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Join indie-pop singer/songwriter Sonia Rao in creating her second album, “Los Angeles,” a collection of songs for anyone in transition.
Join indie-pop singer/songwriter Sonia Rao in creating her second album, “Los Angeles,” a collection of songs for anyone in transition.
217 backers pledged $15,173 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$15,173

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Hello!

I'm Sonia Rao. Two years after releasing my first, also crowdfunded album, ‘Calm Her,’ I have a new batch of song babies that I want to share with you all. However, I can’t, and don’t want to, do it alone: help me make this album real with your support. To learn more about the inspiration behind the music and what I’ve been working on since 2011, read on!

WHAT IS ‘LOS ANGELES’? 

‘Los Angeles’ is my second album. I wrote these songs during the past two years, while moving from San Francisco to LA, loving then hating then loving Los Angeles, and re-choosing music as the path for me. These songs are for anyone in transition, be it between loves, cities, careers, homes, or those on the verge of truly knowing themselves.

I’ll be releasing this album in two parts: Los Angeles- Part 1 and Los Angeles- Part 2. I’ve so named this project because, for me, Los Angeles is a city that embodies reinvention. But people are starting over everywhere: new lives, new careers, new loves, new philosophies, new families. People are taking brave leaps around the world. My hope is that 'Los Angeles' speaks to these people.

ROOTS

I grew up studying classical violin, piano, and flute, but I never delved into creating songs of my own. After graduating from UC Berkeley, I moved to San Francisco where I began writing songs on my keyboard one evening in the midst of trying to process the death of my boyfriend. After the first one, 'Summer and Wine', song after song came out of me (songs that would later become my first album ‘Calm Her’). I completely fell in love with songwriting and, soon after, began performing in San Francisco and LA, released my first album, and was recruited to be on NBC’s The Voice which is why I ended up packing my Honda Civic and moving to Los Angeles. This choice, the new city, and the uncertainties, joy, and extreme highs and lows that came with it, are what inspired the songs on 'Los Angeles'. 

Being on NBC The Voice was an amazing and intense time. Spending that month in the hotel writing with, being nervous with, and learning from the other artists was an experience for which I am incredibly grateful.
Being on NBC The Voice was an amazing and intense time. Spending that month in the hotel writing with, being nervous with, and learning from the other artists was an experience for which I am incredibly grateful.

One of my favorite things about Los Angeles is how many artists are drawn to it. Because of this, I've had the opportunity to perform with artists whose songs I love:

CALM HER’ 

My first album was fully funded through community as well. I put my vision for my album on another crowdfunding website, IndieGoGo, and friends, fellow artists, community, and music lovers responded. 'Calm Her' went on to garner incredible support from MTV and E! Network, who used 8 of the album's 9 songs on shows that included ‘Jersey Shore’ and ‘Married to Jonas’. Two years after releasing that album, I am so so ready to record this next collection of my songs.

Here are some shots of creating 'Los Angeles' thus far:

Here is the first part of the artwork for Los Angeles Part 1. I am lucky enough to work with talented artist Christopher Vear again on this second project.
Here is the first part of the artwork for Los Angeles Part 1. I am lucky enough to work with talented artist Christopher Vear again on this second project.
Here is the initial sketch of the cover.
Here is the initial sketch of the cover.
Stills from filming the music video for the first single 'You Say I'. The video includes some of the people from different parts of my life that have supported and inspired me at some point.
Stills from filming the music video for the first single 'You Say I'. The video includes some of the people from different parts of my life that have supported and inspired me at some point.
Delirious and happy with awesome videographers/people Ron Utin Lalkin and Maddie Staczak after finishing a day of filming.
Delirious and happy with awesome videographers/people Ron Utin Lalkin and Maddie Staczak after finishing a day of filming.

THE GOAL 

$13,000. Yowza. Releasing an album independently is expensive. Like my first album 'Calm Her', my hope is that 'Los Angeles' will be a community-supported project that people will find their own stories in. The one catch is that if I don't reach my goal of $13,000 I don't get ANYTHING. Nada. No pressure or anything:)

So where does the funding go? Mixing and mastering the songs, paying for the artwork, manufacturing, paying the videographers for the video you just watched, promotion, and paying the sound engineer and every musician on the record.

CREATING, CHANGE, AND KICKSTARTER 

I've always believed that we should find what makes us happy and what we find meaning in, then do more of it – in so doing, we will change the world for the better. I chose Kickstarter because it supports this philosophy – it directly connects people who want to support creation and innovation, people like you!

This album is for: 

ARTISTS | CHANGEMAKERS | PHILOSPHERS | TEACHERS | JOY-SEEKERS | WRITERS | THINKERS | LEADERS | EXPECTING MOTHERS | CHALLENGERS | ANYONE WHO IS STARTING OVER AT ANY POINT IN THEIR LIFE | YOU

I have 30 days to raise $13,000. Will you be a part of this? 

Here’s to art, community, and new beginnings. 

