About this project
The "Grand Finale"
Just 4 DAYS LEFT – can you believe it?!?!?!
You’ve blown me away with your generosity! You’ve also made it clear that you have HIGH EXPECTATIONS for what we’ll do with this album. You want our message of love and inclusion promoted to an even wider audience. You want to see this album compete on a playing field with artists backed by major labels. And you want to see us on tour in YOUR hometown.
Well, I’ve taken that to heart. And I’m up for it if you are!
Let’s end this campaign on an even higher note, with one final push! I’m asking all of you who have already supported this project so generously to...
- increase your existing pledge by $10 ...AND...
- forward this link (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/stevegrand/all-american-boy-the-album) to at least one friend asking him or her to contribute …AND…
- post a comment about your vision for the world by filling in the blank, “United we can…”
It's the $5, $15, and $25 gifts that have gotten us this far. We are showing the world that our voices have power together!
Oh, and everybody who participates in this “Grand Finale” will get an “All-American Boy #GrandFam United” wristband to wear as a visible sign of our unity:
Nothing is more important to me than honoring the faith you’ve placed in me to make a great album. Right now I’m spending my days in LA recording studios, and my nights on a friend’s couch so I don’t have to spend money on hotels. When I get back to Chicago, I’ll be living in my parents’ basement instead of renewing the lease on my apartment. I want every penny you’ve given to go to this record. And I’ve lined up some of the best music promoters in the industry to make sure your investment in me pays off.
Let’s make this final week not just a grand finale, but a “GrandFam Finale.”
Nobody does it like you guys!
Love and hugs,
Update with 9 Days Left
My Dear GrandFam: When we started this campaign three weeks ago, we had a goal to make just enough to produce this album. But you've made it clear that the sky is the limit. I've been reading your comments on the Kickstarter page. You've challenged me to see how far we can go, to use every dollar now to promote this message to an even bigger audience, to make our voices heard on a global stage -- and to come to your hometown and see you on tour!
Well, I want you to know I've heard you loud and clear!
Your love and support are overwhelming. Because of YOU, we're almost in the top 5 music projects in Kickstarter's history -- and you're not done yet. In fact, it's getting hard to come up with words to adequately express my thanks. So I thought the best way to show you how grateful I am is to take you behind the scenes to see how your generosity is paying off.
This video update comes to you from Harmony Studios in Los Angeles, where I'm spending my days and nights making the best record I can for YOU. The bass and drum clips in this video update were recorded at Sage and Sound Recording Studios--also in LA.
I can't wait to share with you the music that YOU made possible!
While words aren't enough, still I've gotta say, "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you." I can never say that enough. I love you all!
There are 9 days left. Please invite your friends to join us in making our voices heard by sharing this link:
My Beloved GrandFam:
Wow! What can I say?
YOU are making history again. YOU have officially made this project one of the top 10 most funded music projects in Kickstarter’s history – and we’re not done yet!
This milestone is just the latest example of the determination YOU have shown right from the start. Check out the stats:
- Just 17 hours after launch, YOU busted through the original $81,000 goal.
- Within 24 hours, YOU shared the project roughly 9,000 times on Facebook.
- In under 2 days, YOU made this one of only 32 out of 27,000+ music projects in Kickstarter’s history to be successfully funded at $100,000 or more.
- Within 5 days, YOU pledged double our original funding goal.
- Within 9 days, on March 6, the project became one of the top 10 most funded music projects in Kickstarter’s history – and counting.
Now, with 17 days left, YOU are unstoppable. We’re at 2,700+ backers pledging $182,000+ -- and counting.
I am totally blown away by what YOU are doing. This is no longer just an album. Because of YOU, it’s truly a grassroots movement. YOU are proving that that all of us working together can be just as effective as a record label. And together, we can keep the music pure.
YOU weren’t satisfied with giving just enough to get this record produced. YOU seem determined to put this album on the same playing field with artists who are backed by major labels. YOUR message is clear: “The sky is the limit. Let’s see how far we can go!” Every dollar now means we can market and promote this album to an even wider audience – and make our voices heard on an international scale.
Because you have inspired me, I’ve been doing some research on what it takes to make a hit. This article lays it all out. How Much Does It Cost to Make a Hit Song? NPR article.
Bottom line: The bare-bones cost is $80K – just to produce a song, let alone a whole album. Another $1 million gets it heard.
Radio promotion itself can cost a quarter of a million dollars just to compete with releases from major label artists. There are only a certain number of spots for new artists on radio playlists – and we’re competing with the biggest names out there.
Check out this list below of what it takes to make a hit record. It’s enough to make your head spin!
