I’ve heard it said there are no mistakes, only lessons, and that all roads lead to Rome. For as long as I can remember I’ve looked outside myself for validation, valued others options of my art more then my own. Last fall I had the fortune of meeting Justin Wiseman, a piano player and artist from Austin TX. He shook something loose for me, freed me from my self doubt and together Justin, Ian and I were able to create these songs. All of which were written with the spirit of art first. No egos, no judgements, just music. This album is about my journey to find my voice on my road to Rome.
Like most women in the music business, I have always been surrounded by men. Though most were kind and talented, an unspoken barrier remained between us. Many times I felt unheard, not because they didn’t listen, but because they didn’t understand the emotional content of what I was saying. Other times I felt out of my league or intimidated by their grasp of technology or musicianship. I want my thoughts, my ideas, and my voice to be heard on this album. FULL FORCE. I have never met a woman I could not relate to, or who I could not communicate with. I want my ideas to be nurtured and protected and have decided for these reasons and more that I wanted to work with as many women as possible on this project.
After meeting producer Jordan Brooke Hamlin, and touring the studio she built in Nashville, I knew she was the one for this project. My gut spoke and I listened. Together we plan to bring these songs to life, work with some of the baddest B##ches in the biz to create something that starts and ends with my voice. I hope you will join me for the journey because it will be magical in every way.
(email me: firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about rewards)
Risks and challenges
In order to understand how an album is created and released in the today’s industry you must understand that all of this is a moving target. It’s a living thing that evolves as we create the album. It’s all or nothing, an eco-system in which each piece's success depends on the other. Below is a brief synapse of what we will do with the funds and why. After all, it means so much to us to have you, our fans understand all of this behind-the-scenes stuff. We hope that being open about this process may be of interest to you and tighten the bond between us musicians and our fans and supporters.
We have given Jordan the deposit and we are scheduled to cut the entire album in Sept. This is the biggest chunk of the pie and will consume a good deal of funds to pay for the studio time and the production fees as well as all the talented women we hire to perform on the album. We have some pre-production days planned prior to September, but for the most part Jordan and I feel that the project will unfold as we work, so we don’t have a list of exactly what will happen when we get in there. In the past I have worked with lists, but I find them limiting, and too forceful. They can constrict the process, leaving too little room for the heart of the song to reveal itself. We have the whole month booked at the studio and we are ready to make some MAGIC.
Ever wonder how all the songs on the radio or your iPhone are played at the same volume? The reason you don't have to turn the volume up or down for each song is because they have been through a process called mastering. Mastering is done by a separate company outside the studio and is kind of (but it’s really more complicated) like a final run though the record. A whole nother process of tweaks is made to every second of each song to make sure we sound our best whatever you are hearing us on. This is the part where the record goes from sounding like a recording to sounding ready for the radio.
Once the album is cut we will gather our press assets. We will do a photo shoot for the album cover, as well as another for our press pictures. These photos are crucial to the project and will be featured in all of our media, website, and socials, as well as press reviews. (better pictures get more attention for the project, so we need to go BIG here) Not only will we need a to pay for the photographer, but we need location and waredrobe too.
The next import asset is videos. You need at least two music videos for a release. These can be very costly, but are well worth the money. This time we are thinking about doing an animated video and one live performance video. So if you are an animator or know someone who is, let us know.
This stands for electronic press kit. But it’s really just a fancy way of describing a video that shows the audience what you’re all about. It’s almost like a little mini-movie about your work. We would like to hire our videographer and editor to come into the studio and capture the making of Road to Rome and do some interviews to create this piece.
Publicity is key here, after all what’s the point of paying for all these assets if no one will see them? having a great publicist who works well with you is important. I could not love our publicist, Karen Wiessen, more. She is a hardworking, out of the box thinker, and a no nonsense woman. I hired her for our last release and she got us some serious results, including reviews from NPR, Rolling Stone, and many more. A typical publicity campaign runs for at least 4 months. 3 months leading up to the release and 1 month into it. Trust me when I tell you, you don’t want to know what it costs. But it will be well worth it. One thing to note is that you should have your press assets in the can before you start paying your publicist. Although there is some input and ideas coming from the publicist, it’s important that you have things for them to start bringing to media outlets 3 months before the release. Our release is plan for Feb, so we will be creating this content in the early fall to deliver to Karen for November. So it’s important to have funds on hand to get all this accomplished right away for maximum impact.
Another big piece of publicity these days is social media. This time around we would like to have some money set aside for hiring a professional to create and execute a social media campaign. We would also like to hire someone to help license our songs for TV and movies, and someone to help us bump up our presence on Spotify. These are all new areas for us, but we have some very good resources in our fellow artists, and we will be talking to them about what works, and what doesn’t before we do any hiring.
Graphics are also a part of the budget, as we will need a graphic designer to create our album art from the photos we shot, resize and rework photos and logos for the an updated clean and fresh website for the launch.
In addition to graphics we will hire a web designer to update our site. We love the one we have and want to keep that one going but with updated images and media. This all works in tandem with the assets, the graphic designer and a marketing plan.
We want to go into this with a marketing plan so that we are set up for success. So we may bring in a marketing expert who can help draw up a plan for both the website and the social media as well as the branding. This will ensure we keep everything looking consistent and clean.
I use Disc Makers to manufacture. I have been a long time client and they offer me great prices. The Disc Makers team will work with me, who ever masters our record, and our graphic designer to create the final product.
With your help we will have the resources to do this,
We will have the funds to choose creativity over money.
Thank you for your love and support.
Sarah & Ian