The music industry has gone through some dramatic changes in the past 10 years with the advent of the Internet offering new ways of getting songs to fans.
With record companies dwindling and diversifying, it’s arguably easier for bands and their followers to communicate direct through social media.
Such is the view of Hi Tide, a band which is taking an intriguing route to making its new album: crowdfunding.
We caught up with Sean Hennings, who explained what it’s all about.
“We are using a platform called Pledge Music to help us raise necessary funds,” says Hennings.
“They are a very musician friendly company and gave us great advice and guidance in setting up the campaign.”
“Although this is new to us, crowd/fan funding has been around for quite some time helping many independent artist get their recordings out to fans. Many big artists use this concept to fund their projects also. Two that pop to mind are David Sanborn and Ok Go.”
The idea is that in return for a pledge of funds, fans can access special rewards. The funds are only taken when the campaign reaches its target – in this case, enough to record and produce a new album, “Hi Tide 5.”
“There are many rewards in return for pledges,” confirms the Caymanian.
“Starting from the smallest which is $10 for a download of the album, we have the new physical CD, a collection of our CDs, our DVD, recordings of cover songs of the pledgers choice, original artwork of the band, live performances and other goodies too.”
So is this the way forward for independent bands?
“I do believe so, with major labels becoming less and less every day, and so many successful independent artists now doing their own thing I see crowd/fan funding as the way forward for sure. It is a good concept because if the goal amount isn’t reached, no one would be charged for their pledge and no one loses their money.
“And if the goal is reached the artist must stand behind their rewards promised by pledgers or end up losing the most important part of what makes them successful. Their fans.”
As for the final result, it is mooted to be a full-length album with 10 new original compositions by Hi Tide, says Hennings.
“As always, it will be a melting pot of sound capturing the many influences that we have somehow weaved into our own Cayman style. As described by a fan and friend of the band, ‘An explosion of soothing pop sounds with a tropical twist.’
“This is our fifth album of originals but will be our 12th release, and as with all the previous 11, we will have two of Cayman’s finest joining us in the studio to capture the tracks live: Jonathan Ebanks on guitar and Bugs Wilson on bass.
“We are still in the process of organizing horn players, background vocalists and a string section all out of Miami so we do not have those names as yet. Well one actually, sax man Paul Messina. And he will be writing all of the horn and string parts,” Hennings explains.
So how can people get involved with making all this happen?
“We appreciate any pledge no matter how big or small and one thing we promise; This is going to be our best work yet!
“Just visit www.HiTideMusic.com and the link is there on the home page to leave a pledge.”