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Who am I?
I'm Nicholas. I'm a 34 year-old full-time touring folk singer-songwriter and finger-style guitarist. In short, I've been making music for 17 years, half of my life. In 2007, I started recording and performing under a moniker titled Whetherman. Through 1000 shows, eight albums, nine countries and a handful of credible acts opened for (Taj Mahal, The Wailers, The Wood Brothers), I was able to stay completely independent. No booking agents, management, record deals, no contracts. That project taught me everything I know about the music business and a gave wealth of first-hand experience in touring.
In late 2017, I decided to discontinue the project by October of last year, and begin performing under my full name, Nicholas Edward Williams. There was an inner shift happening both in my personal life, as well as in the music I've been creating. It was a slow manifestation of change that was necessary, and led me to re-frame my perspective on what I was doing with my career and who I wanted to be.
What are Kickstarter Campaigns?
If you're not familiar with how Kickstarter Campaigns work, it's not complex. You are essentially supporting a creative idea by pre-ordering a chosen "item" or "package" at a slightly higher rate, because you believe in the project. TO BE CLEAR, this is not a charity that you donate to! You can of course choose no reward, but this is not a case where I ask you for money and you get nothing in return.
What is this Kickstarter Campaign for?
I'm recording my debut full-length album under my birth name, Nicholas Edward Williams, titled As I Go Ramblin' Around at the end of March. I'm EXTREMELY EXCITED to be working with Jason Miller at Red Barn Studio in Springdale, AR. He has incredible recording gear, and the studio has a home feel that rivals no other I've come across so far.
Additionally, this will be the first time utilizing a radio campaign company to push the songs to the Folk DJ Charts, NPR Stations, Americana Radio, Satellite Radio and Nationally Syndicated Radio. I'm very excited to be working with the esteemed and wonderful Kari Estrin for radio promotion! Kari has an incredible background. She managed Tony Rice, booked for Doc Watson, founded Black Sheep Concerts & Publications, Southeast Regional Folk Alliance (SERFA), the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest, is the Co-Chair of Americana Conference and has done festival management for Newport Folk Festival and MerleFest. We can say it... she's a big deal! This is a huge step forward in my career, and will reach far and wide to the specific demographics that my music resonates with.
These new tunes are SO MUCH FUN FOR ME TO PLAY. My love for learning guitar and tracing back the history of American roots music is at it's peak, and it shows in the songs. There's a heavy influence from Doc Watson and Mississippi John Hurt that is especially apparent, as I'm now mixing folk, country and blues together in a delightful style called Travis picking (named after Merle Travis) among other variations of fingerpicking. Lyrically, the topics I cover are still morally-based for the most part, relating to my pursuit to become a better person, the environment and some of my observations of human behavior. But the way they're brought to the table has this twinge of humor that has surfaced due to a change in my outlook on music, as well as listening to loads of John Prine. Needless to say, this campaign is a chance for you to support my music DIRECTLY, and to make a record with me and watch it bloom.
- Happy Life
- Mississippi John
- Writers of Songs
- I Suppose When We Stop Breathing
- Ramblin’ Around
- Ain’t It Convenient
- Eve of Fog
- I’ll Drink to That
- Big Rock Candy Mountains
- Young Little River
- I’ll Never Know Everything
Why is Kickstarter a thing?
Crowdfunding has become popular for many reasons. Some of you folks may not be aware of the undertaking that's required to record an album and make music your career these days. Access to streaming and online concerts has changed a lot of the musical economy, allowing people to pay less and less for music. There's no complaining here, you just have to adapt. As an independent artist, recouping costs from recording takes an awfully long time (it's not cheap) unless you're hitting millions of streams, or your songs are placed in TV and movies. So you can imagine, it's not as straight forward as you write songs and make money. To give you an idea: On top of managing all the aspects of my own career, I'm booking tours for five others acts, giving songwriting and guitar lessons, creating a DIY booking platform launching next year, and I've got a few songs that have been placed in commercials and television. After all that, I'm just able to pay the bills. Crowdfunding essentially allows an audience to directly support the artist so that no money has to come out of their already empty pockets.
Isn't $15,000 a lot for an album?
