This Kickstarter is a campaign to fund the production, manufacturing, distribution, and promotion of my first full-length CD.
What if I just ended this description there? Can you imagine?
There are a few reasons I'm doing this project through Kickstarter, the most important one being its ability to keep the music industry, at least for one project, free of a middle man. By donating money to this album, you all are acting as my record label; doing it this way means I don't need a label, a traditional financial advance for the album, or a recording or publishing contract. It's a direct fan-to-artist relationship.
Also, this way I get a more direct relationship with my supporters, and you get cool rewards which I choose. There's no boss head honcho guy breathing down my neck trying to peddle Joe Holt T-shirts. No no no. It's just me. Trying to peddle Joe Holt T-shirts.
Okay so why should you donate to this album? Besides the rewards and the direct involvement in the music industry and the chance to make a young man's dream come true (awwww)?
Because this album is going to be really really good.
Here's one of the new songs:
I have 12 songs ready to record, and they're examples of the hardest I've ever worked at anything. There's a song with a string quartet, there's a song where I play piano alongside a string trio, there's a song in 5/4 melodic minor (AAAHHH), there are more love songs than I ever planned on writing in my life (thanks Kaela), there are songs about my friendships and my struggles with anxiety and depression, and, most significantly, I have an incredible team of people helping me with this, ranging from amazing engineers and producers to musicians and artists, some of whom I met at Berklee and some of whom worked on my EP, "Empty."
Since that EP came out, I've been working like a dog. Not like my dog Jake, who's thirteen and doesn't really encapsulate that saying all too well. I've been featured on nationally broadcast TV shows like Good Morning Emerson and The Mike Cantalupo Show, I've been playing shows at venues like The Hard Rock Cafe (Boston), The Bitter End (NYC), The Red Room (Boston), Rockwood Music Hall (NYC), Radio Bean (Burlington, VT), Goodbye Blue Monday (NYC), The Knickerbocker Cafe (Westerly, RI), The Middle East (Boston), and dozens more, including the first time I was ever booked on the west coast, at Artichoke Music in Portland, OR.
I recorded a 6-song demo collection with this little ditty:
I directed and acted in my first music video:
Things have been gradually escalating for me and it's never felt like more appropriate a time to record the largest project I've ever worked on. While things have been going well without a PR push, a huge chunk of this album's budget will go towards promotion. I've been talking to radio promoters, booking agents, and local/international music reviewers on and off for a year now, and have a firmly established support network to help me get this album heard. So you're not really only donating to the creation of an album. You're donating also to the beginning of my career, and hopefully to the possibility of many more albums to come.
Risks and challenges
This funding campaign is going to run WHILE we're recording it - meaning we've already started working on the album. While that method has downsides, namely my caffeine intake and mental health, it has many pros. This way we can release the album faster, and it also nullifies the possibility of difficulties post-funding. Basically, if this Kickstarter is successful, there's nothing that could stop this album coming out, barring a freak polar bear attack. I've been watching Lost. Don't tell me what happens.
We're heading into the studio the week of March 29th, and if this campaign is successful, the album will be mixed, mastered, manufactured, and distributed this summer, with a huge PR push to try and get it into the CD players and headphones of as many people as possible.
I remember when I was in middle school I was on the B soccer team (B for best!!!!) and we were on an away match. It was November and raining and since I grew up in Connecticut, it was dark. Connecticut Novembers have maybe three hours of daylight.
We were on the bus heading home after the game and I was listening to my brother's old mp3 player, specifically, to Muse's album "Absolution." I was looking out the window, all brooding and sensitive, and the music helped wash away the cold and the dark and the smell of shinguards. I didn't care that we had lost the game and that I had literally tripped over the soccer ball, and I didn't care that it was 7pm and I had homework to do and that the girl I liked didn't know who I was; none of it mattered at that moment. I was wrapped up in the shivers that come when you listen to your favourite song, or maybe that come when you figure out how you want to spend your life.
If I can make one little introverted kid with substandard foot coordination forget about his problems for an evening, I'll know I made the right choice. Please help me make that a possibility.
FOR MORE OF MY STUFF:
FOLLOW ME AND STUFF:
Video credits, respectively:
Hear and There Photography
A Big Group of My Friends From Berklee and BU
- (21 days)