TLC using Kickstarter campaign to fund final album

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

TLC Announces Final Album, Funded Entirely By Fans.

Thomas chatted with Billboard and said, “The only people we’ll be talking to and asking their opinions is the 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. The famously financially strapped trio-turned-duo has turned to Kickstarter to fund its next and, it says, final LP, claiming it wants to “do it on [its] own, be creative, think outside the box,” and “be free to do what [it] really wants to do.” That presumably excludes them from the major label system, something that’s perhaps a little surprising considering the group’s fan base remains fairly strong. 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. 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. For $15, Kickstarter donors can secure a digital download of the album when it comes out, and for $50 donors get access to a digital dance moves tutorial to learn to do the “Waterfalls” shuffle or whatever. $2,000 donors get to work out with Chilli in Atlanta, protein smoothies and all, and $5,000 donors can choose to have a #TLCPillowTalk sleepover with either Chilli or T-Boz, travel and accommodations not included.

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 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. 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. 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.

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. A grand will get you a movie date with them, $2,000 will get you a workout sesh with Chilli, $5,000 will get you a TLC onesie or a slumber party, and the big spender ($7,500) will get a photoshoot with the group. 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. 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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