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.
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'.
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:
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:
$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:)
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:)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)