Last week, indie musician, Kitty, took to crowdfunding platform Kickstarter with a mission to raise funds for her first “Big-Girl” record.
According to the 22-year-old, her first music video “Okay Cupid” went viral in 2012 when she was living in Dayton Beach, Florida. After that, she created a few more songs in her closet and was able to move to New York City to pursue her music career. Since then, she has self-released four solo EPs, more music videos, some mixtapes, and singles. She has also had the opportunity to tour and collaborate with various artists including Danny Brown, Riff Raff, The Ready Set, Anamanaguchi, Sufjan Stevens, Ryan Hemsworth, and LE1F.
Noting details about her new project, Kitty shared:
“This record has been in the works for a couple years and it tells a story of growing up in a tropical tourist trap and wandering around the country. I’ve written everything myself, and I’m collaborating with some of my favorite artists to create sounds that set my stories in the fun, beautiful world I’ve dreamed up around it. This funding will provide professional studio time, mixing and mastering, and a budget for visuals. It will also go towards production and distribution of CDs and 12 vinyl records, and to finally support a member of Team Kitty who has worked tirelessly with me on every single project for absolutely no pay. I plan on releasing the record in January of 2016.”
Recently, she wrote an article for MTV to discuss how she is “diying” the album:
“When I was a teenager, I spent a lot of time in my closet. It sounds strange (I know) but I wasn’t doing anything THAT creepy — I was writing a bunch of weird rap songs on my MacBook. I never considered myself a ‘real’ musician, and I couldn’t have imagined where my music would end up taking me. Most of all, I NEVER thought I’d be a part of the music industry — and I was right. Kind of.
“I’ve never been signed to a major label, and I’m definitely not selling out huge arenas — but I DID raise $25,000 in just a little over a day to fund my next record with help from my amazing fans. And even if you’re like me, making music in a closet somewhere in Florida or Sweden or the middle of nowhere, you can do the same thing, too.”
Revealing how she meets fans and handles criticism, Kitty stated:
“Making music in isolation doesn’t make me special. Almost every artist, “successful” or not, discovered their passion this way: chilling, studying, experimenting and creating. What’s unique to me, as a musician in 2015, is the freedom of the platform I’ve been given to share my art: the Internet.
“It’s hard to explain why my first video, ‘Okay Cupid,’ took off back in 2012. After all these years, my only explanation is that my first songs were really weird, really personal and really different from other music that was popular at the time. The response to the video was shocking for me — I’ve always been a very open person, especially online, but it was overwhelming to suddenly open myself up to such a huge audience. I tried to handle everything the best I could while staying true to myself, and would go to my mom for support when things got crazy. She’d give me the same advice she’s given me since I was little: be myself, be thankful, treat everyone with respect and don’t let anyone dull my sparkle.
“These wise words from Mom apply to pretty much anyone. If you’re pouring your heart into your music, it doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing. In the long run, making something you believe in will always be more fulfilling and successful than trying to follow a trend. But when other people recognize your art for what it is, it’s so important to be grateful for their support and, to an extent, their criticism.”
In regards to why she went with Kickstarter, Kitty added:
“I decided to use Kickstarter to fund my new record because after making four records with no budget and releasing them on my own for free, I want to finally be able to pour resources into making a project as cool as I possibly can. In the past, my own budget limitations have kept a lot of things out of reach — things like studio time and making physical records. Instead of trying to convince a company to give me money to make something that fits their vision, I’ve decided to invite my fans to instead support a project that excites them.
“I was inspired to do this by the successful campaigns of other artists I admire. I’ve watched De La Soul, a group I’ve loved since childhood, and Anamanaguchi, who are some of the most talented people on Earth, create amazing things with only the financial support of the people who love them. After a long and frustrating year of trying to figure out how to realize all the ideas I had, I decided that maybe I could do the same thing.
“I’m not very good at accepting failure, so after a very long and careful process of budgeting what I’d need, I came up with an amount to ask for that would definitely be enough to make my record. I figured out ways I could reward people for their pledges, and asked everyone I could for suggestions on how to make my project worth supporting. Finally, after months of anxiously planning, I shared the project with everyone I could, with a message about how much their support would mean to me.
“These steps ended up being what made my project successful. Every little bit of planning has paid off, and now that my goal has been met and I start work toward my next goal of funding my first headlining tour, I’m glad I was super thorough (for once).
“My greatest advice I can give on making a project like this successful is to make sure you plan out every detail. When you’re passionate, organized, driven and grateful, people who believe in you will be happy to help you make your dream come true. You can’t expect anyone to have faith in something unless you can show them why they should — and mean it.”
Kitty’s campaign is set to close mid-September.
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