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A Few Thoughts on Crowdfunding

Apr 23 | Posted by: Rebecca Loebe |

Earlier this week I launched the crowd funding campaign for my new album with a brand new website, www.LoebeQuest.com, and a fancy new video. Three days in and we’ve already hit 15% of our goal! Hooray! 

That’s all well and good, but are you wondering *why* I need your help? That’s ok, I was wondering that too. Before I put the site up and asked anyone for anything, I gave it a lot of thought and here’s what I came up with:

We live in an incredible time for music, music makers and music fans. You may have heard people say that this is a terrible time for music but I couldn’t disagree more. Advances in technology coupled with decreases in price have democratized the recording process! Now, millions of people have access to the same recording capabilities that used to be available only to those who were allowed into fancy studios by exclusive record labels. As a result there is more music being created, released and enjoyed now than at any point in history. Sounds pretty great to me.

Simultaneously, developments in technology have changed the way people listen to and pay for music. The music industry was caught pretty off guard by this giant shift, which I think is understandable for any industry facing such an enormous sea change. I think it’s safe to say that they’re working hard to figure it out. I think it’s also safe to say that the people calling this new era terrible are those who were benefitting most from the old system. That may just be one girls opinion…

But at any rate, here I am making a living in the only music industry I have ever known. On the bright side, I’m not burdened by knowing how great it was to be a musician in THE NINETIES, which my mentors tell me was the last era when people bought physical CDs on a large scale and getting signed to a record label was a reasonable career goal.

 Being an indie musician today requires me to wear many hats. I write songs, organize tours, promote shows, drive to gigs, load in gear, set up merch, perform concerts, sell merch, tear down after the show, settle up with the venue, load out, drive to crash spaces, coordinate travel, maintain my website, type names into my email list, update online calendars, engage my fabulous friends and fans on various social media sites… And, of course, record my music and coordinate the release of my albums!

Please know: I love doing this!! I would wear twice the hats if that’s what I had to do to sing songs for you. As I explain in the video onwww.LoebeQuest.com, music is my calling. Writing songs and performing them for people makes me feel that I’m fulfilling my purpose for being on this planet.

One small piece of the process is recording and releasing albums for people who enjoy the songs and want to hear them again. Albums are also handy promotional tools for generating “buzz” or positive attention for my touring efforts. Alas, they are complicated and expensive to make. A full-length album with creative, engaging arrangements requires the time and talents of a large cast of qualified individuals.

As a former recording engineer with a degree in music production, I have a number of tricks up my sleeve that I can deploy to spend funds wisely and create a beautiful, entertaining, heart-string-tugging album that we will all be quite fond and proud of. Even though I can be thrifty, I still want to pay the musicians, technicians, manufacturers and artisans involved fairly for their time.

That’s why I need your help. I have a sweet, vibey, tasteful and tasty record in mind. In order to hire all the people I need to pull this off, I need to have some sort of operating budget to work with so that I can start hiring people and reserving time in recording studios. I earn a living making music, but not enough to really get ahead. I’ve explored and considered a number of options for raising the funds I need to record the album: maxing out credit cards (not smart), taking out a bank loan (not likely), selling a vital life organ (too bloody) or partnering with a record label (even more gruesome than harvesting my organs).

Enter crowd-funding! The same advances in modern technology that have brought forward great changes in the way music is recorded and consumed have also closed the gap between music creators and appreciators. We are all very much part of the same ecosystem. The crowd-funded model of financing independent records is not a new idea (artists have been receiving patronage for centuries), but technology has definitely streamlined the process and brought it into the mainstream.

To me it makes sense to raise funds for my next artistic project using my most valuable asset, one that I have invested the past ten years of my life into cultivating: relationships with people who enjoy and appreciate my music. If every person who is currently signed up for my email list were to pre-order the record, I would have more than enough money to create the album of my dreams and give it a proper rollout into the world.

The fact of the matter is that only about 20-25% of people on my email list open any given email I send. Social media sites use algorithms to determine what small percentage of people who have declared an interest in following my activities online are shown any given post (unless, of course, I choose to pay said social media site for access to the rest. Sneaky devils). Also, many people are in the same boat as me financially with no extra spending money. I totally get that. 

The fact that many people on my email lists and social media networks will not even be aware of my fundraising campaign (let alone able to contribute) is one of the reasons that I am offering prizes and incentives beyond the cost of pre-ordering the CD. The other reason - the much more important one - is that I am excited to have more opportunities to connect with people who enjoy my music. I would love to call your mom and sing her a happy birthday message! I would love to knit you a scarf or even a pair of socks!! I have put together a list of fun ways that I would LOVE to say “thank you” to those who choose to kick some money into the fundraising kitty at www.LoebeQuest.com.

Recently I have been doing hard work in my heart, mind and soul to define my voice as a writer. I’ve been writing more blogs, essays and stories and also working to take my songwriting further and deeper into my own perspective than I ever have before. I am channelling all the giddy, wild-eyed fearlessness I possibly can, like it’s my job (which I suppose it is). I’m really proud of the new songs I’ve created and I hope that you will consider joining me on this adventure to create a permanent home for them on a recorded album.

I am keenly aware that your support (financial, emotional, spiritual) is what makes it possible for me to pursue this dream. I am always and forever grateful for your friendship and continued involvement in my life.

xoxo

~becca

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MANAGEMENTRalph Jaccodine. rjaccodine@gmail.com (617.393.9800)

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EMAIL REBECCA: rebecca@rebeccaloebe.com