Interview: Lindsey

Jan 21 2010

British based singer songwriter Lindsey came up with an innovative way of funding her independent debut album 'This Is Lindsey'. By pioneering her 'Pick an Orange Project' she allowed fans to invest in the making of the album in return for a percentage of her profits. Each 'virtual orange' represented one song on the album and fans bought segments of the orange for £100 each, raising over £12k in just 5 months. With this stunning album now released, LTTM found out the intriguing story behind it all.

You funded your debut album in a very innovative way, how did you come up with the idea of the 'Pick an Orange Project'?

I had been to some major labels and they had asked me to write my breakthrough single and come back. At the end of a few months of writing a load more songs I had quite a lot to choose from and realised I could easily put an album together with the material I had. Everyone was talking about how the record companies were falling apart and with all the new movements with downloads and how much easier it became to release you material to the world via the internet, I just figured I'd have a go at doing it myself rather than going back to the majors. The only problem was money!!! So my husband and I got chatting about it one day and came up with this idea of getting investors. It kind of developed from there over a couple of days of chatting in to the project as it stands, calling each song an 'orange' and selling 'segments' of the 'orange'.

How did you manage to get enough people to invest in the project - was there a lot of hard work involved in promoting it?

When we came up with the idea we were really excited and thought we were on to something, however, as it got nearer to launching the project the whole talk of the 'credit crunch' started hitting the news and that did worry us slightly. We were aiming the project at average people, not millionaire high flyers and I wasn't totally sure how people would now be feeling about putting their money in to something as risky as music!

However, we launched in October 2008 at Parr Street Studios with a little party and gig and soon after then money started dropping in.

I'd put acoustic versions of the 12 songs up on YouTube where people could choose which track they wanted to invest in, then on my website they filled in a form and posted off the cheque. At first it was family and friends all chipping in the odd £100 and then it snowballed as people started to find out about it. I did no national press or anything, it was all word of mouth and internet based. Strangers started investing having heard the tracks on line. The most amazing day was when the post came and there was a cheque for £2000 from someone I'd never met before. Just amazing. And it was also really encouraging to know my music was touching people enough to want to give their money too! Especially when I had constantly communicated that this was a total risk and not a financially sound investment!
I think I realised people invest in you as a person more than they did about wanting money back. So I gave as much of myself as I could, constantly sending emails, videoing blogs and letting them in to the whole process. People seemed to love the personal touch and feeling they were part of something.

Tell us a little bit about your debut album and what the inspiration behind it was?

I called the album 'This is Lindsey' because I feel each song is like a snippet of my life and what I've been through and seen the past few years while I've been writing all these songs. Whenever I see hurt it honestly hurts me. I cant explain it. But I think thats part of my gifting, that I soak up other peoples hurt and this motivates me to write about it. So I guess my inspiration is people, human kind. And calling it This is Lindsey just kind sums up that this is me and what I think of the world right now.

Which is your favourite track off your new album and why?

Probably Start a War. It was one of the last tracks I wrote for the album. I think it reflects where I'd like to go with the next album musically (always thinking ahead!) I started getting in to Snow Patrol at the time and I think you can hear that in the tune. The song started off lyrically as a story about an argument, or war, between a couple. Then one day I just changed the ending and just ranted about all that I felt was wrong with the world, making it about war on a larger scale and me taking on the world. That's why I like the song so much, its a bit of a spew up of emotions, not necessarily making much sense but yet making all the sense in the world.

What's your song writing process?

I don't like to make music just because I can. I like to make it with a purpose. I like to sit down only when I have something on my heart to say. I'm not one of these writers who can just write at the drop of the hat, I find that very difficult.

The process changes form person to person that I co-write with. Sometimes I'll take a topic in with me or a melody. Sometimes they will come in with a chord progression and it will trigger off an emotion in me that I sing a melody over. I quite often put lyrics on later though as I find that a very personal thing. There is only one songwriter I write my lyrics with, Si Parkin, and that is because I feel he totally gets where I'm coming from emotionally. But those kind of partnerships are rare I think.

If you could work with any song writer, who would it be and why?

Ryan Tedder is a bit of a genius right now in pop and I love some of his melodies and the way he takes risks musically. Then there is Gary Barlow. What pop singer wouldn't want to work with him?

Having successfully funded your debut album in this way, have you considered how you will approach your next album? Will you seek investors again, or go down the more conventional route of finding a record label?

My next album totally depends on the next 12 months. I want to give this album its time. I made it so I could get on to the next step of the ladder. I want to give it the opportunity to do that for me first. I don't feel right now I'd be in any position to say what I would do with my next album. Potentially release it on my label TLC Music again, but who knows.

You're stuck on an island, it's hot, you only have enough battery life left to listen to one song on your mp3 player. What track is it?

At the moment probably 'Fall For Anything' by the Script. I just wish I wrote this song. I just love the idea of 'you better stand for something or you'll fall for anything', its just so true. And I think while you're lying in the sun not knowing when you'll get off this island, the song would keep me really motivated to know what I wanted to do when I finally got rescued! It would help me to not loose my drive.

What does the next year hold for Lindsey?

I'm going out to the US in March to showcase at the SXSW Festival. I'm very excited about that and about meeting with some cool people in the US and seeing what opportunities could pop up there. I'm currently planning my very own UK tour for later in the year which is exciting. And of course continue to write. I have learnt to work hard, pray hard and then roll with what comes.

To find out more about Lindsey or to buy her debut album, visit: www.thisislindsey.com

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