About this project
Hi, I'm Luke. Since I started making music back in 2005 I've self-released four albums, played over 700 shows in Europe, Russia, China, Canada and most places in between, released greatest hits albums in Japan and China, and recorded live sessions for Radio 1 and Xfm. My songs have been used on TV shows like Made in Chelsea and Football First (Sky Sports), and I've played at festivals like The Great Escape, Greenbelt, Leefest and Latitude in the UK, and Frizon in Sweden.
I started learning piano when I was four, and fell in love with rock music when I was at high school, but couldn't find a way to fuse those two worlds. That was until I heard a band called Something Corporate on a compilation CD in 2002. The song was called 'Straw Dog'. It was rock music but it had a piano, too. I was smitten.
Something Corporate led me to more bands with a piano, like Ben Folds Five and The Rocket Summer, and in 2004 I started my own piano rock band (maybe we're on MySpace). This quickly evolved into the music I make now under my own name, and for the past eight years I've been travelling the world, singing my songs to anyone who would listen.
When I started thinking about making a new record last year, I wanted to do things differently. I wanted to find a producer who believes in these new songs as much as I do. Someone who'd stretch me and help me make my best record yet. I started thinking about my favourite albums and a common theme quickly appeared: Jim Wirt. Jim's name was on the back of all these records that I'd fallen in love with, like Do You Feel by The Rocket Summer, and all the Something Corporate and Jack's Mannequin albums. So I sent him an email.
It turns out that Jim liked my new songs as much as I did, and also wanted to make a great record. We chatted over Skype, I ogled his piano in the background, and we fleshed out the details. Now it's up to you guys. I know that Jim is the right person to record this album. But Jim is all the way over in the USA. I'm going to need your help to get there.
I want this Kickstarter to be as exciting a journey for you as it is for me. To make that happen, I'll be posting frequent updates throughout the Kickstarter campaign, showing you how preparation for the album recording is coming along. One day it might be a video of me doing string arrangements, another day I might play you a song from the new record. And sometimes I'll just tell you stuff while brushing my teeth.
I'm planning on going to Cleveland with Duncan and Tom. Duncan is a talented filmmaker and photographer. He made my last three music videos (see them here). Tom is an award-winning photographer and filmmaker and he took all the photos in my last records. Together, we made the documentary 'Seasons' that accompanied my last album.
Duncan and Tom are going to be there to document the recording process in film and photos. We'll be posting regular video and photo updates from the studio so you can see exactly what's happening and come along on the journey. And so you know what to expect, here's a video update that Duncan made during the recording of my last album, New Season, and here are the photos that Tom took in the studio.
To save costs, I won't be going with any musicians from the UK. Instead, I'll be using session musicians that Jim knows and trusts in Cleveland. We'll also be calling on incredible musicians from The Cleveland Orchestra to play strings and brass.
The exclusive t-shirts and tote bags offered in the rewards are going to be designed by the impossibly brilliant Secretly Swedish (real name Mark). Mark's previously designed loads of delicious things for me: posters for my tours in China and Sweden, a New Season t-shirt and tote bag, and awesome "Prince of Pop" sweatshirts (grey! blue!). And if that hasn't convinced you of his skills, just have a quick browse of his website. It'll make your eyes drool.
- Recording costs (Jim's fee for production, mixing and mastering, plus the cost of session musicians and our accommodation) = £9,000
- 3 x round-trip flights from London to Cleveland = £2,000
- Cost of producing t-shirts, tote bags, stickers, posters and other reward items = £1,000
- Kickstarter fee and transaction fees = £1,000
- Total cost to make a killer record = £13,000
Note: These numbers don't include other costs in releasing the record, like pressing the CDs and vinyl, album promotion, or even paying Duncan and Tom for their time. However, when putting this Kickstarter together, I wanted to come up with a figure that I feel is reasonable, and that achieves the main goal of simply making the record. If we reach the goal then I'll introduce these other items as "stretch goals". And if not, I'll be funding these items myself.
Extra note: I will not be buying a yacht.
Risks and challenges
Whenever I know that an artist's record is finished and sitting on a computer somewhere, I get antsy waiting for it. In the same way, as an artist, I want this record to be in your hands as soon as possible. After the album is recorded, I'll be exploring ways to release the record with a label or someone who can push the record further than I can by myself, but my first priority, whatever happens, will be getting it to you - the backers - as soon as possible. I'll keep you posted throughout via frequent updates and you'll know exactly what's going on!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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