Great Music, Hard Work and Crowdfunding May Be the Secrets to Success
TORONTO (March 29, 2012) – KC Roberts & the Live Revolution (KCLR), an independent 9-piece funk band from Toronto, has earned more than $26,000 in revenue from their newest record, seven months before its planned release. We have all heard clichés about independent musicians struggling in their pursuit of success, and many of them are true. The traditional avenues to create revenue are open to ever-fewer entrants, and recording and distributing music can be done in a bedroom on a laptop computer. In other words, the competition among independent musicians is fierce, making it a challenge to stand out. Unless, that is, a band creates new ways to thrive.
KCLR’s structure, comprising three horns, three vocals and a rhythm section, is the first sign of an attempt to break the mold. However, the band’s approach to their third LP, Parkdale Funk 2 (SIDES), also known as PDF2 proves that KCLR’s uniqueness is more than skin-deep.
“PDF2 is going to succeed because we think we’ve found a way to surpass the expectations of the typical ‘indie’ band, even though we’re still truly independent,” explains bandleader, KC Roberts. “We are making the impossible possible, without the need for support from a label and with very little press coverage.” What makes Parkdale Funk 2 (SIDES) ‘impossible’ is not only the fact that it will be a 22-song double LP, but also that KCLR will be happy with nothing less than sonic perfection, which means a budget that exceeds the typical ‘indie’ confines. Although the band certainly won’t turn away any wealthy benefactors, they are well on their way to the achievement of their goal simply by relying on their one reliable source of support: music lovers.
On November 1st, 2011, the Parkdale Funk 2 Initiative was launched, providing fans the opportunity to pre-order PDF2 months before its planned release in late 2012. With a wide range of price points (from $20 to $2500) representing an even wider range of incentives, the band raised over $13,000 by the end of November from supporters all over North America. This is already more than the budget of their previous two LPs combined. Their goal, however, was to raise $20,000 and beyond before their January 1st, 2012 deadline. All of the earnings from the Parkdale Funk 2 Initiative is being spent on the creation of PDF2.
“We’re humbled by the support we’ve seen so far, but not surprised,” explains Roberts. “Our music has an impact on people that has created a community of diverse and talented people: from musicians to writers, and from videographers to flag-wavers. We all work together, and if we succeed, we do it as a team.” Further support for the initiative has come from an ongoing series of videos where KCLR covers iconic songs in surprising styles and locations. One video, a funky version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity, features Roberts on guitar and KCLR drummer, Chino de Villa, on pots and pans in a small bathroom. It has attracted over 6,000 views in three weeks. “The whole point of what we’re doing is to create something special for ourselves, our fans, and our city – it’s more than just a record. We can’t do it without lots of help, and we know nobody will be disappointed in the end.”
Perhaps we are moving beyond even the new indie norm of self-funded and self-distributed music. KCLR has built a loving, collaborative following, and is dreaming bigger than ‘indie’ without sacrificing their vision. Before long, maybe Canadian talent won’t need to be discovered by Usher or Lil’ Wayne in order to escape the clutches of ‘indie’ clichés.