In the past, we always took an advance from a record company to record a CD. In return, the record company would share substantially in the income from sales after the cost (which they advanced) of producing the CD was recouped. The record company would also do publicity, promotion, and distribution so that people would know that the CD was available. This income and the income from touring and chanting with people is what I live on and is what supports the people that help me tour and help me make the music. The record companies helped us get this far and I am grateful for their support. The music industry has evolved and because of the internet and our ability to communicate with you directly, and the fact that I am fairly well-known in certain circles, we want to give it a go ourselves and take on this business ourselves - but where will the money come from to make a new CD?
In the old days, when people still bought CDs, I would have been able to support the touring and some rest time, from the sales. But as you know these days, many people don't buy CDs (or legal downloads) anymore; they find "alternate" ways of getting the music. It puts a tremendous amount of pressure on this 66 year old body to be on the road more than is really good for its health. This is why we are essentially selling the album in advance to the people that would probably buy it anyway. And that is why we formed our own record label and are putting out my first studio album on this label. As you can imagine, making an album involves the costs of producers, recording engineers, musicians, studio rentals, administrative/legal/distribution staff, and more. Please note the total budget is double of what we are trying to raise here. If we raise more than our goal amount , the money will still go toward the production of the CD.
Let me tell you a story…
Back in the mid-eighties I was sitting in the jungles of India with a very old Baba. This yogi was 163 years old at the time. He's older now!!!
One day he looked at me intensely and said, "You are going to be famous." Even though it was 120 degrees out there at the time I still
had my wits about me, so I replied half jokingly, "and rich!" The Baba cracked up laughing and leaned over really close to me...eye-to-eye...
nose-to-nose, and said, "Famous!" So that was that.
So to just to be clear, I am semi-famous, but have no extra money. We keep touring so that we can keep touring and pay the bills, so that we can keep touring. When I take a break to go to India to recharge and quiet down, by the time I come back and start singing with people again we are in the red. And to be clear again, it is perfect the way it is. Chanting with people is the one thing that keeps my heart singing and alive and I am blessed to be able to do this.
It is all in the service of the Chanting. I am still experimenting and trying to find the best way to do this.... to chant with the people who want to chant with me; to be able to make this offering to and from my own heart to the hearts of all and stay healthy to do it again and again and again.