When I began raising money for my new record through Kickstarter, I wanted to do something bold – really bold! I decided that if people were going to back my record with no monetary remuneration, that I in turn would help the students of Northrise University (located in Zambia) with the 100% of album sales.
This bold move produced two very different reactions.
In the first group of people, the initial reaction was “wow, that’s awesome!” It fell right into their life-culture path. From their perspective, giving 100% of something is an amazing idea, something they could get behind. While this reaction mainly came from a younger demographic, I felt the reaction, at its core, came from a certain mindset more than a certain life stage.
In the second group of people, the initial reaction was “wow, why wouldn’t you have the confidence to do an album for profit?” For this group, the expected couse of action would begin with the backers of Kickstarter, giving ME 100%. Out of a series of backing perks, I would sell an album as I would normally do, keeping profit for myself. This reaction mainly came from an older demographic. However, I felt that this reaction, like the first, came out of a certain mindset.
The first mindset spurs on action of the people en masse. This mindset motivates a Flash mob, a successful Facebook/Twitter charity campaign, or even the Arab Spring. Those who operate out of this mindset believe that revolution can happen, if enough people decide it is time. These people have the confidence that a large group of people can pay something forward. The joy, hope, and positive monetary return will be a justified means and be, in and of itself, a return on investment.
The second mindset is more guarded, seeing that return on investment comes out of dollars spent, yielding those same elements – joy, hope, and positive monetary return. The difficulty in understanding true altruism can be resolved simply – true altruism itself is unobtainable, even in this sense. After explaining to the second camp that I fully intended to challenge the way musicians view business side of record sales, this group was won over too (most of them anyway).
In order to tackle this issue head on, these two camps needed to talk, understand each other, and work together. This same process will enable tackling future issues of this same kind. In order to change the course of a river, a rock needs to be throw into the middle and force that change. I wanted to be bold, and when you’re bold, you face criticism – lots of it. But, then again, I suppose that’s the point.
What about you? What can you do? 100%?
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This guest post was written by Robert Payne. Robert has been playing guitar for over 20 years. He is a graduate of Grand Canyon University where he holds two bachelors degrees: Theory and Composition and Guitar Performance. Robert works for North Phoenix Baptist Church as a staff arranger, composer, film producer, worship leader and guitarist. He also moonlights as a music producer, composer and lecturer. You can read his insights into music on his blog and you can follow his daily moves on Twitter.