Album production … including producer … mix engineer … mastering engineer … “A&R” executive” (artists and repertoire) … session musicians … studio rental … rehearsal rooms … recording equipment … cartage … per diems … rental gear … lodging … touring musicians … hotel rooms … gas … vehicle rental … flights … tour manager … Internet … promotional materials … online, print, TV and radio advertising … radio promotion executives … independent radio promotion staff to compete with releases from major label artists … radio trade magazine advertising … promotional CD … manufacturing costs … CD mailing costs … digital distribution costs … T&E for promotion staff, … manufacturing costs for CDs … UPC codes … ISRC codes … graphic designer … distribution fees … legal fees for all agreements … licensing/syncs to partner with movies, TV and radio campaigns … branding partnerships … label operating costs … marketing executives … social media executive … graphic design and video editing for promotional items and videos … online and offline advertising … art designers for album packaging … website design and maintenance … publicist to make sure our message gets heard … press release distribution … photo shoots … video producer … video promotion, including viral videos and web content to bring our message to the widest possible audience … video director … camera operators … location fees … wardrobe … makeup artists … editing … distribution to make sure the album is available across the country … production of online content to keep fans connected …
Some people might be daunted by this list – but not GrandFam!
Look what we’ve already done so far! Most of the contributions are gifts of $10, $15 or $25. All we need now are a few more of those.
It's because of YOUR continued support that we will be able not only to complete the album, but to support the release in the face of competition from the major labels who usually dominate the radio airwaves.
Because of YOU, we will be able to go on tour and play live for you guys in your hometowns. Because of YOU, we will continue to make our videos and our music and, in the end, to share our vision for a world that looks beyond our differences and embraces the belief that we're all worthy of love, that all of our voices are valid.
THANKS for all you are doing. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH.
There are 17 days left. Please invite your friends to join the movement by sharing this link:
Update after 40 Hours
Wow! It’s late in the evening on February 27th—about 40 hours since I launched my Kickstarter campaign—and you guys have already pledged more than $125,000! It only took 17 hours for you to break through the original goal of $81,000. I’m very moved…and humbled by your confidence in me…and grateful for your generosity. THANK YOU! I knew you guys would do it…but I’m AMAZED at how quickly you did it!
I just got back from a full day in the studio with Aaron Johnson, where we began working on the second set of songs that will be on the album—twelve in all. I can’t wait until it’s done and ready to be put out into the world and shared with all of you. When that day comes it will be because YOU made it possible!
Now that you have fully funded the production of the “All-American Boy” record, I hope we can keep this momentum going! As I mentioned in the Kickstarter project video, Record companies often spend hundreds of thousands of dollars—millions for the bigger artists—producing and promoting an album. Now that we’ve reached our original goal, we can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that this album is definitely going to be made. But there’s really no limit on how high we can fly, if we have the money to market and promote the album properly.
I’ve already “stepped out in faith” and hired some of the best music marketing people in the industry to promote the album, so that our stories and our voices can be heard around the world! So rest assured, I’ve got good people around me advising me on how to spend YOUR money wisely, so that together we can have the greatest impact.
As I’ve said before, “A good love song is a good love song.” I believe we are not far away from the day when the world will be singing along--whenever a man sings openly about his love for his man, or a woman sings openly about her love for another woman. With your help, I’m committed to being the next in a long line of runners who have carried that torch and brought us so far already. Help me continue to add our voice to all of theirs. I really believe that the world is ready for this!
So, please, keep on giving. There are 29 days left in this campaign. And, with Kickstarter, there’s no limit on to how much money we can raise together. The total will be whatever all of you, acting together, decide it will be. During the past eight months, you’ve amazed me countless times already. And I can’t wait to see what you’re gonna do next! I’m excited and energized...but mostly I’m moved and humbled by what you have done. So, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU for making all of this possible! Let’s keep supporting each other as the world continues to change all around us.
THANK YOU LARRY KING for Being the First to Support My Kickstarter Project!
Our Amazing Journey
It’s been an amazing journey since I released “All-American Boy” on YouTube last July. I made the video using my own money (and maxing out my credit card)—independently and without a label or management. Without any money left to do promotion of any kind, I uploaded the video to YouTube and clicked "Share" on Facebook. Thanks to all of YOU who shared the videos with your friends and on social media, the video went viral almost overnight, landing me spots on major news outlets like “Good Morning America,” CNN and major print publications. We now have over 2.75 million views!
With your help, we released a second video, “STAY.” I got to meet amazing people like Elton John, Mariah Carey, and Edie Windsor. And best of all, I got to meet so many of YOU, my beloved GrandFam, as I toured around the country. I got to hear your amazing stories. Your hopes and fears. Your triumphs and heartaches. And how in some small way, my music made you feel a little less lonely in the world.
