TLC goes to Kickstarter to fund final album

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

TLC explain why they’re seeking $100,000 on Kickstarter to make one last album.

It’s not uncommon for small-time acts to go on Kickstarter looking for funds to record an album, but what happens when established acts ask fans for recording cash?On Sunday, the legendary group’s surviving members Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas launched a Kickstarter to produce an album directly funded by fans. The two remaining members of TLC are giving it a shot and on Monday they unveiled a new Kickstarter project aimed at raising $100,000 to record one final album. “While major labels offer artists multimillion dollar recording and marketing budgets, they don’t often give artists complete control of their own music,” they write. “It is ESSENTIAL that we create our final album completely on our own terms, without any restrictions, with YOU. Doing stuff outside of the box is what TLC does…We did our research, met with the people at Kickstarter – they are brilliant, and they’re excited to work with us.

The R&B group has toyed with the idea of a new album since 2009, but fans have only seen live performances from Chilli and T-Boz as well as best-of albums. We feel very good about this collaboration.” Kickstarter pledges, which at the moment total almost $12,000 of the $150,000 the group is seeking, will provide fans with rewards ranging from handwritten song lists from Thomas and Watkins, dance move video tutorials, movie dates and album listening parties with the duo and a photo shoot And, while Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, who died in 2002 in a tragic car accident, made an appearance on TLC’s last album, “3D,” she likely won’t have a musical presence on this next release. “[Before ‘3D’], Lisa was working on her solo stuff and she wanted to go in a direction that was different from Left Eye with TLC.

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. We feel so blessed to have this opportunity to continue making music, and even more blessed that we get to do it with every single one of you.” So if you’re a TLC fan and you want to hear them make the album they’ve always wanted to make, be sure to check out the Kickstarter page at the source link below. For a $1,000 you can go to the movies with T-Boz, take a personal fitness instructed by Chili for $2,000 or a photoshoot with the ladies for a measly $7,500.

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. This time, though, the group has found newer, more hands-on ways to include fans in the process, from interactive polls that will help determine which songs should be released to a collection of incentives, ranging from VIP tickets to personalized voicemails to classic outfits and memorabilia from the TLC collection.

While there are no specifics yet about an upcoming tour, rumors have persisted for weeks that the ladies will hit the road with New Kids on the Block and Nelly. Despite their success, the group filed for bankruptcy within the same year. “The only people we’ll be talking to and asking their opinion is the fans. TIME spoke with Chilli about the Kickstarter campaign, the group’s ongoing relationship with their fans, the music they’re working on (including a Lady Gaga collaboration) and their hope to further extend the legacy of TLC. 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.

For years, we’ve heard about rumored recordings — everything from producer Dallas Austin, who produced “Creep” and “Unpretty,” to a song with Lady Gaga. 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!

It’s rare that we’ve heard songs that were already put together, that we were like, ‘Okay, that’s great, we’re going to put our own thing on it.’ So we don’t want to mess up that formula. 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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