While Rhianna, Katy Perry and Justin Bieber may still dominate mainstream radio airwaves, local musician Eric Shouse, 37, says it’s a good time to be an independent artist.
Shouse, a Monrovia resident and music director for in Glendora, said he released several albums with former bands under the traditional record label model, with limited success.
Ready to release his first solo album, Shouse is not relying on a record label for backing.
Instead, he’s raising the money for studio time and promotion through Kickstarter.com and social media for exposure.
“The old record label model isn’t working for independent artists,” said Shouse, who cites influences such as Coldplay and Mat Kearney. “Through the Internet and social media, it’s like we’re going back in time when an artist could develop a following through the support of the community.”
Kickstarter, the crowd-funding website, has launched the careers of artists and entrepeneurs. Scott Wilson, a struggling Chicago-based electronics designer placed his TikTok and LunaTik wristbands on Kickstarter after failing to secure a manufacturer. Within weeks, Wilson received $1 million from $13,500 supporters. Apple stores immediately began selling the wristbands.
In 2011, the site also reportedly made $20 million for musician projects. Shouse launched his Kickstarter program for his still untitled debut solo album July 13 and has raised more than half of his goal of $8,000. He has until Aug. 9 to reach his goal.
Other popular websites such as Youtube have also launched the careers of aspiring artists, arguably the most well-known success story would be the tween sensation known as Justin Bieber.
Shouse said he’s confident he’ll raise his goal amount. Shouse, who writes love and relationship songs inspired by his wife of nearly two years, said he believes the Internet is the future of music promotion and distribution.
“I think social media allows fans to be truly involved in the success of their favorite artists,” said Shouse,
Visit Shouse’s Kickstarter campaign page for more information.