I need help.
Being an independent musician/producer is a costly business. The hours are long, the cash outlay is huge and the returns are … well, they’re not great. Being honest, if I looked at what I do and viewed it dispassionately, as a business plan, I’d laugh it all the way to the bin.
But… I don’t know a single creative or artist or musician who is dispassionate about what they do. Our passion is our greatest strength, it defines who we are and what we create. It’s the quality that puts the value into our lives and our output.
I’ve come to a realisation that cranking out music in the hope of a couple of quid here and there in sales is unsustainable. It’s never going to allow me to achieve my ambition – that is, to do this as my living, to commit myself to creating new music every day whilst still keeping a roof over my head and providing for my family.
In short, if I’m to do what I want to do, what I feel is right for me to do, what I know I’m best at… I’m going to need some sustainable support.
Here’s an example of the kind of costs that a typical indie like myself is finding from their own pocket on a regular basis:
- Printing costs for one gig: £75
- Equipment maintenance, upgrade or replacement, per year: £250
- CD Pressing, 500 units: £500
And here’s an indication of the time that goes in (time isn’t money, btw – it’s worth immeasurably more than any cash value):
- Production of a single track: 20 – 40 hours
- Prep and rehearsal, one gig: 15 – 25 hours
- Practice and development: over 700 hours a year (that’s over 20,000 hours thus far)
Trying to recover cost on a piece-by-piece basis just doesn’t work; so far, I’ve made a healthy loss on every project, release, show or gig that I’ve done (even the ones that have been judged to be “successful”). In recent years a lot of artists in a similar position to myself have turned to crowd-funding to up-front their release costs; this is great, but until you have the right size following the results of that are going to be embarrassing.
So… what to do? What’s the point I’m trying to get to here?
I want your support.
I want you to help me to make music, so that I can freely give that music to you. I want to be able to send you a new CD a couple of times a year. I want to be able to play a gig in your hometown and not charge you a single penny to be there. I want to share my works-in-progress, my out-takes, my noodles and doodles with you. I want to be free to practice and improve and create, and I want to give all of that output to you freely.
I want you to support me by giving me £3 a month (less than the price of a Vanilla Spice Latte from the well-known coffee chain of your choice).
If I (we?) can get 1,000 people to do this, I can achieve everything that I’ve set out above. I know I have enough people who are into what I do to at least get that ball rolling.
So let’s do this.
I’ve set up a “VIP Membership” section of my BandCamp site, which you can visit at this link: https://moroccodave.bandcamp.com/vip-membership
If you like what I do, if you believe in what I’m trying to achieve, if you want the warm glow that comes from being a patron of an artistic endeavour, just buy me a cup of coffee each month.
And anyway, you’ll be getting a lot back. Straight away, you’ll get my entire back catalogue to download, including lossless format if you want it. I’ll also mail you a CD of “Eighty Days of Rain” (while there’s still stock). You’ll get everything I release from now on for free, forever. And you’ll get into gigs either for free or at a massive discount (I’d love to just promise “free forever”, but it depends on what I can negotiate with the venues). You’ll get all of the work, all of the time. There’ll be other stuff that I’ll invent as I go along, too. Video? Secret gigs? Hands-on sessions? Who knows!
You might be thinking “what difference is three quid going to make, seriously?”
Well, actually, a lot. Do the maths. And you don’t have to stick at £3, anyway; please put more in, by all means. Look at what I can do on a coffee-a-month; now imagine what it’d be like with cake as well…
So how does that sound? Are you with me?