Stretch Goal #1: $31,000 to record the Love + Laughter Project REALLY RIGHT!
Stretch Goal #2: $44,000 to cover a basic promotional campaign!
Stretch Goal #3: $60,000 to effectively and fully promote the album (Full tour, 4 music videos, promotion, publicity, radio, merchandise, etc)!
We're out touring this music and getting it ready to hit the studio. Working day and night to spread the word. Let's kick this thing into high gear and really get it noticed! Bring on the Love + Laughter! Thank you so so so much!
I wasn't always a sap. I was jaded like the cool kids. I thought a life of love was a ridiculous fairy tale. But these days, dorky, genuine, ecstatic love seems to ring through every inch of me. Help me sing that out to you and the world by being a part of The Love + Laughter Project.
After four years of exploring my music and myself and building my artistry full-time, I want to make a no-shortcuts, all-out record that sings the love and laughter I've managed to find into your heart and the world.
My goal is to make a record that can hold its own with those of the most soulful, breathtaking female voices of all time. And use that record to love on your ears and heart. To give you what you need, if you're looking for some more love and joy and sweetness to life.
I plan to take these AMAZING musicians I know, and make a mindblowingly simple and beautiful record. Then, I plan to take the best music promotion professionals I know - that I have witnessed get RESULTS - and unleash them on the world with this project.
We've really thought this out. The goal is to spend dollars intelligently where they will matter to spread the love and music. To make an album that isn't spaghetti thrown against a wall. To make an album that is extremely well done on all fronts.
So here's the deal: I will give you as much awesome value for your pledge as possible, while still making sure a large chunk of the funds ACTUALLY go to making and promoting the record.
Then I will do it. I will make the absolute best music I can with my heart spread wide and clear, singing from the depth of me on every note.
Somewhere between $50k and $100k is the budget an independent label would use (as intelligently and strategically as possible) to develop a new artist. And that's effectively what you are doing: You are saying that you believe I have something to offer with my songs and my soul and my voice. You are putting some money in - whatever amount you feel comfortable with - along with other people who believe with you - because you want to see that music and that possibility grow into something real with great momentum. Or maybe just because you want the sweet rewards that I'm offering out of utmost gratitude for your belief.
The minimum I need to get the project moving forward is $15,000. That would be mind-blowingly cool to get started. In order to record the album in its full glory, to really make something incredible that we could really believe in, I need $31,000. To do a reasonable promotional campaign to spread the word, I need $44,000.
To do a full promotional program (like a small, intelligent indie label would) to make this an international phenomenon, make stellar music videos for the singles, and do a full tour to support the album, I would need $60,000.
(To put this in perspective, major labels spend $250,000 to $3,000,000 to develop artists you love, between making the artists' record and promoting it. We're thinking hard about how we spend every dollar. For a more thorough explanation of monies, see below - "The Details" part.)
You are the team member that makes this possible. Your belief, your ears, your spirit, and, yes, whatever financial contribution feels good to you.
Please help me make this truly incredible. I've frequently asked friends and fans if they thought it was possible to make a breakthrough record about love and happiness and hope (frequently bitter sweet) and not about sadness, loneliness, breakup, and loss. And people have given me a resounding "Yes!" Please help me make that record.
The Rewards are on the right side of this page. Pick the highest one that feels right to you and click on it. That will take you through to Amazon's secure website, where you commit to your pledge. No money comes out of your account until we both make our minimum goal AND we get to the end of this Kickstarter campaign.
And then share! Please share this on your Facebook page, on your Twitter feed, with your family, with your best friend. I'm sure there is a hilltop near your house - shouting from there wouldn't be such a bad idea!
I am so entirely grateful for you. Can't wait to call you and tell you so.
Want to know even more?! Read on!
Here are some of the Guiding Principles that went into designing your rewards:
The Love-Gets-Stronger-When-It's-Shared Principle:
Any reward that involves a digital or physical copy of the album or songs on the album (which is ALL of the rewards!) comes with a second copy for someone else you love!
And please don't stop there. If you know someone else who might enjoy a song or the full album, Give. It. To. Them. Yes, you heard me right. I'm giving you official permission to steal my music.
I have faith that if I make the most incredible music I can, you will want to make sure I don't starve. And you will want to make sure I have what I need to keep making that music. Like this Kickstarter. So I won't hold back in giving you the best of me.
