***Hello everyone, thank you so much for visiting this page. I really hope you are all safe and healthy during this difficult time. Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, I have lost all of my live gigs indefinitely. As a full-time musician, live gigs have been my main source of income. Therefore, in addition to my pre-existing artistic goal of finishing and releasing my album, this crowdfunding project now also carries a timely financial necessity. I really hope you are healthy and well. Chris.***
READ MORE ABOUT MY PROJECT BELOW...
1. WHO IS LAVA KISS AND WHAT IS SUBMARINE DREAM?
My name is Chris and I have been releasing and performing my own music as Lava Kiss since mid 2019. After wearing myself thin with a previous artistic endeavour, I chose to start all over again with a new name and new mission.
Submarine Dream, a collection of 10 ocean-themed songs, will be the first full length Lava Kiss album. This mellotron-tinged selection will turn your bedroom into an underwater hangout while exploring and celebrating the ocean as well as the many miraculous life forms living within it.
My reflections on our current relationship with the natural world, and the ocean specifically, have motivated me to write some of these songs in a way that I hope will lovingly express our responsibility in caring for the planet we live on, and its life forms.
Some of the songs use sea creatures as metaphors for my own human experiences. Others use the ocean or coast as a setting to express nostalgic or profound realisations in my life. I finally I use a few songs to reflect on the troubling state of the ocean and how our treatment of it and its lifeforms must change.
I am highly moved by the plight of the ocean and it's inhabitants and have drawn great inspiration from them. While this is a music album and not some new protective legislation or plastic reducing invention it is still my hope to bring more attention to the ocean in the way I best know how, through songs.
As Lava Kiss, I have already released a few singles from the up-and-coming album, including:
The sun-soaked "Oceanarium":
"Swordfish" (which topped the SoundCloud's Hot & New: Indie Chart):
The 1960's-flavoured "Octopus":
2. WHAT DOES CREATING AN ALBUM INVOLVE?
Creating and releasing an album involves so much more than just writing new songs. Once the songs are written, I then do arrangements and orchestration as necessary and then rehearse and record all the parts. That's everything from vocals, guitars and bass to piano, keyboards and synths (except for playing the drums, percussion or brass - I employ my talented friends to do that for me!). Once I've got all the parts recorded, I do edits and further arrangement and orchestration. This is followed by an arduous but satisfying stage of mixing and then mastering the records. Alongside the creative process, I am a self-managed artist, meaning I manage all marketing and publishing administration myself, including the artwork, branding and everything else!
All in all, the process of releasing an original album requires a great sum of time and resource. Submarine Dream has been in-the-making for several months now, and I'm asking for your support in order to recoup some of the costs from the work I've already put in, as well as help me get over the last few hurdles leading up to release day.
3. WHEN WILL SUBMARINE DREAM BE RELEASED, AND WHY NOW?
With your help, I plan to release Submarine Dream on the 1st of June, 2020. You can help me by pre-ordering the album through this Crowdfunder page. The reason I'm releasing this album now is that I'm very happy with how the songs are sounding and it's now time to release them into the world for all of you to hear and enjoy.
4. WHAT DO I STILL HAVE TO DO?
I still need to mix and edit five recordings and in addition to this I may look at slightly altering the mixes of the singles already released, where needs be. Once all the mixing, editing and any last recording changes have been completed, I will focus on the running order of the songs and the mastering.
Aside from the music the visual artwork has played a big part in the Lava Kiss journey so far. Generally I design the music artwork myself and then work with a more technically proficient artist to reinterpret the image with their skills and bring it to life. I have a few artists in mind for this this album cover and am excited to get started! Once the artwork is completed for the album, I will produce an A3 sized poster rendition of the artwork and send it to those who have this included in their rewards.
5. WHY IS THIS SO IMPORTANT TO ME?
Writing songs and recording them is my passion and it's when I am happiest. I sometimes feel as though I'm more emotionally articulate within song form. I believe that a song's combination of words and music is able to communicate not only a direct literal message but also an emotional or spiritual essence. I'm always seeking out this essence in my writing, and plan to continue the search as long as I can.
Lava Kiss was born out of a time of transition. These songs have helped me transition from one stage of my creative life to the next and I would love your help in completing the process of releasing them to the world. By completing a creative project I am able to hand it over to the listeners to explore and enjoy. Your engagement with these songs will actualise the value I believe them to have already. Finishing one project also frees me to work on the next one and I've already got that teed up and ready to go!
Finally I'd like to say that for me, like many artists, I find it difficult to ask for my audience to show their appreciation for my work monetarily, however as this is my first voyage into the world of crowd funding, I am actively choosing to shake off that fear (or pride) and trust in my work as well as the generosity of others.
6. HOW MUCH DOES MAKING AN ALBUM COST?
This is unfortunately one of those "how long is a piece of string" questions. I've seen artists set their minimum goal amount on Crowdfunder all over the board, for a project like this. There are so many things to factor in and even after the recordings are done, considerations like marketing, promotion and live support costs seem to have no limit on how high they can get.
The target goal I've set on this page is far below the when I take into account the fact that some of these records started over two years ago. Still, this will be a very helpful start!
I have kept a record of some of the expenses I've paid out in relation to this album so far. Some of them were kept this low because I did something crazy and actually recorded two albums worth of material in one go, this means I have halved what I actually paid out on those items. I was also very lucky to work with some generous friends along the way. As you can imagine it's a difficult and messy thing to calculate, and there are plenty other peripheral expenses, but please see the below figures as my best attempt for the main work on the album:
- Mastering & distribution services 2019/2020: £451.70
- Session musician hire: £125
- Studio hire: £77.50
- Artwork design: £136.33
- Artwork printing/delivery costs for merchandise at gigs: £167.28
- Recording equipment: £100
Total spend so far: £1057.81 - Rounded down for the sake of simplicity: £1000.
More costs will be incurred in completing this project and fulfilling the rewards I've listed such as artwork (design, printing and postage) and other potential expenses like mastering, promotion, music videos, travel, etc.
The resource most heavy consumed by a project like this is time. Through this Crowdfunder campaign (and future campaigns) I hope to allow more and more time to embark on these challenging creative journeys and bring you as much enjoyment as possible in the process.
Therefore, any and all help from you would be tremendously appreciated!
Lots of love,
Chris (Lava Kiss)