Ever wanted to sing back up on a Grammy nominated artist’s album? Or maybe play on stage during one of their shows? What about having an artist write a lullaby specifically for your child? Sounds pretty cool, right? Those are just some of the things that Jo Dee Messina is offering to her fans right now. If you are trying to figure out what the catch is, stop. There is no catch. Jo Dee Messina has decided to make her next album with her fans using one of the world’s largest collaborative funding platforms, Kickstarter.
The way the project works is that fans can go to her Kickstarter project, look over the perks that are being offered and decide to contribute to the project in return for something from Jo Dee. When we spoke about her project, called “My Time, Our Music” recently, she summed up the concept pretty succinctly saying “It’s like I’m having a garage sale and I’m using the money to make a record.” Scads of independent artists have used Kickstarter, not only to fund projects but also to forge stronger relationships with their fans by offering limited edition memorabilia, behind the scenes access and experiences that you can’t download with their album. As cool as the concept sounds, there are caveats for the artists who use Kickstarter. It’s an all or nothing concept that allows a project 30 days to raise the funds needed or no money exchanges hands. All the money raised goes directly into the project and everyone who was a part of it, gets something in return. For Jo Dee’s, “My Time, Our Music”, fans have until 9pm on Sunday, June 23rd to decide to be a part of it.
You might be wondering why someone with hits under her belt like ‘I’m Alright’, ‘Bye, Bye’ and ‘Bring on the Rain’, among several others would be going this route, rather than doing a big, fancy label album. The answer is simple. Jo Dee said, “I want to do this with the fans”. Her fans actually picked the song line up, the first of which is the single ‘Woman’s Rant’. Authentic to her spirited style, this stripped down song is a glimpse into a day in the life of this mother of two. Jo Dee also talked about how freeing it was to be able to make the call as to what songs get done and how much fun it is to have a little something for everyone on the album, from bluegrass to rock and even a song she originally wrote with Pink in mind.
When I asked who came up with the idea to do this project, she said that her 19-year-old cousin was the one who suggested it. She loved the idea from the moment he pitched it and had a blast brainstorming with her team about what sorts of things she could offer fans for being a part of the album. She’s hoping to be able to do some sort of special thank you for all of her backers, which doesn’t surprise me one bit. From the moment we started talking I could hear the enthusiasm and delight in her voice as she explained the in’s and outs her Kickstarter journey. She’s gotten some great support and she’s offering some even greater rewards. I say, tell your boss you want Jo Dee Messina at your next company picnic! No really, it’s one of the perks you can get for being a part of a project, that I for one plan to get in on. Go check out Jo Dee Messina’s Kickstarter ASAP and get in on this once in a lifetime opportunity.