(This 2-for-one principle applies to all music in all the rewards, except for the sold out and out-of-print albums in the FULL DISCOGRAPHY reward.)
The Gratitude-Is-My-Way-Of-Life Principle:
When I've told friends and music industry people that I plan to call every single person that pledges to this project, they look at me like I've gone bat shiz crazy. And having a reward at $1 so that everyone can be a part of this is part of that Gratitude for me. My phone call to you, the POSTER THANK YOU reward, all the autographed albums, and everything else I can give to you will say, "Thank you." And I won't stop saying it.
The Mommas-Can-Be-Super-Sexy Principle:
I was terrified of no longer feeling sexy when I became pregnant with my daughter. I don't mean "sexy" like "I-want-to-be-on-the-cover-of-Playboy." I mean sexy like "I-feel-GREAT-in-my-skin." Sexy like "I-feel-alive." Sexy like "I-feel-turned-on-by-life-and-powerful-in-my-sexuality." Here's the album cover shot where we brought together the Earth Momma Creator with the Siren Pin Up. The Lioness crossed with The Venus was the theme!
If you like this principle, look at the THE POSTER THANK YOU PACKAGE ($50) or the T-SHIRT reward ($125).
The Make-You-Laugh-And-Melt-Your-Heart Principle:
I like laughing. And I like having my heart melted. Especially when these things are done together. And I want to give those feelings to you. If you like these things too, you might be interested in the WOAH-MY-GOLLY ULTIMATE SONG CLUB reward ($100), which allows me to keep giving you presents over a full year, or maybe the MIXTAPE DESIGNED JUST FOR YOU reward ($175), or, even better yet, the ACOUSTIC HOUSE CONCERT reward ($500).
The Personal-Power-Connection Principle:
Humans need physical and emotional touch from each other to stay alive and healthy. I do believe this has been proven both in scientific studies, psychological studies, and in my own life experience.
That is a good portion of why I make music. I love the connection and bond we share through music. I think it makes both of us blossom a little more when we reach out to each other through kind words and hugs.
So, I sign every album with as much personal touch as I can, and I made as many of these rewards be about personalized contact as possible. It takes time, but I don't mind doing it whenever I can. So all of these rewards come with something personalized to you. Because I think about you a lot. And I want to add a little more meaning to life for you. After all, you make my life possible and add meaning to life for me.
Not having a label saves us a LOT of overhead. And means that I don't need to sell 200,000+ records to make the record financially viable. But it also takes away the large financial backing.
If we just make our minimum goal of $15,000, we can start the project, but I will be scrambling to find the funds to finish it, and that will leave nothing for tour, videos, PR, radio, promotion, awesome musicians or even rewards fulfillment (which I will fulfill somehow regardless, don't you fret!).
Here's a rough breakdown of how project costs would be spent out of our Ultimate Budget.
"Making the Album" includes:
- Studio Time (in a magical studio where some of my favorite singer-songwriters in the world have recorded their breakthrough albums)
- Incredible Musicians at Fair Wages (people who can play phenomenal, complex stuff, but have taste to do something simple and beautiful for this project)
- A-List Producer, Mark Hallman (who has worked with many of my heroes)
- Very Talented Recording Engineer, Andre Moran (who makes everything go smoother and makes studio time more efficient)
- Vocal Arranger (who helps ensure that I am getting the most power/brilliance/emotion/tone out of my voice and my songs)
- Mixing Engineer (who makes sure all the instruments lay where they should relative to each other, have the right effects, loudness, etc.)
- Mastering Engineer (who makes sure that all the songs are somewhat the same "loudness" and are as professional and powerful as possible)
- Manufacturing 2,000 copies of the record for sale (pay what you want), for sending to targeted publications, for sending to targeted radio stations, and, most importantly, for fulfilling your rewards. This may need to be bumped to 3,000 or more depending on how many backers the project garners. (Crossing fingers!)
- Photographer (Earth-Momma-Pin-Up photoshoot and artwork)
- Hair and Makeup Artist (to make the photoshoot and videos look dope!)
