before and it was nerve wracking, a massive throwing of ones self out into the unknown, into the realms of the 'guilt police'! Why don't you just go out and play a few extra gigs and fund it yourself...why dont you go and get a job...why dont you go out and busk to make the money like the rest of us... (that last one was an actual comment left on my Facebook in response to me sharing the crowdfund campaign). And yes, I totally get it. I was bought up in a working class family back in the UK, living on council estates, and caravans between homes etc..where you go out and 'work' for your money. I have actually had people shout 'get a real job' when I have been out busking..
It's confusing times for both the performer and audience, how to fund your art, how to 'consume' art. I get that its alarming to see you give money directly, without the security of a 'reputable' retailer. It's seen as panhandling, begging etc..
However, few people even have a CD player nowadays, so it's getting difficult to sell them. Artists don't really profit off steaming services like Spotify (unless there huuuuge). Live music is still alive and kicking, it's pretty good I find out here in Australia, but after bills Car Rego's and all the other usual life stuff, it's not easy scraping the money together upfront for going to a decent studio.
I should say at this point if you didn't already guess that I have been very much inspired by Amanda Palmer. I have been a fan of the Dresden Dolls since my teens, and her book 'The Art Of Asking' completely changed my view on how we make and receive art. (It's revolutionary and i'd highly recommend it to anyone, for a taste, check out her Ted Talk) That, and ending up halfway across the world with no money, a guitar, and really giving busking a go.
I got over my performance nervousness and anxiety (it was baaad man I always played in bands, never solo) piece by piece when I started busking in Brisbane South Bank, Australia, and found I could make an income. I got a crash course in humanity, and eventually a couple of gigs from passers by. Now, 3 years on I play at least 3 times a week. I now realise that all this playing paid off not just bills, but in pledges when i came to crowdfund my first release. Once they found a way, people on my peripheral stepped up, and wanted to help me.
The days of record deals and advances are pretty much gone for smaller artists, so how do we trade our art in a sustainable way? Cutting out the middleman surely. Crowdfunding. If your willing to go out and buy a CD of a musician you like, whats the difference in pre-paying for the CD, allowing the artist to pre-pay for the studio. Pre paying for an artist to get the paint they need for a picture.. Trust I suppose, but I think that's something i think many lack nowadays, me included, for various reasons (thats a whole other post) However i'm trying to change that, as so are so many others, this I think is an ideal way. Unity, human connection.
Also, with crowdfunding the artist can offer so much more than pre defined business models, such as private gigs, private jingles (something I did and am having a ball doing), etc etc. The only limit is imagination here.
I realise Crowdfunding is not a new phenomenon, but I have come across so many people that don't get the concept, and have asked me to explain. So I hope this has helped. Again, like I say to everyone, go check out 'The Art Of Asking" by Amanda Palmer, I think she nails it! Things are moving on with things like Patreon too, so again very interesting times for both art, and the economy in general.
Hope this was of some interest. I will be posting more blogs from now on! Cheers . D xxx