On June 18th 2014 my bank balance read £0 and I had no work booked. On August 18th, exactly 2 months later, I had £2000 to put towards my mobile recording studio (GoldflowerStudios.com). I’m still in shock! How did I get from £0 to £2k in 2months? Well, it turns out that whether they know it or not, people are hungry for an alternative to the mainstream music industry.
To put it another way, the answer is ‘crowdfunding’. Through Kickstarter, I made a website explaining why I plan to run a mobile recording studio on a pay-what-you-want basis ( Kimwei’s Kickstarter Page ). The idea stemmed from these simple truths:
- I have been producing records for clients since 2009.
- When I was working as a part time teacher I couldn’t have afforded to record my albums in a recording studio on my income.
- There are many talented musicians in that same boat.
- Offering my recording services on a pay-what-you-want basis would make it possible for these musicians to make high quality records.
As rewards for pledging money to this Kickstarter page/website, people could claim my latest record, t-shirts, a living room gig, or make a request. The campaign also acts as a way to independently release my latest album, Refraction & Redemption.
The response surprised me. My last post showed me panicking about the huge task of raising £2k in only a few weeks, but in the end the campaign hit its £2k target with 1 week still to go! With 1 day to go now, it stands at £2114. What can I say? The money will be put to good use. There’s one thing I’m confident about having done The £0 Challenge descent and ascent – I’m now incapable of wasting money.
I’ve found myself amazed and humbled by the generosity of the 28 pledges (made by over 60 people). I was expecting the Kickstarter page to be used mainly like a ‘shop’ – where people pledged small amounts in return for copies of my albums.
However, most pledges have been over £10 and many people declined a reward beyond a digital download of the album. A few have pledged over £100 and some over £500! I guess this means that the Goldflower Studios idea has inspired a good many people – they aren’t just buying the album, they really believe in the project too. Knowing this makes me want to up my game: to make it bigger, better and have a greater impact than I had originally conceived. Watch this space to see how that pans out.
The only conclusion I can come to is that whether they know it or not, many people are hungry for an experience of music that sits outside the values of the music industry. Independent musicians and unplugged gigs are all part of this alternative. When people come to a Secret Gig of mine and describe it as “magical” or say they “Love it! Never been to anything like it”, what they are really saying is that they want an alternative to the mainstream music industry. My work as a singer-songwriter and through Goldflower Studios brings people this alternative, which must be why so many people have backed it.
One backer, who generously pledged £100 asking for nothing more than a digital album in return, wrote to me saying:
“The music industry is basically owned by major labels and if your face doesn’t fit, then goodbye. Bob Dylan wouldn’t stand a chance today. I love what you’re doing and wish you every success bringing new and different music to an audience who, as you say, may not even know they want it.”
So with 1 day to go, this is one last call to pledge to my Kickstarter page (ending Saturday 23rd August 6.58pm BST). Not only is it your last chance to get my new album for as little as £1, but you’ll be helping me to make real music and help others who are doing the same!
Click here for Kimwei’s Kickstarter page
Take part in Kimwei’s Music Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XNDwS7wUwE
Listen to Kimwei’s original acoustic music at reverbnation.com/kimwei , watch at youtube.com/kimweidotcom , interact at facebook.com/kimweidotcom , everything at kimwei.com