UPDATE #1: Well, we reached the campaign goal of $8000 in THREE DAYS and now EXCEEDED IT!! Unbelievable!! Thank you to everyone who has contributed and shared the campaign. Nothing could be more awesome EXCEPT we still have 2 WEEKS to go! With that said, I’ve decided to set a stretch goal of $16,000! With this goal, I'll be able to create a 2nd album with ALL NEW material! So, you'll get the Second Chances album on August 14, 2017 and a brand new one in 2018 for helping me get this far!
It's easy for people to think that once the goal has been met in Kickstarter that the campaign is over. Ain't so. We’re still going strong! THANK YOU again for all your support, and please share the campaign as far and as wide as you can!
Thank you for visiting my fundraising campaign! My name is April Koontz, and I’m absolutely thrilled to announce the upcoming release of my first solo album, Second Chances. The songs on this album have been my closest friends during some of the darkest days I’ve ever known. They mirror the path I’ve walked over the last 50 years; winding through the mountaintop experience of brand new love and sweet plateau of seasoned love to the dark valley of losing a younger brother to an unintentional overdose and a deeply-loved cousin to suicide. Most importantly, the songs represent my arrival at a sacred understanding that each moment between our first and last breath is truly magical. The question becomes, “Do we believe in magic?” Thankfully, I do. My return to songwriting following my brother’s death, meeting my music producer, the launch of this campaign, the upcoming release of the album, the launch of my career as a professional songwriter, and your support, is all magic. And I am beyond grateful.
I knew at an early age that I had a unique relationship with songs, but it wasn't until my teenage years that I realized I have the gift of being a ‘portal’ for them to enter the world. At that time I dreamed of being a full-time musician—writing songs and touring with a band—but like many ‘song bearers,’ going to college and getting a full-time job seemed like the more sustainable path. So, I ended up getting an undergraduate degree in psychology and a masters degree in social work, and just doing music for fun.
Then, on August 14, 2010, my family's world completely stopped. My 34-year old brother was found dead by my parents of an unintentional overdose. Despite my dad's heroic CPR efforts, he did not return to this world. That day, I sat in complete shock as I listened to the paramedics zip up the body bag and carry him down the stairs and out to the ambulance. I can still recall the sound almost seven years later.
It was at that point that I returned to my most trusted friend; songwriting. It had been years since I had written anything, but suddenly songs started pouring out of me. It was as if they'd been held captive somewhere deep inside, and the jolt of losing my brother had set them free.
When I lost my cousin to suicide less than three years later, I was done. Done wasting time. Done working at a job that fed my bank account, but not my soul. Done being too scared to ‘let go’ and lean into the creativity my entire being was yearning for. From that moment forward, I became a dream catcher. I may have missed the dream of being a full-time musician writing songs and touring with a band, but I hadn't missed the dream of writing songs for placement in TV, film, and for other artists to perform. My songs could still be heard, and they still had the potential to find their way into people’s hearts.
I teamed up with a talented guitarist and songwriter named Jon Fields, and almost every Tuesday night for over three years, we wrote songs together - some of which you’ll hear on this album.
And, almost every day for three years while journaling, I thanked God in advance for helping me find an amazing music producer who could take my songs to the next level.
And, guess what? He showed up in April 2016. His name is Kevin McNoldy (he’s sold millions of records with the projects he’s produced, and he’s worked with Dave Matthews, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Sissy Spacek, and so many more), and he’s given these songs the wings they needed to fly. And, the most awesome part is that with your help, these songs are just the beginning of all the incredible music I’ll be working on with him for years to come.
What You're Investing In
I’ve created a budget of $16,000 for finishing the Second Chances album, which covers:
- Mixing and mastering the 10 songs that have already been produced and writing a couple more songs to end up with 12 songs total.
- Distributing the project online and on CD.
- Printing a gorgeous companion booklet that showcases song inspired graphic illustrations by a select group of artists plus lyrics and liner notes.
- Promo materials like mugs and baseball hats; and,
- PR and promotion for the project.
So far, I’ve invested $8000 toward this goal, and I need your help for the second $8000. August will be here soon, so to honor my brother, this project will be on the fast track with no extended waiting time for the rewards. If the campaign is successfully funded, you will have new music to listen to this summer… the Kickstarter packages will be sent on August 14th, 2017.
If we don’t reach $8000, the project will not be funded, your credit card will not be charged, and no rewards will be sent out. So, please help me achieve this goal!
How You Can Help
- Take a look at my “Thank You” pledge packages in the right sidebar of this page, and choose your favorite! You can pick from digital downloads, signed CDs, complete packages including the companion booklet, personalized songs, or even writing my next song with me.
- Spread the word by sharing this fundraising campaign through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, blogs, emails, texts, or even a phone call to a family member or friend! Sharing this page with just a few people you know can make a huge difference in helping me achieve this goal. And even if you can’t contribute, remember that sharing is just as important as a contribution.
As I launch this Kickstarter campaign on my 50th birthday, my heart is filled with gratitude for everyone who has helped me reach this point. I feel like I’m running a dream marathon, and around every corner, there’s a familiar face with a smile, waving and encouraging me to keep going. I’m also grateful for and inspired by the amazing illustrators who raised their hands and said “yes” to creating artwork inspired by the music. It’s an incredible honor to actually see my songs light an artistic spark in someone else, and watch that evolve into something visually stunning.
I also thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading and sharing my story, and investing in my dream. I hope my music can inspire you to follow your own dreams! Please don’t wait for a moment of family tragedy, like I did, to serve as the shock to wake up your spirit… do it now. I consider every one of you my partner in this new stage of my life and I can’t do it without your support! So, please join me in creating Second Chances, as I embark on my second chance at music.
Why the dragonfly? Because dragonflies are a powerful symbol of transformation. Read the story of the dragonfly here:
“In the bottom of an old pond lived some grubs who could not understand why none of their group ever came back after crawling up the stems of the lilies to the top of the water. They promised each other that the next one who was called to make the upward climb would return and tell what happened to him. Soon one of them felt an urgent impulse to seek the surface; he rested himself on the top of a lily pad and went through a glorious transformation, which made him a dragonfly with beautiful wings. In vain he tried to keep his promise. Flying back and forth over the pond, he peered down at his friends below. Then he realized that even if they could see him they would not recognize such a radiant creature as one of their number. The fact that we cannot see our friends or communicate with them after the transformation, which we call death, is no proof that they cease to exist.” Walter Dudley Cavert
Risks and challenges
My core team is very good at what they do, and know how to bring a project in on time. Since we’ve already completed production on 10 of the songs, there is very little risk that this project won’t be completed, or you’ll be waiting longer than expected for your reward packages. There are unforeseen things that could cause delays with third parties (CD replication, graphic booklet printing, etc.) but we will be sending all materials to print very early, to make sure we hit the deadline with more than enough of a buffer. Any co-writing rewards will be scheduled right after the campaign ends, in case any resulting songs might make it onto the project (if they don’t quite “fit” the project or won’t be completed in time, they will be released separately, after Second Chances is launched). Any personalized songs will be scheduled after the project launches on August 14th, 2017. Any Skype sessions will be arranged beginning in May 2017, at your convenience. I’ll provide updates throughout the campaign, and after, to everyone who contributed, so you’ll be aware of how the schedule is coming along… we’re on this journey together!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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