Connecting with those of you who have reached out to me through social media and those of you I've been fortunate enough to meet in person (and hug) has been the most amazing part of all of this! It is those of you who have inspired me to keep going: to continue to express my experiences, reflections, and feelings through music and videos and art.
Now, with your help, I am ready to complete my first full-length album and share it with all of you!
Thanks to all of you who have bought my music or have come out to see me perform, I've been able to make the first four songs of my record. I've teamed up with Aaron Johnson, who is responsible for creating and shaping many of the sounds you hear on the records from Secondhand Serenade, Katie Herzig and Eve 6. He is best known for producing the first records from The Fray [“Over My Head (Cable Car),” “How to Save a Life,” “You Found Me”]. He is producing, sound engineering, and mixing my entire album, and he's doing an amazing job! To get a taste of what we have been creating in the studio together, check out “Back to California.” If you like the song, you can download it for free from Bandcamp or iTunes.
Recording and producing an album can be an expensive undertaking. Record companies often spend hundreds of thousands of dollars—millions for the bigger artists—producing and promoting an album. My goal is $81,000. That will allow me just enough to finish my record, create album art, package it, and film my next music video, which I plan to release on the same day as the album. If we can raise this money together, you can count on my album being out sometime in May. And then I’ll see you on tour!
We're utilizing the very best studios and musicians to make this record everything you guys deserve it to be. I've already had the chance to record piano on the same instrument, with the same equipment, that you hear on Adele's “Someone Like You.” It is all being mixed on a real console at The Studio at The Palms in Las Vegas, where artists like Lady Gaga, The Killers, Usher, and Imagine Dragons have recorded and mixed their music in the recent past.
The rewards you'll see at the right reflect my desire to bring us closer together and have you guys be a part of this project as much as possible, so check them out! I can't wait to see which ones you guys pick :)
What if We Exceed the Goal?
Only a small amount of the $81,000 goal has been allocated for marketing and promotion. For the greatest impact, we'll need to raise more!
If we exceed the goal, the additional funds will be used to promote and market the record, so it can reach as many people as possible. Getting songs in rotation on radio is difficult and expensive, but with your help, we can make it happen!
Rest assured, we have some of the very best independent music marketing people in the industry standing by to open doors and advise us on spending the money intelligently—once YOU make it possible!
About the Album
This record will include twelve tracks, all written by me. I've been writing music for a long time, so I had a large catalog to pull from. The music is all about the roller-coaster ride of being human: love and loss, hope and regret, triumph and the struggles of growing up—all through the lens of my own experiences. I believe the best songs are those that are written from a very personal point of view. And from that personal place, universal truths about what it means to be human are revealed. That is what I always strive for in my writing, so this album is very personal to me. But there are universal themes to be found in every song.
The Vision—Shaping Our Future
Call me optimistic, but I truly believe that the world is ready for this! I believe that a good love song is a good love song. That the ways we love, the ways we ache and hurt, are far more the same than the world might acknowledge. And I refuse to believe that the universal nature of any expression of love in music or art can be trumped by a damn pronoun.
I believe that a song in which a man sings openly about his love for his man, or where a woman sings openly about her love for another woman, will have the world singing along one day. It might not be tomorrow. But it will happen.
I want to make this record without a record label so that I can honor my promise to you…to keep making honest music. I want to make this record because OUR voices DESERVE to be heard. Our stories deserve to be told.
Risks and challenges
Making an album is a huge undertaking with many, many moving parts. The creative side alone—the writing and recording—takes time, energy, love and commitment (oh, yes, and CREATIVITY!). Then there’s the whole technical side—producing, mixing and mastering the tracks; shooting, producing and editing videos, making album art, etc. It’s like a giant jigsaw puzzle and every last piece has to fit just right! But I'm working with a stellar creative team and we’re almost there. And I’m having the time of my life!
I'd like to acknowledge and thank the members of my growing team, all of whom are working hard behind-the-scenes to help me make this album and bring it to market: Chris Ricchetti, Phil Cordell, Marty Maidenberg, Jon Howard, Esther Campi, Maude Standish, Bob Donnelley and Carlos Perez.
We’ve already got four tracks out of twelve created. We’ve made a third music video, and we’re working on the fourth. We’ve nailed down partners to manufacture our CDs, vinyl LPs and T-shirts. We have some of the very best independent music marketing people in the industry standing by to open doors and advise us on spending our marketing funds intelligently—once YOU make it possible. So all the little details are falling into place. Yes, it will be a challenge to get to the finish line. But I live for the challenge. I’ve never let anything stop me before. And with YOUR help, we’re going to make this record a reality!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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