While researching for my online music essay, I came across an amazing story about a musician named Amanda Palmer, who went down the traditional route of signing to a major label and found that it was not for her, and the labels interest was not focused on her creative side, instead, just how much revenue they could gather from her art. I looked at her past and how she was a very creative and personal artist who loved the relationship of fans who would come to gigs. She then went down the DIY route of setting her new band up and getting the people and music lovers involved in creating and funding the album.
Quick History of this fascinating journey:
- She started as a street performer collecting money day to day.
- Formed The Dresden Dolls and signed to Roadrunner
- Sold 25,000 records and was told by major label that this was not enough sales
- She asked to leave the record label and managed to do so.
- Formed a new band a decided to do it her own way.
- With a well-known fan base behind her she found a website called Kick-starter which is set up to allow you to have full control over a project you have created.
This site was a brand new breakthrough as it allowed friends, people, investors and fans to pay money into a project allowing the artist to receive funding for an idea. Amanda decided to set up different pledges that included digital downloads, vinyl and cd manufacture and distribution, a 100 paged signed art book that artists drew being influenced from the album, and some strange ones such as meet and greets with Amanda and private drawing from her naked or not. I thought this was brilliant as she has taking a complete different approach to funding an album that fans wanted to hear and helped out with putting it together.
- Her pledge was set at $100,000
- She managed to raise $1,192,793 which is the largest privately funded project ever.
This just proves that artists can take other approaches to getting a project started and involving the fans more to build up a strong relationship and create a cult following. The use of these types of sites allow unsigned artists to compete with major labels without having large advances and becoming in major debt and minimum control over what approach they wish to take. Since their launch in 2009, 5.1 million people have pledged $858 million, funding 51,000 creative projects. This proves that using DIY forms of selling music and controlling your own creative art is a great way to expose your band/music.
Check it out www.kickstarter.com