TLC Announce Final Album (And Kickstarter Campaign)

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

TLC Announces Final Album, Funded Entirely By Fans.

The Grammy-winning RnB group, consisting of Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas, are depending on their fans to fund the release of their fifth and last album through the Kickstarter campaign. “We’ve always been known to do things differently,” said T-Boz, 44. “We’ve always been trailblazers and trendsetters.Save for their greatest hits compilation 20, which was released in 2013, ’90s R&B stars TLC haven’t dropped an album since 2002’s 3D, which came just seven months after the tragic death of member Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes. Rozonda Thomas and Tionne Watkins announced on Monday (Jan. 19) that they will crowd-fund their final effort with a goal of $150,000 in order to keep creative control over their music. Despite enjoying their work with LA Reid on “Meant To Be,” a song featured on their 2013 biopic “CrazySexyCool,” the ladies want to ditch the record execs on their final album, explaining the concept on their Kickstarter: “While major labels offer artists multimillion dollar recording and marketing budgets, they don’t often give artists complete control of their own music,” they wrote. “It is ESSENTIAL that we create our final album completely on our own terms, without any restrictions, with YOU.” Chilli and T-Boz plan to keep the spirit of late bandmate Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, who died in 2002, in their music, saying, “That will never change.” As for the sound, the singers say it will be entirely their own: “Always confronting the real issues and life experiences that we all must face every single day, everywhere.

The group has officially launched a Kickstarter for one last record today, Jan. 19, a decision that TLC stress was brought about solely due to popular demand. While pledges start at $5, higher fan contributions will get you things like a custom TLC voicemail, signed vinyl, an exercise class with Chilli and even clothing from their vintage videos. Although acquiring funding without the backing of a major record label might seem risky from afar — or perhaps just a worrying reflection of the band’s current financial status — TLC feels that the crowd-sourcing move is the natural next step in response to the current state of the music industry. No matter the trends, we feel like our music is always relevant.” Fans who donate $15 or more to the project will get the album when it’s complete.

YOU will vote on your favorite, and the track with the most votes will be included on the album!!” The two are looking to enlist their key members from their original hit making team for the album, including singer/songwriter turned reality star Kandi Burruss. We want to bring our fans into the process and see how it’s done.” “We could knock out two birds with one stone,” the 43-year-old continued. “We can have them involved in our album. Fifteen years ago, TLC was one of the first major musical acts to partner with MP3.com to distribute a new song (“I Need That”) while promoting their 1999 FanMail Tour, back when the idea of a digital download was a curiosity at best. Fan participation is an established move for them, too: Inside the liner notes of the tour’s namesake record, FanMail, are the names of hundreds of fans who’d submitted fan letters to the group over the years.

Higher pledges will include VIP concert tickets, a recorded custom voicemail by T-Boz and Chilli, an in-person fitness class taught by Chilli and wardrobe pieces worn by TLC during their music videos. We love performing, so it’s not like somebody’s dragging us out, like ‘Come on and do this!’ and we didn’t want to do it! [laughs] We really want to do it, but they put the icing on top by wanting it from us. On FanMail, we had thousands of fans’ names inside the CD jacket, we dedicated the whole album to our fans, so this is not new to us — at least the fan involvement part.

Working with Kickstarter and all of the wonderful things that they’ve done, and their excitement [about] wanting to work with us — you definitely don’t want to work with someone who’s not excited about your project because they’re not going to put their heart, sweat and soul into it like we’re going to do. So to kind of narrow it down, we’ll take a poll and have 5 songs, and if the majority chooses Song 3, that’ll be the song that we choose — that they chose — to do a remix.

It feels more natural to go this way, especially at this point in our career and the way everything is digitally, and how you’re able to connect with your fans a lot easier because of social media. He was like, “Count me in!” You know, when we did the last album, 3D, during the time that she did pass away, the song “Girl Talk” was the only one that her rap was current — she did the rap specifically for that song. For years, we’ve heard about rumored recordings — everything from producer Dallas Austin, who produced “Creep” and “Unpretty,” to a song with Lady Gaga. Like when the movie came out and people saw how Lil Mama did portraying our sister, the diehard TLC fans, they fell in love with her for doing such a good job.

It’s funny because when she first met Tionne [T-Boz], she started crying, and Tionne’s daughter [Chase] was with her — you know, our kids are so used to us, we’re like moms. So when Chase saw Lady Gaga, who she loved so much, crying over her mom, she went, ‘Wow, my mom is really cool!’ [Laughs] That was such a neat moment. And to hear [Gaga] say that our song ‘Waterfalls’ really helped her to be more confident about herself — both of us aren’t the norm, and that’s great! If the stars are aligned later and it makes sense to do anther one, we can say, “Hey, we decided to make one more.” But now it feels like the final album.

For instance, I know for a fact that if Michael Jackson — who happens to be my husband, he’s my baby — if I could say I helped him pick out that jacket in “Thriller,” I mean come on, that would be crazy. Not that they don’t do great music with other people too, because they do, but something is just a little bit more special about that collaboration between those three.

You know, it would have to be two songs actually: “Unpretty,” mainly because young girls are always going to have those self-esteem issues, unfortunately. And I think for a little while, we had it under control because no guys in America wanted to ride on the passenger side and talk to a girl. [laughs] They’d rather ride in the backseat.

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