My Kickstarter Video Diaries
I can't thank you all enough from the bottom of my heart - you made my lifelong dream come true and my Dad is so happy!!! This journey has been painful and rewarding and ENERGIZING!!
THE LOST TAPES
I still want to release the full length version of "The Lost Tapes" record so I'm going to do my best to do that and not just release the new EP version. You can still help out by pre-ordering the previous EP HERE. Be sure to include a note about which Kickstarter Reward Level you want to pre-order so we can add you to the shipping list.
And if you just want to purchase from the store, use code: KICKSTARTER for a 10% discount until 12/31/14!
I feel just like a kid again, listening to my very 1st record...
My name is Carolina Hoyos. I am a multi-ethnic actor, director, comedienne, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. I've been making music since I was two years old, starting with piano, then singing and guitar at family gatherings, community events, fundraisers, classical music competitions, choral events and public concerts. This led to theatre, commercials, film and by the time I was ten years old, I was hosting and performing on a show called US Kids. Even though I could speak both English and Spanish by the time I was three, I have always considered Music to be my first language.
At twelve years old, in a span of six months, my Grandmother was diagnosed with and died of cancer, my parents separated and my Mother was also diagnosed with cancer. It was as if someone had pressed the mute button on the remote control to the music in my soul. Seven long years later, when my Mother passed, music is what made my life whole again. I was soon making records with different bands and performing in clubs, coffeehouses, hotels, cafes and live on television, film and in the theater. I was also invited to share my experience and musical opinion on the talk show "MTV Hits" for three seasons.
Over the past 2 years I put my life and career on hold again - this time to take care of my Dad through his cancer treatment, all while struggling with my own battle with PTSD. Armed with a lifesaving service dog named Liz Lemon, I am ready to finish my first full length solo album and share my story with you. Thank you for becoming a part of this Kickstarter project. It really does mean the world to me.
Scroll down to learn more about my project, listen to and view some of the work that has already been done on the album, meet the team, and take a look at some pics of me and my Dad - two peas in a pod.
In December of 2006, while filming Native American family film Roses of April, I met fellow cast-mate and musician, Ken Franklin. In early 2008, right before the film had its Los Angeles premiere, Ken joined my band for a special fundraiser event benefiting Hollywood Media Arts Academy. The next month, I wrapped filming on Black & Blue, where I played a street busking musician.
As life would imitate art, I invited Ken to busk with me on the Santa Monica Promenade. On our first outing, we were scouted to audition for a Motorola Rokr Campaign. We weren't in a band together yet--we were taking turns playing songs when I was handed a flyer--but we challenged ourselves to write a song together that night to play for the auditors the next day. We gave them the option to "kill Two Birds with one stone" by auditioning us as a duo instead of individually. We played our new song "Stuck To You" for them, booked the campaign and Two Birds was born.
The ensuing love and support we received from our first song sparked us to keep writing together and we began developing more songs in my Echo Park apartment. Leah Cevoli, who serendipitously happens to be my kickstarter campaign manager, invited us to play our first Los Angeles show at her Acoustic Angels night at the Stone Bar (now Harvard & Stone) and also her holiday house concert later that year. A fellow by the name of Andy Harvey was in attendance that first night and he approached us to make this music video for "Stuck To You".
Andy then invited us to play at his film fundraiser event and the lovely couple Mandy and Aleyna Stroud, who were getting ready to tie the knot, saw us there and invited us to play "Stuck To You" at their wedding as they walked down the aisle!
By late 2009, Two Birds ran out of steam following my PTSD diagnosis and treatment, and we moved to San Francisco where my solo project, A Girl I Know, became my guiding light and sole focus. I came back to Los Angeles prematurely to help a childhood friend who had just been diagnosed with a rare cancer called chondrosarcoma. It was a painful time. My focus returned to the solo project in mid 2010 and I recruited Ken to produce an EP with me. We moved into darkhorse studios, built on a horse ranch in Sun Valley and immortalized by the documentary "Dig!" when owner Muddy Stardust produced a record there for Brian Jonestown Massacre. At first, we produced this two song demo:
Then Ken (who had never produced a record before) urged me to cut enough songs for a full length record. While we produced three more songs I'd already written, Ken ended up co-writing six more songs with me that made the collection.
By mid 2011, we were 50% finished with the record when I got the call that my Dad had been diagnosed with cancer. It was just prostate, (the nicer of the cancers available) but it had already spread, so his diagnosis was considered Stage IV. I immediately dropped everything to help my Dad fight this. We began a treatment plan with an amazing doctor at Cedars Sinai and while we waited for his organs to shrink back to a normal size so we could conduct a more aggressive treatment, I resumed working to finish my record.
Between September and December of 2012, I released my first single, "Bang Bang Bang" and 3 remixes of that single. I couldn't find someone to direct the music video in time for the release, so I directed it myself--with the help of wonderkid Ryan Neil Postas.
The end of 2012 meant preparing for the beginning of full time care for my Dad. So the record was dead, but my Dad was going to live. I moved him in with me and became his nurse, dietician, nutritionist, trainer, chef, chauffeur, concierge, and cheerleader. At the end of his four months of daily radiation treatment, his results were so astounding that the doctors said he could live another thirty years if he committed to this new, healthy lifestyle. Dad was a new man.
