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How do I create music that cultivates our good qualities, yet also helps us accept the things we hide? Here's my attempt at it.
How do I create music that cultivates our good qualities, yet also helps us accept the things we hide? Here's my attempt at it.
Edit: The album is released! Check it out here: www.nhu-mai.com/music
How do I create music that cultivates our good qualities, yet also helps us accept the things we hide? Here's my attempt at it. Edit: The album is released! Check it out here: www.nhu-mai.com/music
71 backers pledged $3,235 to help bring this project to life.

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Nhu-Mai's Making a Debut EP!

$3,235

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My faithful friends, we are now more than 100% fully funded! Woo Hoo! This is a great time to stand up and do a 10-second solo dance party in your bedroom, workplace, bathroom (or wherever you are when you read this)! If you need help thinking of a song to dance to, may I suggest this one?

So here's the deal. Talking about stretch goals is weird, because honestly all the bare minimum to create the album was already planned into the initial goal. And to set other goals to me can seem like asking too much (when I already have a hard time asking). SO. I thought of some goals that, instead of increasing production, are just downright fun for all of us.

Stretch Goals!

Stretch Goal #1: $2250 to have nice Album Art. Okay, this is not the funnest thing for all of us, but honestly, I realized that maybe my stick figure drawings on Paint won't cut it for the album. Hah, next goal.

Stretch Goal #2: $2550 for good food and fun at the Listening Party. I initially was planning on a low-budget potluck-byob-listening party-in-my-living-room deal, but wouldn't it be cool for yall to come and be treated to a classy meal to enhance your music experience? Good food = good fun.(Wouldn't be too late for yall to change your reward if you wanted to come to the party ;-)

Stretch Goal #3: $3000 for a Live CD Release Show for EVERYONE! Now this is the ultimate fun! Instead of listening to me sing over the stereo, how about we get a live show going on?! That EVERYONE can come to?! We can get some talented local musicians to come play along, maybe even fly Sam over from NYC too if he's not too busy, and we'll rock the night away.

 

Album Sneak Previews

Here's a sneak preview to the album. They're all rough mixes, but I still think they do a good job of capturing the feel of the album :-)

"Reluctant Love" Sneak Preview (rough mix)

"Home and Free" Sneak Preview (rough mix)

"Fill Me Up" Sneak Preview (rough mix)

 

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Update: We are 70% Funded!

As a grand THANK YOU for all of your support so far, here is a FULL video of Sam and I practicing and working out the harmonies to "Home and Free", a lovely song that he and I co-wrote. This was our very first go 'round, so you'll get the opportunity to see the little mess-ups that come with any kind of musical process. Stay tuned for the studio version, the harmonies are really locked in, and there are beautiful instruments like the piano that offer rich layers. ENJOY!

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Hello Everyone!

If you haven't taken the time to watch the above video (which not only is very informative but also has some moments that make me giggle), I am working on an EP to debut five of my original songs! 

Why do I want to share these songs?

At first, it was just a creative project to challenge myself in the songwriting process. The exercise was to address the question: How do I create art that cultivates the good qualities in us, that inspires us to become better people, and yet also helps us accept our shadows, our imperfections, and the things we're ashamed of?

As I went through the creative process and encountered life challenges, this project grew into a genuine, authentic desire to share my vulnerability with you and include you in my life journey.

So to get a little more serious about the whole thing, I put aside $1500 of my own funds, and I asked my friend Sam Hammerman, a phenomenal musician and all-around good person, to produce my album. This past August, I flew out to the Northeast for a week in order to record the songs at his home studio (aka his kitchen).

Sam and I celebrating our last day of recording!
Sam and I celebrating our last day of recording!

Working in his kitchen doesn't sound very "romantic" in a musician sense, but we were able to produce some really great sounds. And as we brought these songs to life, I began to think, "Wow, I really love these songs! They capture key moments of my life so well!" 

The Last Steps for Completion

I love these songs very deeply and want to go through the proper steps to ensure that they are released (and made available to you!) in their best possible form. The last critical steps include:

  • Mixing (making the songs sound good)
  • Mastering (making the songs sound REALLY good)
  • Digital Distribution (getting the songs to iTunes, Amazon, etc)
  • Limited CD Replication (since CD's have better sound quality than MP3s)
  • Copyrighting (and other legal processes)
  • Feeding people along the way (like my talented, yet slightly starved NYC-based producer)

Please join me to raise $2100 in funds in order to help bring these songs to completion and make them widely available for everyone to enjoy. If we exceed our goal, all of the surplus will go toward marketing and recording of more music. 

 

Risks and challenges

There are always risks and challenges to big projects, especially when multiple people are involved to complete it. The biggest challenge is to stay on the projected schedule, and I hope to release these songs in December 2016.

