Speaking of her upcoming album on her Pledge page, indie songstress Leticia Wolf says to her fans, “This will be the truest, most beautiful work of my life thus far, and I want you here with me in its creation.” In the following interview and the video (above), Wolf tells us about her new approach to making music, as well as how she’s integrated PledgeMusic and Artist Growth to make it happen.
You said this is a project you’ve wanted to put out for a while. Why wait until now for songs like these compared to other styles you’ve already recorded?
Honestly, this is the first time it’s truly up to me! I’ve always been into indie, alternative, whatever you want to call the music that makes you think and has some grit and edge. However, for many reasons including marketability, my demographics, availability of players, etc., I was always pushed toward a more polished sound. Now that I’m doing a record for my fans with my fans involved in choosing songs for the record, I’m finding that my fans agree and want the more challenging material! I’m using more metaphor, rather than storytelling, and I’m plugging in the guitar – oh my!
You’re working with Patrick Damphier. I’d love to hear more about your partnership with him and how you first met.
I first heard Patrick’s work in the early 2000s on a record he did for a band called LX. I was crazy about that record – not necessarily because of the content, but because he had made it sound exactly like the band sounded live, but better. Not only that, it sounded just how they wanted it to sound.
Years later, in this position I’m in now, that talent is paramount. I needed someone who could produce not what the majority wanted, but what my fans and I wanted. So, I face-booked him! Ahhh … technology. A week later we were having lunch and he was in. I’m very excited. He’s got an incredible ear, and he plays all instruments, so if a track is missing something, he can jump in there and play it without having to call someone else.
I know you use both Artist Growth and PledgeMusic. Would you tell us a little about how both sites have worked together for you?
The pre-production for this record is unlike anything I’ve ever done, or seen done for that matter, and I couldn’t do it without the seamless platform that PledgeMusic has given me. I started my campaign with <I>no songs</I> written. As soon as the campaign started, I began writing songs and posting them on my Pledge wall for my Pledgers to critique, download and discuss.
These sites have been working together for me since day one, when Artist Growth suggested I use PledgeMusic to raise the funds for my record. What a perfect marriage that was! PledgeMusic has allowed me an intimacy with my fans during the writing process that I’ve never had before, and Artist Growth supports my pre-production process with their Action Packs that help guide me through the steps of album development, refinement, promotion and release.
How does each site add to what you’re doing on the other?
These two sites work together so beautifully you would think they were designed with the other in mind! As an artist, my mind is not usually centered on the business, so it’s hard to be about the business and create art at the same time. Artist Growth is the platform I use to organize the business side. They keep me focused, informed and on a schedule.
Their Action Packs remind me to email radio stations, consider bridges of songs, ask for art proofs … I mean … everything a guy in a suit from a label would be doing or asking me to do, but without the bad cologne. <I>And</I> everything the Action Pack asks me to do makes sense! So as I’m raising money with PledgeMusic, working that timeline, Artist Growth is guiding me through the business side of the process. The usefulness of these two applications has exceeded my expectations. I’m really so thrilled!
We love the descriptions for the Pledge exclusives (i.e. The True Bro, The Friendo, The Co-Conspirator). Was it fun for you to put the campaign together?
By day, I am a creative director at my job, so coming up with “content” is something I do naturally. It was really easy, and the Pledge platform is so user friendly. I was really pleasantly surprised. I gave all of the exclusives titles because I wanted to immediately make the Pledger feel that they were selecting more than merchandise, but also a title and a place on the team!
One of your exclusives is to write a song for a fan and include it on the album. That seems a bit risky, does it not?
I don’t feel that way. I’m looking for new, exciting ways to involve fans, but also to demonstrate what I’ve mastered over many years – the art of crafting something that is beautiful, poignant and speaks to a theme, while incorporating any subject matter. I’m confident it will be no problem, and not only that, but I know it will be a lot of fun to have that one-on-one with a fan. I’m really hopeful that someone selects that. I’d love to see it happen. I think it would only make the record even closer to what I want it to be – a gift given between myself and my fans.
You have two charities listed. What made you decide to support both?
I am personally connected to both, so I couldn’t choose between them. I will personally match whatever money is raised by this campaign for my charities so that I can give to both. That’s the plan! I work for a green company, so sustainability is very important to me. That’s why I chose global green. The other charity focuses on supplying clean drinking water to parts of the world that do not have access to it. The fact that children die because they don’t have access to clean water enters my mind every time I hear the decadent gush of my faucet. Everyone deserves that kind of access. Drop in the Bucket works hard to make it happen.