Most people would be shocked at the usual costs of recording and promoting an album. Studio time, mastering, getting music to CD and Vinyl, and radio promotion costs quite a lot of money if you want high quality products. Here's how all the pieces fit on a pie chart:
Recording/Editing/Mixing/Mastering/Paying Musicians - 32% - The record will be recorded, edited and mixed at Red Barn Studio (Springdale, AR) and the Mastering will be done by AirShow Mastering (Boulder, CO). I have a few musicians sitting in on the record: Michael Shembre on Fiddle (Opal Agafia and The Sweet Nothings), Cody Ray on Pedal Steele (Pony Bradshaw, Cody Ray) and Garrett Jones on Upright Bass.
Merchandise/New Gear - 38% - The album will go to CD by way of Atomic Disc (Salem, OR), some peole I've worked closely with for the last decade. The vinyl will be done by the good people at Vinyl Record Pressing (Jacksonville, FL). The T-Shirts, Tank Tops, Stickers and Buttons are all included here, as well as some gear upgrades that are way overdue for my touring: travel/carrying case, new harmonicas, speakers, cables, pedals, as well as a camera and lens upgrade so that I can do more professional videos and photos on the road.
Radio Campaign - 15% - I'm very excited to be working with the esteemed and wonderful Kari Estrin for radio promotion! Kari has an incredible background. She managed Tony Rice, booked for Doc and Merle Watson, founded Black Sheep Concerts & Publications, Southeast Regional Folk Alliance (SERFA), the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest, is the Co-Chair of Americana Conference and has done festival management for Newport Folk Festival and MerleFest. We can say it... she's a big deal!
Fulfilling Rewards -10% - Getting all of your packages out on time is a huge undertaking and requires days and days of organization and execution!
Kickstarter Cut - 5% - This is how Kickstarter is able to do what they do.
Merchandise Rewards List
- As I Go Ramblin' Around : Full-Length Album (Digital, CD and Vinyl )
- T-Shirt/Tank Top: "Folkin' A! I've seen Nicholas Edward Williams"
- T-Shirt/Tank Top: "Happy Wife = Happy Life"
Bumper Sticker: "Happy Wife = Happy Life" (12"x3")
- Bumper Sticker: "Nicholas Edward Williams...my grandma calls me NEW" (12"x3")
- Circular Sticker/Button: "Pickin' N' Grinnin'" (3"x3")
- Square Sticker/Button: "Folkin' A! I Seen Nicholas Edward Williams" (3"x3")
- Handwritten Lyrics (song of your choosing)
(Image coming soon)
- Handwritten Poem (song of your choosing)
(Image coming soon)
- EarthTone Pendants: Wild caught rocks I find on my travels and hand wrap with hemp!
What has Kickstarter done for me in the past?
My first campaign was back in 2011, and 96 backers raised $4,071. This afforded me enough to trade in my Saturn Ion for a Honda Element, for my first nationwide tour. I eventually moved into it, and traveled for nearly four years and over 100,000 miles. Living on the road took my career to new heights with a nationwide fan base, real tour experience, and moments that gave way to three studio albums. Without that first campaign, I wouldn't have been able to start touring.
The second campaign was in 2013, and 258 backers raised $15,605. This enabled me to tour with a trio in Europe for the first time, playing 32 shows in just over a month. The songs were welcomed with open arms, and it was an experience that has permanently shaped our lives in more ways than music can. Since that 2013 trip, I’ve gone back twice, touring throughout the UK and Western Europe performing 54 shows.
The third campaign was in 2017, and 295 backers raised $16,272. This successfully funded the recording and distribution of my eighth album as Whetherman titled This Land, and gave me my first chance to work with a publicist to get credible press and more reviews, which has been brilliant for booking venues, festivals, and many other press opportunities.
This campaign has been tailored to fit as many demographics as possible. I completely understand the desire to keep everything neatly knit in your phone, or a CD case, or if you prefer the beautiful old sound of vinyl, or creative merchandise, or personal experiences. Whatever you decide, I'm grateful for your involvement and I hope you find something that fits you!
It's a pleasure to have you here, thank you for taking the time to consider this campaign and help me get to the next step good people!
Nicholas Edward Williams
Risks and challenges
This being my third Kickstarter, I know how to be efficient when it comes to fulfilling rewards, and I've set ample time for all the items involved to arrive on time!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)