CROWDFUNDING RADAR: Support an Artist’s Work and Get a Custom-Written Song
Flamy Grant (photo by Emily Tingley)
Crowdfunding campaigns tend to be pretty similar. In addition to the album, common backer perks tend to be things like T-shirts, stickers, hats, and handwritten lyric sheets. But a perk I’m seeing more often recently is a custom written song. The backer is usually able to give an overall topic for the song, making it popular for weddings, anniversaries, and memorials. It’s a perk that makes sense. It doesn’t require the physical overhead of merch and taps into the creative spark that fuels the songwriters to crowdfund an album in the first place. It’s also a lucrative one. These custom songs typically go for anywhere between $500 and $3000, which is a lot of $10 digital downloads. This month, I’m highlighting three campaigns with custom songs as a backer perk.
Chicago-based folk pop artist Abby Lyons is known not only as a successful original artist but also for her fun YouTube ukulele covers of everyone from Metallica to Kermit the Frog. She’s a veteran crowdfunder, having two successful campaigns under her belt. Now she’s launching a $10,000 Kickstarter campaign for her third album. Her original song perk is available at the $500 pledge level, and an example of an original song she did from a previous campaign is available on her Kickstarter page. Other perks include the album in digital and CD formats, a music book of songs from the album, handwritten lyrics, signed photos from the studio and video shoots, and a signed ukulele.
Flamy Grant – New Album
Not many people would dedicate the first 40 seconds of their Kickstarter campaign to clips of people who hate them. But then those people aren’t Flamy Grant. As the first drag artist to have a No. 1 song on the Apple Christian Music charts, Grant has endured her share of hate and has embraced it with the same good humor that made her first album, Bible Belt Baby, so successful. Grant is currently running an ambitious $30,000 campaign to record a second album, which is being promised as having a “disco/gospel/folk/funk” sound. Even better, she is pledging to have at least 50% queer representation on the album’s creative team. Grant’s original song backer perk comes at the $2,500 pledge level and will be professionally recorded in a studio. In addition to the album in digital, CD, and vinyl formats, other backer perks include a bamboo clack fan, a personalized video, tickets to her album release shows, and a chance to have Grant dress you in drag.
Stefanie Clark Harris – Debut Album
While Stefanie Clark Harris is a relative newcomer to Music City, she has become a fixture on the Nashville roots scene due to her residencies at The Bowery Vault. Her clear vocals and strong songwriting have translated well from a mostly solo setting to a full-band sound, and she finally has enough songs stocked up to run a $20,000 Kickstarter campaign to fund her debut album. She’s tapped Grammy nominated producer/engineer Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Sunny War) to helm the project. Harris’ original song perk comes at the $1,000 level. The album is available in digital format. You can also get a set of demos Harris recorded at Sam Phillips studio, a live video, a copy of her ebook, hand-painted lyric sheets, and a distance Reiki session.