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Jo Dee Messina’s Kickstarter Campaign Puts the Music in the Fans’ Hands —- A CMTT Exclusive Interview

Jo Dee Messina

Jo Dee Messina

Singer/songwriter Jo Dee Messina broke out onto the music scene in 1996 and never looked back. She has won several CMA and ACM awards and has garnered nine number one hits. She is now doing something totally new with her “My Time. Our Music.” campaign. Jo Dee is using Kickstarter to create a one of a kind album with the help of her fans. Jo Dee’s backers will be involved with the making of the album every step of the way and by doing so will be rewarded with exclusive content and one of a kind opportunities. The goal Jo Dee has set is $100,000 and this will fund musicians, studio time and all that goes into making an album. The whole project is a unique opportunity for Jo Dee to be creative and for the fans to be completely hands on. Recently CMTT got a chance to talk to Jo Dee about this new chapter in her career. She told us about why she wanted to try this, her obstacles and what she is most excited about regarding this campaign.

CMTT:  What made you want to make an album using Kickstarter?
Jo Dee Messina: I was on a major label my whole career and I decided I wanted a chance to do something fun with the fans. Someone introduced me to it and I liked the idea. People can back the record, but they get something for it like an early download, crazy things like getting to sing on my record, or me and my husband coming over to cook dinner for someone. It is kind of why I went this route. I thought it would be cool to do together with the fans, and for them to get some really unique stuff.

CMTT: How exactly does Kickstarter work?
Jo Dee Messina: You can go can to my Facebook page or www.jodeemesinna.com for links to all the details. What you will see is all the tiers that are available to purchase. There are all different levels. Then you make your donation/buy your prize. It is important to note that if we don’t meet our goal your credit card does not get charged. It is an all or nothing thing. Everything that is made goes directly to the record.

CMTT: Since you have announced this campaign, what has the reaction been from the fans?
Jo Dee Messina:  The fans have been really excited. However, some people don’t understand what Kickstarter is and think I am just asking for money and that is NOT it at all. You are a backer and you do donate, but you get things in return (like a tour of my tour bus, me writing a lullaby for your child or other various options). There are all of these things that give fans backstage access. Not everyone understands. If you go to Kickstarter and read the page you will see what it is all about. There are naysayers, and that is the only troublesome part.

CMTT: What are your fans craving to hear from you this time that you think they haven’t heard on your past albums?
Jo Dee Messina: We are doing all kind of stuff. There is a bluegrass tune on there, a rock song…the fans get to pick the songs. We did a Stage It concert and we played a bunch of songs we were considering for the album and asked the fans to give us their feedback and see what ones they would like to see on the record. We have been running things by the fans so they are a part of making the whole project.

CMTT: Have you written all the songs that will be on the album?
Jo Dee Messina:  I did not write all of them, but I have been doing a ton of writing.

CMTT: Are the fans also involved in the album art?
Jo Dee Messina:  We are going to pick some people who want to do the album art and put them online for people to vote. It is cool because it gives an artist who has wanted to break into the industry an opportunity to have their work on a record.

CMTT: Will fans be naming the album?
Jo Dee Messina:  No, I am going to pick the name…the fans get everything else!

CMTT: With such a hugely successful career, did it feel scary to step out away from the label to do something so completely different?
Jo Dee Messina:  Yes it is. When you do something different and people don’t understand it is rough.

CMTT: If you reach your goal when will the album come out?
Jo Dee Messina: In September, and the single comes out in June

CMTT: What excites you most about this project?
Jo Dee Messina: Just getting new music out there. I am so stoked about new music. We have been getting such a great response with these songs in our live shows.

CMTT: What do you want fans to know most about you and this project?
Jo Dee Messina:  I love what I do and feel blessed to be able to do it.

Jo Dee’s “My Time. Our Music.” campaign started on May 24th and she has 30 days from the start to reach her goal. The best way to get really informed about this project and to see how you can be involved is to visit http://www.jodeemessina.com/splash/ and click on “go to our time our music.” This will take you to the Kickstarter project page. You can also keep up with Jo Dee on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/jodeemessina.

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