I felt like this was the right time to have fans involved in the process of making a record. I've had a great number of people tell me that my music has changed and in some cases, saved their lives. I am humbled by that. I write songs from the most personal place and have found an audience of folks who relate.
My friend Brad Taylor started as a fan and always wanted to produce some of my songs from a fan's perspective. This project started like that and quickly blossomed into me writing an overwhelming amount of songs and quickly deciding to go for a whole record. Brad also started writing songs for and with me, and i've been nothing less than blown away. We both have the same taste and sensibilities. Brad is an accomplished photographer/screenwriter and has pushed me into a new and exciting process of focused intensity.
We invited vocalist Ameerah Tatum and upright bassist Clark Sommers into the process early on. They helped shape the direction of the record. Clark plays with Kurt Elling, one of the top Jazz vocalists in the world and Ameerah was on the road for years singing backgrounds for the Brand New Heavies and Janet Jackson. Clark recommended Matt Carroll to play drums and Tom Vaitsas on keyboards, and they've perfectly rounded out the personality of this record.
The unusual and cool thing about the "perks" for this project is that the rewards are not just about receiving a signed CD. Some of the rewards are fun (I can do a badass Christopher Walken impression on your voice mail), Practical (You and/or your kid need Guitar, Voice, and Songwriting lessons, right?, Beautifying your empty walls (my paintings that range from 2'X3' to 8'x4" as well as doing a commissioned piece). You can check out examples of my paintings at Nicholasbarron.com!
This approach mirrors the idea of "it taking a village". Many of my fans have become close friends with whom I not only share my music with but an intimacy that only comes from being open and real.
We're in a new era where funding artistic endeavors often comes from those most affected by and connected to the work. I love that idea and I'd love all of you involved on whatever level makes sense!
Risks and challenges
The great news is that I am working with very flexible, open, and extremely gifted musicians and technicians. We've been doing pre-production for over 4 months on this record. It all comes down to communication and frankness. Our setbacks could be in the form of scheduling but we are looking at having this out by April/May of 2014 and at the moment everything is already in place schedule wise. I have never felt better about any collaboration!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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