FINAL WEEK: Can you help me reach my stretch goal of $15,000?
We did it again! Not only did we fund the album, we reached our first and second stretch goals, surpassing $10,000! I'm overwhelmed with gratitude for the support I've received from all of you. Thank you for sharing your gifts with me; I look forward to sharing mine in return.
THIRD New Goal! Music Video—$15K
I have a vision of making a music video for one of the songs on the album—one that captures the spirit of this album and illustrates the journey of moving forward into the world with a dream. I'd love to be able to make this video; the additional funds from this stretch goal will help me get there.
(Updated June 5)
What dreams, what visions do we hold inside of us?
I want to show people that we can live out our dreams with passion and conviction—that we don't have to be afraid.
I believe that music has the power to electrify us—to stoke the flames of our longings and potential. I write songs to inspire, to connect, to capture moments of truth and beauty.
I'd like to invite you to help me finish and release my first album. Being a performing and recording musician has been my lifelong dream, and this album is an important step forward in sharing my vision with others. You can help me bring it to life by pledging to this Kickstarter: just hit the green button that says "Back This Project" at the top-right of this page to get started.
The Beginnings of an Album
This is the story of how I lost my voice and found it again.
When I was twelve years old, I wrote my first song and performed it at a summer camp talent show. It was my first taste of a craft that I would soon recognize as my heart's calling. No one had ever told me I could write songs, but it came naturally: I had an ear for melody from having learned to play violin and a fondness for the rhythm and poetry of words. Performing felt natural, too: what better way to share the joy and beauty of my explorations? Songs became my canvas and my heartbeat. I wrote and performed for friends, at talent shows and school and summer events, and even in class.
But something else was happening during those years that shook my faith. Messages from my environment seeped into my psyche and grew into gnawing doubts: I wasn’t supposed to be a musician. I was supposed to go to a good college or university. I was supposed to have a stable, respectable professional career.
I listened. By the time I left for college, I had stopped writing songs.
The Lights Ahead is a chronicle of the journey I've taken back to writing and performing music. Each song is a step along the path: being compelled toward a vision, wrestling with doubt and old fears, and finally, accepting the task of bringing it into reality.
These songs are about having the courage to say yes to who we are.
Initial Goal: The Album — $6K
I’m raising $6,000 toward the costs of creating this album: recording, production, session musicians, mixing, mastering, and manufacturing. The completed album will have six songs and an intro track, arranged for full band with piano, strings, guitars, bass, drums, and more. The funds will also go toward offsetting Kickstarter’s fees (5% of funds raised plus an additional 3-5% for processing payments) and fulfilling rewards.
Stretch Goal #1: Artwork and Layout — $8K
The additional funds from this goal will help pay for a professional designer to create the album artwork and a lyrics booklet. It will also allow me to upgrade to 100% recycled-paper packaging. That way, the album can look and feel as beautiful as it sounds.
Stretch Goal #2: Promotion — $10K
Once the album is complete, it needs an audience. If I reach this stretch goal, I will be able to cover about two months of marketing and promotion through blogs, press, social media, and a variety of digital distribution channels.
Stretch Goal #3: A Music Video — $15K
One of my visions for this album is to have a professional music video, which would help realize its full potential. A strong video can serve as a promotional tool to establish my artistic identity and reach new audiences.
I’m working with a dream team of collaborators to produce this album:
Jeff Campbell is a nationally renowned singer/songwriter and guitarist who beat over 13,000 other musicians to win Guitar Center’s National Singer/Songwriter Competition in 2013. He has shared the stage with John Mayer and members of Counting Crows, opened for multi-platinum, multi-Grammy-winning band Train, and performed on the Jimmy Kimmel Live! show. He has co-produced several of his own albums and recently produced the debut EP for singer/songwriter Caroline Sky.
Gawain Mathews is a producer, recording engineer, and multi-instrumentalist who has worked with hundreds of artists during his career of over 20 years in the music business. Highlights include performing with the Utah Symphony, touring extensively as lead guitarist for Grammy-winning world music and jam-band legend Mickey Hart, and producing a song for a Grammy-winning album (2005 Best Traditional Folk album). His productions have been featured on the television shows So You Think You Can Dance, American Idol, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and more.
How to Pledge
I’m so grateful for the opportunity to share this project with you, and I’d love for you be a part of it. Here are a few steps you can take:
- Back this project. Scroll up to the top of this page and click the “Back This Project” button on the right-hand side.
- Pick a reward. I’m excited to offer a range of one-of-a-kind items and experiences as tokens of my gratitude. Take a look and see if there’s something that you like!
- Tell your friends and networks. Your personal emails, Facebook posts, tweets, and other shares will go a long way in helping this project find success. I hope this project can inspire you and the people you know.
It’s Gonna Be Good...
I’ve been working hard over the past several years to hone my performing and songwriting skills, and I’m laying the groundwork to become a successful independent musician. This year, I’ve started to receive local recognition for my efforts, including three consecutive Best Performance of the Month awards through the Berkeley chapter of West Coast Songwriters.
For those of you who took the time to read this far, I'd like to offer you an early piano/vocal demo we made back in September for one of the songs on the album, "A Little While Longer" (requires Adobe Flash Player):
It’s an honor and a privilege to be bringing you this album—I can’t wait to deliver it into your hands and ears.
A Special Thank You
I had the honor of working with Salvatore Fullmore on the video for this Kickstarter—I'm truly humbled and grateful to have had his expertise and collaborative spirit on this project. I also want to thank my producer Gawain Mathews for allowing us to shoot in his amazing studio and my dear Fort friends for helping me with video revisions. Peter Su inspired me with his Into the Sea Kickstarter campaign and pointed the way to the resources like Launch and Release that helped me to communicate my message with clarity and purpose.
Risks and challenges
The album is well on its way to completion, so the risks and challenges are relatively few. However, there is always a risk that unforeseen circumstances could prevent the project from staying on schedule, such as errors in the manufacturing process or an unexpected illness or injury. If any of these circumstances should arise, I will find a way to move forward and provide updates. I'm fortunate to have a wonderful network of collaborators and fellow musicians who can advise me if a problem arises that I'm not able to solve on my own.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (25 days)