Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
I am raising funds to complete a new album & to make music videos with 4 different visual artists.
I am raising funds to complete a new album & to make music videos with 4 different visual artists.
202 backers pledged $7,976 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Brenda Xu's new album "Overflow" & Music Video Project project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

$7,976

202

*My previous albums are available for streaming and purchase on Bandcamp and Spotify

STRETCH GOAL: 
We made the Kickstarter goal of $6K, but have 2 days left to reach a stretch goal* to fund a European and U.S. east coast tour. These tours will expose the album to new audiences and will be my press campaign in lieu of hiring a PR company. Please join me in meeting my stretch goal of $9,000 now until January 1st! Thank you so much! :) 

*A stretch goal is a goal set after the initial posted goal is met and there is still time remaining in the campaign. I set the goal lower than the actual amount I need to make sure I met it since Kickstarter is all or nothing.

MY STORY

My first time performing in front of an audience was at my high school talent show. I played two cover songs: one solo Frente song, and another Smashing Pumpkins song with my friend. I remember wondering if I would be able to get through the whole performance without forgetting how to play the guitar, the lyrics, or throwing up. I don’t remember much about performing other than being able to make it through without messing up, and seeing my mother and grandmother in the audience, who somehow found out that I was performing that night even though I told them I wasn’t. But the thing that stuck out in my mind about that night was not how nervous I was, or who was there, but how people responded to me after the performance. Classmates who I barely knew and had spoken only a few words to before that night came up to me and hugged me, telling me how much they enjoyed my performance. It was an openness that I had never experienced before with near­-strangers. Being an introvert who was very much still in my shell, I wasn’t close to a lot of people and had not yet figured out how to connect with people easily. That night was the first taste I had of how music can forge emotional connections with people that transcend normal social boundaries.

Music has a transformative power that connects people. I have experienced this as a performer over the past 9 years. Audience members I’ve met at shows and on social media have told me about how my songs have impacted them ­from helping them to deal with breakups/divorces, to mourning the loss of loved ones, or simply to feel a sense of calm. These experiences have given me a sense of purpose and challenged me to become more courageous as a songwriter and performer. I’ve found that the more personal a song is for me, the greater the emotional impact it will have on people. I’ve learned to embrace the fear I have in playing a song for the first time, and recognize it as a sign that I am about to do something risky and revealing, which for me, is what music is all about.

THE ALBUM

“Overflow” will be my fourth album, and is a representation of my growth and development as a songwriter and performing artist since my last release in 2014. Throughout my career, I have developed an original style of music that combines elements of symphonic, pop, folk, and ambient sounds. The songs on this album are the products of that work. The album is also more far­-reaching in terms of dynamic range, and is my most ambitious and complex to date as far as musical style and song composition.

I'm currently collaborating with 4 videographers/filmmakers on 4 music videos for the songs. One thing that I've always wanted to do was to combine my music with a visual element. My dream is to have more of my music in film and TV, and I believe this will be a meaningful step in that direction. 

One of the visual artists I will be working with is Vikram Madan, whose art is whimsical and imaginative. We will be collaborating on an animated short film, featuring one of my songs ("Just For Us") from the new album. Here is a preview of a short clip with the song: 

Along with a talented group of musicians who have recorded/will record on this album, I am again working with Don Farwell, a Seattle-based producer who I also worked with for my last album.

WHY I NEED YOUR HELP 

I've spent as much as I can on the making of this album. Most of the recording and mixing is complete. But I have exhausted my funds, and need help to finish the recording, mixing and mastering process, as well as other crucial elements needed for a successful album release.

The funds I'm raising will go toward:

-Mixing
-Mastering
-CD duplication 
-Photography 
-Graphic Design 
-Artwork
-4 music videos with 4 videographers (currently in progress)
-album release show costs (videography, photography, postering)

STRETCH GOALS

$6,000 is the bare bones of what is needed for the album release and music videos, but I set the goal lower to make sure we meet it. It's all or nothing with Kickstarter. I will be doing my own press work to get this album out. If we meet the goal, stretch goals will include: 

-Funding for a European and east coast tour to develop markets in those areas where people are already listening to my music, and to expose my music to new territories ($3,000)
-Radio campaign ($1,500)
-Funding for album release show (to supplement band pay, venue fees) $1,000

IMPACT FROM LAST KICKSTARTER-FUNDED PROJECT

It's hard to believe that it's been 2 years since "For the Winter" was released. I was able to raise $8,000 with Kickstarter to make and release the album. Here are some waves that were made with that album:

*Charted in the top 200 CMJ charts (non-commercial radio). It was the only independent release that made it in the charts that week.

*Placement of song "We Die From It" in MTV show, "Awkward." Since the airing of the episode with the song, I've received messages from people all over the world saying that they discovered my music from the show.

