Crowdfunding: Allison Tartalia – Sweet and Vicious EP (2011)

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Photo by Vicki Blankenship

by Mark Saleski

The phenomenon of crowdfunding is not entirely new, but it appears to be gaining momentum. I first became aware of it a few years ago when jazz artists such as Cuong Vu, Jim Hall, and Maria Schneider created projects through artistShare. The concept is quite simple: the musician needs funding to bring a musical vision to completion, the fan wants to become a part of this process. An intermediary facilitates this connect, where the fan is given exclusive access to the project’s inner workings, with varying “awards” depending on the chosen level of funding.

As the whole major label system morphs into whatever it’s going to be (your guess is as good as mine), crowd funding has stepped in as a new model for making art — involve the fan, push the middle man aside. I like it. There have even been completely independent instances. Folk singer Ellis Paul crowd-funded his last release, raising over $100,000. Jill Sobule met with similar success.

Singer-songwriter Allison Tartalia has become a part of this trend, employing crowdfunding site RocketHub to push her latest EP Sweet and Vicious out to the fans. Allison has finished the recording and is looking to fund the back end of the project, things like publicity costs. With a week to go, Tartalia is about a third of the way toward her goal of $4000. SomethingElse! will keep you posted on her progress. We’ll also be publishing a review of her new EP later this week.

Is crowdfunding the future of artist development? It’s hard to say. Our goal is to put interesting music into the ears of hungry listeners. If crowdfunding can help, then so be it.

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