Canadian musician Amanda Zelina, known by her stagename The Coppertone, is using crowdfunding to buy back rights to her music from her former record label. Titling the campaign "Help Free The Coppertone," Zelina frames it in terms of a personal commitment to integrity and the call to "Claim Yourself." Zelina's campaign is also symbolic of the power of crowdfunding to help musicians take control of their careers with the support of their fans.
In her pitch video, campaign introduction and email to supporters, Amanda Zelina briefly states that she worked really hard on her craft for many years and then signed an unfair record deal. She says she now realizes she made a mistake and wants to buy the rights to her music so she can move forward with integrity.
FREE THE COPPERTONE - Claim Yourself Pitch Video
The label in question, Dine Alone, is not named and Zelina does not focus on the specifics of what she means by "unfair." Her backstory and needs are quickly clarified on Zelina's campaign page and in her pitch video:
"My name is Amanda Zelina but I am most known under my musical moniker, The Coppertone. I believe in living life with integrity, I believe in standing up for your rights and I believe in being yourself at all costs. A few years back I signed a record contract that was unfair. At the time I signed the contract I had already spent 11 years working passionately on my craft. I sacrificed everything in order to pursue it. I woke up a year ago and decided enough was enough. Even if it meant starting from scratch at 27, admitting I had made a mistake, knowing full well there would be repercussions I decided I would rather move forward with integrity than stay put and be taken advantage of."
"Being a musician with integrity is an uphill battle. It is one that I fight daily, and one that I will continue to fight to my grave."
"I left my record label. In doing so I owe them 20 thousand dollars for ownership of my songs and my freedom to get more music out into the world."
After stating the basics, including the fact that she needs $20,000 to take control of her music, Zelina's campaign pitch quickly turns to her supporters and what they can achieve together as a symbol to others to inspire and enable others.
The video and statement are nice examples of getting to the point, letting supporters know what she needs and why and then focusing on her supporters and what they can accomplish together.
The campaign includes some unique rewards:
$25 - Custom mix CD
That's right this one is for all those old school cats. I am going to make you a custom, one of a kind mix CD filled to the brim with songs, curated from me to you.
$30 - It's a secret
I am adding this one in here for all of you curious/adventurous types. I want to surprise you with something I know you will dig. I myself love surprises and can guarantee you will love this one.
$70 - A day in my life!
A disposable camera filled with images of my life...Behind the scenes, in the studio, chilling at home, out and about, pictures I take and pictures taken of me...Each cameria is one of a kind!
Looks like the CD and secret reward are quite popular but the camera is a nice idea as well if not such a big draw.
Crowdfunding vs. Traditional Music Industry Business Models
It's a nice campaign and noteworthy, in part, because it also touches on the longstanding reality that giving up the rights to one's music is a key feature of traditional music business models.
Buying the rights to her music through crowdfunding makes Amanda Zelina's campaign not just symbolic of following one's dreams but, more specifically, of the ability of crowdfunding to place power in the hands of musicians who've built strong direct ties to their fanbase.
Campaign: Help Free The Coppertone
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.