*Over 100,000 plays on Spotify. Partly as a result of the exposure on the show, touring, and a radio campaign, thousands of people have listened to the album on my Spotify page.

*Tours: I was able to complete 2 western U.S. tours and an Alaskan tour

last west coast tour stop in San Francisco, CA June 2016
last west coast tour stop in San Francisco, CA June 2016

*Probably the most important impact of the Kickstarter has been my transition to becoming a full-time musician. I now pursue music full-time and depend on it as my primary source of income. I still have a part-time job as an independent reading/writing/ESL tutor, but I am able to spend the majority of my time on music - a goal that I have been striving towards for years!

LAST THOUGHTS

This venture, like any small business, takes a few years to grow. The good news is that I am making progress. And with your help, I have been and will be able to move forward! Thank you to everyone who has supported so far. I hope you will continue on this journey with me. And to those who I have yet to meet, I hope you'll take chance on this project.

With love & gratitude,
Brenda

My dog, Oli says "hello." :)
My dog, Oli says "hello." :)

 *You can find my previous releases on Bandcamp or Spotify.

Kickstarter video credits:
Time lapse shots by Krists Veide
Editing & additional footage in "Lovely Storm" by Rob Edmondson

Risks and challenges

I have set tentative deadlines for promotion and video premiers, which have the potential to be delayed. As with any project, unforeseen circumstances may come up that prevent me from achieving my goals on time. If this is the case, I would still plan to accomplish these tasks at a later date.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Digital download of "Overflow"

    A digital, downloadable copy of the album made available to you on the release date.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    63 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Digital and physical copy of "Overflow"

    A downloadable digital copy and a signed physical copy of the album + 2 previously unreleased tracks.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    77 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Above awards + Covers album

    Digital and physical signed copy of "Overflow," + a digital copy of my upcoming album of cover songs to be released next winter.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    32 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Animal Lovers Reward

    Digital and physical copy of "Overflow" + I will pick out a cat or dog toy for your furry friend to send to you!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Handwritten setlist

    $50 reward + a handwritten setlist from one of my shows in the next year mailed to you along with an original postcard.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Front row seat to album release show

    Front row seat to the album release show + $50 reward. The show will be on Friday, 2/24 at The Fremont Abbey with Tomo Nakayama & Shenandoah Davis. I will be playing with a string quartet and full band. You will be on the guest list and can reserve two seats for you and another guest who purchases a ticket.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    My entire catalogue + Liner notes

    $50 reward + my entire catalogue of work, which will include 4 albums plus the covers album to be released next winter, and your name in the liner notes (acknowledgements/thank you's) in "Overflow."

    Other albums will be shipped later in the year.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    6 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    20 Questions

    $50 reward, your name in the liner notes + I will answer 20 questions by you on Skype! (Can also be less than 20, if you prefer :) Some examples of possible questions to ask:
    -"What is your favorite furry animal?" (this one will be tough)
    -"What is the secret ingredient in your rice noodle stir fry?"
    -"What was the first album you purchased?" (this one is embarrassing)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Recording Collaboration Reward

    Digital & physical copy of "Overflow," your name in the liner notes in of the album + I will sing or play guitar or compose a part on one song for your album or project in the next year. Let's work together and create some magic!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Songwriting Collaboration Reward

    Digital & physical copy of "Overflow" + if you don't currently play music but have wanted to, let's write a song together and unleash your creativity! We can Skype or meet in person if you live in Seattle.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Children's book narration & soundtrack

    Digital & physical copy of "Overflow" + I will narrate a children's book and compose instrumental pieces interspersed throughout the narration.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    Music video/studio outtakes reel

    You get to support me & see and hear embarrassing footage of me from the studio and all the video shoots! I will send you a private link and it's up to you to decide whether or not you'd like to share it. Includes $50 reward + your name in the liner notes.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    House Show

    $50 reward + your name in the liner notes in "Overflow," + a solo or duo house show anywhere on the east or west coast in the U.S.
    Other U.S. cities and cities in western Europe also qualify - please message me for details!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    Full band house show in/around Seattle

    $50 reward + your name in the liner notes in "Overflow," + a full band house show in or around the Seattle area (please message me with any questions about location).

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  15. Select this reward

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

    VIP Guest & House show reward

    $50 reward + your name in the liner notes in "Overflow," solo or duo house show if desired in a U.S. city on the west or east coast (certain European cities as well - please message me to confirm) + you will be on the guest list at any and all shows that you can make for the next year!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  16. Select this reward

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

    Full band house show in the U.S.

    Full band house show anywhere in the U.S. + the $50 reward & your name in the liner notes.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  17. Select this reward

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

    My eternal gratitude

    I will be over the moon if someone wanted to do this! You will get all of the above awards, and I am open to any other ideas you have for a reward! :)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (34 days)