Thank you for making this album happen! Here we go:)

Much love,

Sonia

Risks and challenges

Scheduling the songwriting workshop or choosing a date that Elliott, Mycle, and I can come together to perform for you takes some coordination. Completely doable with good communication though:)

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Advance digital download of ‘Los Angeles Part 1’ EP before it hits iTunes or Amazon + Full PDF of artwork and liner notes

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A signed pre-release physical copy of ‘Los Angeles Part 1’ EP + Full PDF of artwork and liner notes + Advance digital download of ‘Los Angeles Part 1’ EP before it hits iTunes or Amazon

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Full color poster with 'Los Angeles' artwork (exclusive to Kickstarter backers) + A signed pre-release physical copy of ‘Los Angeles Part 1’ EP + Full PDF of artwork and liner notes + Advance digital download of ‘Los Angeles Part 1’ EP before it hits iTunes or Amazon

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Personalized digital photo + Full color poster with 'Los Angeles' artwork (exclusive to Kickstarter backers) + A signed pre-release physical copy of ‘Los Angeles Part 1’ EP + Full PDF of artwork and liner notes + Advance digital download of ‘Los Angeles Part 1’ EP before it hits iTunes or Amazon

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    SONIA ON YOUR SCREEN - I record a fun video to say thank you, congratulations, you're awesome, happy birthday to a friend, or...anything you want! + 2 free tickets to my CD Release party + Full color poster with 'Los Angeles' artwork (exclusive to Kickstarter backers) + A signed pre-release physical copy of ‘Los Angeles Part 1’ EP + Full PDF of artwork and liner notes + Advance digital download of ‘Los Angeles Part 1’ EP before it hits iTunes or Amazon

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    THE WRITER - Personalized (by me) journal to record your own transitions. I am a journal-lover and will make it unique to you with lyrics, quotes, and illustrations. + Full color poster with 'Los Angeles' artwork (exclusive to Kickstarter backers) + A signed pre-release physical copy of ‘Los Angeles Part 1’ EP + Full PDF of artwork and liner notes + Advance digital download of ‘Los Angeles Part 1’ EP before it hits iTunes or Amazon

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    THE YOUTUBE LOVER - Request a song to be covered, and I will make a YouTube video of it, as well as dedicating it to you or someone you love + Let's share a meal before one of my shows! + 2 free tickets to the show + Full color poster with 'Los Angeles' artwork (exclusive to Kickstarter backers) + A signed pre-release physical copy of ‘Los Angeles Part 1’ EP + Full PDF of artwork and liner notes + Advance digital download of ‘Los Angeles Part 1’ EP before it hits iTunes or Amazon

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    HOME(PAGE) CONCERT - A private online concert for you and your friends! I will perform, answer questions about my writing process, and tell stories about the songs. We can chat about life, favorite music and food, and get to know each other + 2 free tickets to the next show I perform near your town + Full color poster with 'Los Angeles' artwork (exclusive to Kickstarter backers) + A signed pre-release physical copy of ‘Los Angeles Part 1’ EP + Full PDF of artwork and liner notes + Advance digital download of ‘Los Angeles Part 1’ EP before it hits iTunes or Amazon

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $800 or more About $800

    Songwriters workshop with me in LA (or in other locations by arrangement) - a full day session on how to write your own songs, plus I'll write one for you and send you a recording + Full color poster with 'Los Angeles' artwork (exclusive to Kickstarter backers) + A signed pre-release physical copy of ‘Los Angeles Part 1’ EP + Full PDF of artwork and liner notes + Advance digital download of ‘Los Angeles Part 1’ EP before it hits iTunes or Amazon

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    THE CO-WRITE - We can write a song together and record it for YouTube + Full color poster with 'Los Angeles' artwork (exclusive to Kickstarter backers) + A signed pre-release physical copy of ‘Los Angeles Part 1’ EP + Full PDF of artwork and liner notes + Advance digital download of ‘Los Angeles Part 1’ EP before it hits iTunes or Amazon

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    THE LIVING ROOM SHOW - I invade your home! I bring my keyboard, sound setup, and vocal looper and perform a full show for you and your friends in person ANYWHERE IN THE US (Travel included). I will talk about my songwriting process and invite questions. + 2 VIP tickets to my Los Angeles CD Release show + Full color poster with 'Los Angeles' artwork (exclusive to Kickstarter backers) + A signed pre-release physical copy of ‘Los Angeles Part 1’ EP + Full PDF of artwork and liner notes + Advance digital download of ‘Los Angeles Part 1’ EP before it hits iTunes or Amazon

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    THE FULL BAND CONCERT – I bring my full band and we come to your home (or party or wedding or...) and put on a concert for you and your friends ANYWHERE IN THE U.S. We can make it an intimate living room concert or an outdoor backyard full-on party. We love both- it’s your call. (Travel and lodging not included) + Full color poster with 'Los Angeles' artwork (exclusive to Kickstarter backers) + A signed pre-release physical copy of ‘Los Angeles Part 1’ EP + Full PDF of artwork and liner notes + Advance digital download of ‘Los Angeles Part 1’ EP before it hits iTunes or Amazon

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    ATTACK OF THE MUSICIANS – The Full Band Concert plus I bring fellow collaborators Platinum artist and American Idol finalist Elliott Yamin and NBC The Voice's Mycle Wastman. We will come to your home and put on a concert for you and your friends. We bring the instruments, our voices, stories, and a good time; you bring your friends – a good friggin night ensues. We can make it a intimate living room concert or an outdoor backyard full-on party. We love both - it’s your call. (Travel and lodging not included) + Full color poster with 'Los Angeles' artwork (exclusive to Kickstarter backers) + A signed pre-release physical copy of ‘Los Angeles Part 1’ EP + Full PDF of artwork and liner notes + Advance digital download of ‘Los Angeles Part 1’ EP before it hits iTunes or Amazon

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Funding period

- (30 days)