$7500: Percussion! Album art!
$10000: MUSIC VIDEO.
Hey, I'm Alexa: a Californian expat based in Berlin. I have been a singer my entire life. It's like, my main keyword. I even have a Masters in Jazz Performance, and I've been lucky to record quite a lot over the years. (A little fun trivia? I recorded my first album when I was 12.)
This summer, I am recording my first full-length album. It's called The Human Jukebox Project. The catch? I have yet to pick out any of the songs. Here's the vision:
- NONE of the tracks have been decided yet. By backing this project, you get to vote on (or even flat-out buy!) which songs make it into the studio. I trust you. You have good taste. The more $$ you pledge, the more votes you get.
- Once it's recorded, I will release it for free to download (on Bandcamp) and to stream (on Spotify and other similar services).
- Later this year, I take it on the road. I will be TOURING to Berlin, Philadelphia, Chicago, and San Diego.
- For those who haven't participated in crowdfunding before, you get to pick a reward of your choice, and then you become a project "backer." If we don't raise enough money to meet the budget goal, your credit card never gets charged, and this album doesn't happen.
Here's how it will work, timeline-wise:
- May 20 - June 10: The voting lines are OPEN. This part is a lot like buying a raffle ticket, but better. $1 = one vote. The songs with the most votes will make it onto the album. This is also the time to buy tickets for a Pop-Up Music Party near you.
- June 10: Once the Kickstarter ends, that's it! The chance to buy more votes is over!
- Mid-June: All votes will have been collected and tallied. We will know the whole song list.
- July/August: My dear, patient, incredibly talented musician friends are at the ready. As soon as we're funded, I make plans to head to my beautiful adopted musical homeland (England!), and we lay down those beats.
- Late August: The Human Jukebox Project is released for FREE.
- August 27: Berlin Pop-Up Music Party!
- October 10: Philadelphia Pop-Up Music Party!
- October 16: Chicago Pop-Up Music Party!
- December 26: San Diego Pop-Up Music Party!
To break even on this project, I've estimated a budget of least $5,300 USD. If you back this project, here's a rundown of what you are paying for:
- Musicians. Not only for in the studio, but on tour, too.
- Studio time, sound engineers, and mastering. This is a full-length album, and I want it done right. That means we (me and my musicians) will be in the studio for about a week, if not more. I will have to pay the sound engineer, rent the space, and pay for mastering.
- Royalty fees. In order to *legally* upload this album for free on the internet, I have to pay royalty fees to the original songwriters.
- Travel. I live in Berlin, but I will be recording this album in the UK, and am planning Pop-Up Music Parties all across the USA.
- A few other miscellaneous costs. Such as a taxi rides for a musician and his giant upright bass, the 5% commission that Kickstarter takes, album artwork, and a baby budget to make the Pop-Up Music Party experience really cool.
AND MORE! Here's the fun part. The more $$ we can raise, the bigger and better this project gets. Should The Human Jukebox exist on vinyl? Should I add a tour date in another city? Crazy-chic goodie bags at every Pop-Up Music Party? I already have some "stretch goal" ideas in mind...
- We can really vote for any song and you'll record it? Yes. The only things that are off-limits are: (1) Christmas or holiday songs, (2) most musical theatre tunes, (3) songs that you're picking exclusively because you think it would be funny-ha-ha and not funny-interesting.
- Explain this voting thing one more time. Every dollar pledged equals one vote. So, if you pledge one dollar, you get to cast one vote. If you pledge 25 dollars, you get to cast 25 votes. You can spend all your votes on one song choice, or you can split them up (10 votes for Song A, 10 votes for Song B, 5 votes for Song C). I will send you a form where you can cast your votes as soon as the project is funded.
- I've backed you, but I can't decide what song to pick. Help! If you need inspiration for your selection, you can check out #thehumanjukeboxproject on Instagram. I've been singing a song a day for almost two months (for more about that, check out The Great Discontent). There might be some good little gems over there to get your creative juices flowing. Also, remember that every dollar pledged gets you another vote -- so if you really can't decide, pick two! Or ten!
- Okay, I backed you!! Where do I submit my votes? Amazing. Thank you! As soon as the project is funded, I will send you a form where you can cast your votes.
- Can I buy a physical CD, or cassette tape, or vinyl record? Right now, I am only planning to release this album digitally and for free. That being said, if we can raise enough $$ to produce them... I mean, sure!
- Where can I buy the t-shirt? Hey, now! That's a heck of an idea. Let me get back to you.
Risks and challenges
It may seem funny that I am Kickstarting right now, when I don't start touring until the fall. Well, when you have friends and fans in as many far-flung places as I do... planning ahead is crucial.
I have tried to be as accurate as humanly possible with the tour dates, and I don't think they're going to change. That being said, there is always the smallest of small possibilities that I will have to change a date.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (21 days)