I’ve been reflecting this week about my EP, Future Member and the beautiful way it came to life. Two years ago I launched a Kickstarter project in an effort to fund the studio time I needed to record my debut solo project. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Kickstarter, it’s a crowd-funding platform that allows entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas for financial backing. When I did my research on the various crowdfunding platforms, Kickstarter stood out to me because it was an all or nothing venture. That meant if I didn’t reach my goal of $7,000 in 30 days, I would walk away with nothing except for the satisfaction of knowing I tried. That model appealed to me because it meant there was no room for doubt. There was way too much on the line and I had to believe that what seemed impossible was possible.
The project launched and my fans, friends, and family showed up, both monetarily and by way of time and energy, sharing my project with others. They stood beside me on the roller coaster of emotions that come along with crowd funding and the outpouring of support was absolutely amazing. On March 21, 2012, my project successfully funded. I exceeded my goal of $7,000 closing out the project at $7535, but the support didn’t stop there. I was gifted plane tickets along with cash for a rental car and lodging from folks who wanted to have a hand in my success. It was a surreal experience and the following month, when I made the trip to Nashville to record, it was one of the most emotional trips of my life!
I recorded at OmniSound studios here in Nashville with some of music city’s finest. My engineer for the project was one of Nashville’s best-kept secrets, Rory Rositas and he did a phenomenal job. He had me in stitches with his levity and wit and while I was in the studio I got to meet his beautiful wife, Bailey. She and I instantly hit it off and Bailey and Rory have become some of my favorite people in the world! Their friendship is just another one of the many blessing bestowed upon me as a result of this project.
I love Future Member for a million reasons, but the fact that it was fan-funded makes it even more precious to me. Standing in that studio pouring life into my songs, knowing that my fans sent me there made it a powerful and humbling moment in my musical career. They believed in my dreams enough to help me reach them and my cup runneth over thanks to their kindness. If I had moved here before that EP was created I would be missing out on so much! This isn’t a city that waits for you to have your ducks in a row. When opportunity knocks you better be ready to shine and Future Member has allowed me to do just that. Because of the generosity of my fans, I’ve been afforded the opportunity to confidently share my music with the world and I’m determined to make folks proud that they’ve had a hand in getting me one step closer to the Opry stage.
I’ve heard people knock crowd funding, categorizing it as a platform for lazy people to ask for a hand out. But with those who believe that to be true, I would have to respectfully disagree. As someone who has not only successfully funded my own project, but also backed numerous projects launched by others, I believe that crowd funding is a platform for dreamers who know that there is power in numbers. It’s not just about the money, it’s about connecting to the community of creativity around you. I for one am happy to support the dreamers in my community because dreams only come to life if you are brave believe in them. And it's like they say, if you believe in yourself, others will too!
Thanks for reading! I'll see ya at the Opry!