- Graphic Designer (to make the album booklet and other printed materials)
"Spreading the Word" includes:
- Music Videos (heavier on the art than the budget; "more thought, less money" videos, but with videographers and editors that really know what they are doing)
- Website (A gorgeous, simple professional website incorporating the new music, pictures, and video AND focused on the deeper meaning of all of it: Love + Laughter)
- Online Campaign (spreading the word via the internet)
- Public Relations Campaign (spreading the word from the best music magazines to the simple local music blog and everything in between)
- Radio Promotion Campaign (targeted radio campaigns to get the music on a radio station near you)
- Advertising (minimal, targeted, and strategic)
- Submissions (to TV and movie licensing opportunities, to the best songwriting competitions, and other well-thought-out opportunities)
"Rewards Fulfillment + Kickstarter Fees" includes:
- Making Your Rewards
- Packaging Materials (to ship your rewards)
- Shipping Your Rewards
- Bits and Pieces (of fulfilling rewards, like gas to get to a house concert, food to make you dinner, a flight to get to Austin if points don't cover it for the $3,000+ contributors, etc.)
- Costs of Making this Kickstarter Campaign
- Kickstarter's Fee (for this quality platform - 5%)
- Amazon's Fees (for collecting pledges - 3% to 5%)
I started my music journey busking for change on the streets of Pike Place Market in Seattle. From there I joined a band, started turning my poetry into songs, and recorded my first album in 2007. As quirky as my music was at that point - and despite the awards, the lovely press, and the indie radio play - something about it felt off. I was making the music I thought I was supposed to be making. I hadn't found my center or purpose. I hadn't found my voice.
Then, in 2011, my daughter, Scarlett, was born. My neglected heart became overwhelmingly powerful to me. People began to tell me how different I was. That being around me made them feel loved, and inspired, and like they could be honest and fun and real.
That blew me away. I have spent most of my life feeling fundamentally flawed and broken and unlovable. And I make people feel loved? And whole? And imperfectly perfect?
I proceeded to write 86 songs for my next record. I journaled my soul out in front of me and embraced the truly unconditional love that my husband and my little girl gave to me. The love became even greater when I birthed a sunshine boy, Elliot, into the world. I started to know my heart and let it out. I started to let go of all pretense.
I sang at the top of my lungs in our living room. I discovered that I don't just have a quiet, lilting voice. I can have a large, powerful voice. I explored my new songs for my own sense of truth. And I've never felt so grounded or stable.
Is there a better feeling than falling in love?
I have had so many people tell me that my music "sounds like falling in love." And I feel hugely honored by that. Best feeling in the world, right?!!
And it makes sense! It makes sense, because I have spent the last three years falling completely in love with life - with my two Little Ones, with my Lover, with my Listeners, with the Vibrancy of Life. I literally, genuinely LOVE the people who are listening. I don't care that that sounds cheesy. I want to sing that love into your ears. And I want to spread that love to the wind to float into doors and radios and mailboxes and hearts so we can all fall in love a little more.
But it's amazing how many people want to tell me it's hopeless. I started at 27; obviously that's too old. I went independent; oh, that's never going to be successful; you'll never get anywhere and no one will take you seriously. I decided to have a family; that was a career killer, they said; you can't be a wonderful mom AND completely dedicated to your career and craft.
But I'm playing more than 130 concerts this year. People react. They want to buy the music. I believe that when you let your voice soar, something becomes undeniable.
"You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart." - Steve Jobs -
I've been working for 7 years to develop something amazing to back up the feeling you have been telling me all along - that you thought I should be an established artist playing the best stages. And I finally have it. I believe this re-debut will establish me and my music on the national and international professional stage. But, more powerfully, I think it can be something beautiful that warms hearts and inspires you when you want it.
And I am excited. And eager. And scared.
I've done so much by myself, trying to grow grow grow, only to learn that true success and art cannot be found in purely acting alone.
"We are each of us angels with only one wing," said the Italian artist Luciano de Crescenzo, "and we can only fly by embracing each other."
So, I ask you, will you join this journey with me by picking a reward on the right and backing this project?
Risks and challenges
After preparing for this album for four years, it would be a shame to push this album out without the budget to both record and promote it right. These songs and this message deserve to go further than some dark corner of iTunes' attic.
So, if we raise the minimum goal amount of $15,000, but don't make it near the $60,000 it would require to do this really, Really, REALLY right, we will fulfill your rewards, but simply wait to release the record until we have the full budget to record and promote.
I just want you, if you believe in the project, to pitch in what feels right to you. I trust that you will help me take this a far as you want it to go. That will get us there. And I will never stop loving you for it. We're in this together.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (37 days)