Often times, projects get off schedule because of poor planning and lack of funding. I have already negotiated prices and prebooked the mixing and mastering engineer in order to make sure the studio sessions are already reserved for us. I am also in regular communication with them so that we can be as efficient as possible when we are actually in the studio. The only thing left is to reach our funding goal.

These songs are not necessarily "MY" songs. They collectively come from all of the artists I have listened to and all of the people I have encountered in my life. So this project also serves as a big "THANK YOU" to all of you for being there.

Thank you so much for your support, and I am so grateful that we can go on this journey together.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Digital Download of a Single!

    Even for a dollar, you will still get something to listen to! A digital download of the single, "Home and Free"

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Digital Download of the Full EP!

    You'll get a digital download of my debut EP, consisting of 5 original songs, professionally mixed and mastered to have the best quality sound as possible.

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    • Digital Download of EP
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    Digital Download & Bonus Tracks!

    All of the above, plus 2 bonus tracks of exclusive, never-before-heard home recordings.

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    • Bonus Tracks
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    Signed Limited Edition CD!

    All of the above, plus you will receive a signed, limited edition CD of the EP! Though digital is becoming ever more popular, CD's still have higher sound quality than MP3s!

    Includes:
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    • Bonus Tracks
    • Signed, Limited Edition CD
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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Lullaby Version of any Song

    All of the above, and I will also record a lullaby version of ANY song you request for you to listen to right before you go to sleep. (This reward does not carry over to any of the higher tiers.)

    Includes:
    • Digital Download of EP
    • Bonus Tracks
    • Signed, Limited Edition CD
    • Lullaby cover song
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Invitation to the Listening Party!

    All of the above, plus an invitation to the Listening Party! We'll get together, eat and be merry, and listen to the EP together BEFORE it's publicly released. Party will most likely be hosted in Austin or Houston, TX. If you can't make it because you don't live in Texas, we'll stream the night and send you the songs so you can listen along!

    Includes:
    • Digital Download of EP
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    • Listening Party Invite
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Behind the Scenes Video!

    All of the above, plus get the first opportunity to watch behind the scenes footage of producing this album! You'll get to see the laughs, the bloopers, and the banter!

    Includes:
    • Digital Download of EP
    • Bonus Tracks
    • Signed, Limited Edition CD
    • Listening Party Invite
    • Behind the Scenes Footage
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Songwriting/Music Production Session

    All of the above, and I will offer you a session on songwriting or music production! (can be in person or via Skype) If you have always wanted to try writing a song...or you started writing one and need help finishing it...or you have a song (or many songs!) completed and want to make a record like me, we can have a session together and walk through the steps that will help move you forward.

    Includes:
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    "SuperFan!" Package

    You are officially a SuperFan! This package includes a very special gift from me, and all of the above (digital download of the EP, bonus tracks, signed limited edition CD, invitation to the listening party, and "Behind the Scenes" footage)

    Includes:
    • Digital Download of EP
    • Bonus Tracks
    • Signed, Limited Edition CD
    • Behind the Scenes Footage
    • Listening Party Invite
    • Special NM Gift
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    Executive Producer Status!

    You receive Executive Producer Status, which means you have the option of having your name on the EP's credits. (This is publicized on the CD and on my website). You'll also get a hand-written "Thank You" letter and the "SuperFan!" package.

    Includes:
    • Digital Download of EP
    • Bonus Tracks
    • Signed, Limited Edition CD
    • Behind the Scenes Footage
    • Listening Party Invite
    • Special NM Gift
    • Thank You Letter and Executive Producer Status
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    Join Us in the Mixing Studio!

    If this project reaches full funding, we will be scheduled to go into the mixing studio (Austin, TX) the first weekend of November! Join us and get an exclusive opportunity to see what happens in the studio! If you don't live in Texas, we can send you video footage of us. You will also get Executive Producer Status and the "SuperFan!" package.

    Includes:
    • Digital Download of EP
    • Bonus Tracks
    • Signed, Limited Edition CD
    • Behind the Scenes Footage
    • Listening Party Invite
    • Special NM Gift
    • Thank You Letter and Executive Producer Status
    • Join us in the Mixing Studio!
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    Private Concert! (Texas)

    I will play an intimate, private concert in your home! This perk is limited to Texas locations (or really, limited to a 4-hour driving radius from Houston). You will also receive Executive Producer Status and the "Superfan!" Package.

    Includes:
    • Digital Download of EP
    • Bonus Tracks
    • Behind the Scenes Footage
    • Signed, Limited Edition CD
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    Private Concert! (Continental USA)

    I'll hold a private concert with you anywhere in continental USA! (this is not available for those living in Hawaii or Alaska) If you live outside of the USA, I'll send you the video to an exclusive, unplugged concert. You'll also receive Executive Producer Status and the "SuperFan!" package.

    Includes:
    • Digital Download of EP
    • Bonus Tracks
    • Behind the Scenes Footage
    • Signed, Limited Edition CD
    • Listening Party Invite
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Funding period

- (22 days)