FINAL HOURS - NEW REWARD: Mike Sandowski's Personal Tour of Chicago's Majestic Western Suburbs
I love pop music more than anything on the planet. Always have. When I was fourteen, I had plans to become “the next Britney Spears, except I’ll write my own music.” I wrote a power ballad about Justin Timberlake entitled “Destiny” and uploaded a WAV file of myself singing it a cappella onto my Angelfire website (don't know where it is, sorry).
Fast-forward seventeen years. After about a decade of writing and recording folk music, I realized that I had been ignoring the thirteen-year-old inside of me who would stay home sick from school to dance to the Purple Rain soundtrack and watch *NSYNC on TRL. What I really wanted was to make music that was sky-high and electric, music that banged and boomed - pop music.
I sat with my dream for a few years, discouraged. The industry is a boys' club that overvalues youth in its female stars. If you hear a song on the radio, chances are it was produced by a dude, and chances are the voice singing it belongs to a young woman in her teens or twenties. As a 33-year-old woman with only a handful of self-released singles and EPs under my belt, what could I possibly do to break in as a singer/songwriter/producer?
I started daydreaming. Hey, Tiff. Imagine pop music with:
- more womxn working behind the scenes (producers, engineers, record execs)
- female and non-binary people making the decisions to impact what pop stars look and sound like
- an industry that prioritizes talent before a fantasy ideal of youth
Oh my god, what kind of artists would emerge from this glorious utopia!?
THE BIG SHIFT
I want to change the way pop music is made - so, I am starting with myself. I am writing, self-producing, and self-engineering a regenerative pop album. Instead of raising funds to pay for studio time to make one record, I am building a home studio where I will make all subsequent records and projects - for myself and for other artists committed to eliminating gender bias in the music industry. Think of it as the album that launched a thousand albums.
To do this I need:
- to upgrade my current (very modest) recording setup to professional level software, hardware, and gear
- funds for additional production, arranging, mixing, and mastering - all of which will be outsourced exclusively to female-identifying and gender-expanding individuals
- your support as we forge unto a new frontier!
By making myself available as a female producer, I hope to create a safe space for womxn to make music. By making a commitment to hire femxle and gender non-conforming artists for my own projects, I hope to inspire others to do the same. I want to challenge other artists to take a close look at who they’ve been hiring as collaborators, and to make an effort to diversify their music-making teams.
$8,500 covers the most basic version of this record - the equipment I’ll need to upgrade my studio to make my debut album (computer, plugins, simple acoustic treatments, mics, interface, a desk so I no longer have to work on my bed, etc.), Kickstarter fees, and rewards fulfillment. For this I would be eternally grateful and could start making some bangin’ pop songs before my 34th birthday. But my true vision for this project comes to life as we reach various stretch goals throughout the campaign:
Every single backer will receive a digital download of my latest single, "Homecoming Dress." Backers at the Super Supporter level and beyond get a 12x12 print of the single artwork (designed by me!)
Super Supporters also get my entire discography. I've never released a full-length album, but I've got an eclectic collection of singles and EPs bundled up for you. This includes:
- "Land, Wander" single
- "Build a Vessel, Dig a Well" single
- "I Can See Us Fighting" single
- "December 1" single (an original Christmas song)
- Music from the series "Best Thing You'll Ever Do" - (this won Best Original Score at LA Webfest!)
- "Strangest Little Creature" - a 7-song EP of ambient music I composed
- "My, My, My" - the first EP I released under the name Glad Fanny
- "Glad Fanny <3's Babs" - a 3-song EP of Barbra Streisand covers
- "The Salieri Complex" - a really hilarious collection of covers I recorded when I was 18 years old; highlights include me singing "You Gotta Be" by Des'ree to a MIDI backing track and me tap dancing as percussion to a Letters to Cleo song. P.S. I called it THE SALIERI COMPLEX my god
Many of the rewards are experiential rather than physical - my favorite kind of gift! I’ve been writing custom songs since 2012 and am so excited to be offering them to backers of this campaign at nearly half my regular rate (learn more about these here). These are also available in miniature form as Tiny Songs - a 5-15 second “personal jingle” that makes for a delightful ringtone, alarm, or gag gift. Here are a bunch of examples:
Risks and challenges
When I’m not making music or working odd jobs, I’m an actor - it’s something I love to do, and it also happens to be how I earn my health insurance (I’m very fortunate). If a theatre job comes along, I may have to take a break in the writing, recording, or reward fulfillment process - especially if the show requires me to travel. But regardless of where I am, I will do everything in my power to keep the ball rolling on this project that is, undoubtedly, the most important thing I’ve ever done. The patriarchy isn't going to smash itself, you know!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)