After the celebration was over in August of 2013, I experienced a sudden and aggressive relapse of my PTSD symptoms, which eventually subsided with the help of my amazing service dog, Liz Lemon. I continue to monitor my Father's health (which is exemplary) and will resume my round-the-clock caregiver role if another intensive treatment is needed. But now that we are both happy and healthy and nearing the end of 2014--a full year since my relapse--I think it's about time I get back to releasing this record!
Kickstarter is an All or Nothing campaign. If we don't reach the goal by 11:59pm on December 5th, no credit cards will be charged, no rewards fulfilled. I've chosen $10,000 as the minimum goal - that's the bare minimum needed to finish the EP, print it up, release the next video and fulfill these rewards.
The costs involved in making (and breaking) a record can be daunting - Production alone involves studio rental, producing, mixing, mastering, printing, housing, feeding, flights and musicians. Promotion by way of a music video involves producing, directing, cinematography, catering, costumer, wardrobe stylist, hair, makeup, equipment, location, prop rentals, editing, animation and color correcting. Getting the word out involves photography, graphics, web design and hosting, social media, publicist, etc. etc.
It takes an army.
I am aiming to reach a goal of $10,000 on Kickstarter to help with some of the remaining costs to release the new EP, but the actual cost of making the full length version and releasing it with proper distribution and promotion is actually closer to $40,000.
The Win: If we hit the $10K mark, I will be able to release the EP version of THE LOST TAPES in a bare bones way - release my new video, submit to music video festivals, play a release show, send out the Kickstarter rewards and a few CDs to radio to spread my music to more ears around the world. Reaching this base goal gets the EP version of THE LOST TAPES out the door, but leaves it with little in the way of promoting power.
The Kicker: If we don't reach the $10,000 mark by the deadline of 11:59pm on December 5th, the project won't be funded, your credit card will not be charged, no rewards will be fulfilled. This record will continue to linger in the dark, incomplete, and hoping for its day to shine.
The Jackpot: If we can manage to hit the ideal goal I was too chicken to post ($25,000), I will be able to release the entire FULL LENGTH version of THE LOST TAPES, finish 2 more videos to help promote it, and work with superstar mixer magician Mark Needham to put a shimmery sheen on the entire thing!! This record could have a fighting chance with solid radio play, press, and in a perfect world - go viral. Let's dream together.
If you can't contribute funds, you can still support this project by connecting and spreading the word through social media! (links below)
Carolina Hoyos, A GIRL I KNOW, mother of Liz Lemon. Full Story Above
Leah Cevoli is an American film and television actor, host, and producer. She first gained notoriety on the HBO series Deadwood and doing voice overs in the Adult Swim series Robot Chicken. She is a fundraising magician who first worked with Carolina in 2005, when she hosted the fundraiser event Celebrate Life! where 17 television/film actors in bands performed to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. To date Leah has managed 12 crowdfunding campaigns, raising over a million dollars, and has consulted on many other successful campaigns.
Jeremiah Bitsui is an actor and musician. Jeremiah made his first public appearance in Oliver Stone’s film Natural Born Killers. More recently he is best known for playing Victor in the smash TV series Breaking Bad. He has also appeared in Lords of Dogtown, the AMC mini- series Into the West and he stars in Sydney Freeland’s Drunktown’s Finest. “Bang Bang Bang” was Jeremiah’s debut music performance on what was originally slated to be a remix of the single.
Mark Needham is a Grammy Award-nominated American music engineer, mixer and producer. He has worked with many prominent names in music, including: Fleetwood Mac, The Killers, Imagine Dragons, Chris Isaak, John Hiatt, Michelle Branch, P!nk, O.A.R., Neon Trees, Shakira, Pete Yorn, Bloc Party, Elton John, Stevie Nicks, and others. "Mr. Brightside" off The Killers' multi platinum selling album Hot Fuss, was recorded in just a few hours and mixed by Needham on a 12-channel Neve in about 40 minutes. Needham has been nominated for ten Grammy Awards and contributed to the success of four certified RIAA platinum records.
Dave Edison - Kickstarter Pitch Video and Video Diary Editing
Bryan McClure - Kickstarter Campaign Graphics
If you have any questions about the rewards or the making of the album, or what my favorite color is, feel free to message me through Kickstarter. The quirkier the question, the bigger my smile will be.
If you are still reading this, I love you. We lead busy lives and you took the time to check out my music and my story. For that alone, I am grateful. This entire journey has been painful and rewarding, and I cannot wait to share this record's blood, sweat and tears with you.
Risks and challenges
I have already booked time with the mixer, mastering engineer and graphic designer to complete all the elements necessary to be able to print product as soon as the campaign is over. I will do all I can to deliver THE LOST TAPES to your door by February of 2015 and ready for the rest of the world by March of 2015. Just a few more steps remain before its completion but I am confident that I can meet these deadlines because most of the work is already completed. I'm looking forward to releasing this music and getting your rewards to you as soon as I possibly can. And we can smile and high five each other (virtually if you're not in California) when we get to the end zone, together.
CarolinaLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)