When aspiring singer and songwriter Emily Kopp decided that she wanted to record a new solo album, she knew that she was going to need some help — financial help. This led the sophomore event management major to Kickstarter.
Kickstarter is the popular, crowd-funding website where people post creative endeavors in order to raise money for an array of projects, ranging from video games and independent films to music concerts.
“I had heard of Kickstarter because it’s big in the arts world, especially among other bands and songwriters,” Kopp said. "I had seen a lot of people have a lot of success as far as funding albums and tours, so I thought it would be the best outlet to be able to get the word out there.”
As far as stepping into a studio and recording music, this is not Kopp’s first rodeo.
Last year, she released a five-song extended play album called Potential, a selection of luminous pop songs about love, appreciation and innocence. Her official music videos for the EP, “How Did We Get Here” and “Potential," reached a combined total of nearly 15,000 views on YouTube.
With those achievements behind her, Kopp’s Kickstarter campaign is her biggest challenge to date, and she hopes those prior achievements will propel her music career to new heights.
Kopp needs to raise at least $12,000 for her full-length album campaign by June 17. Kopp has unnerving feelings about asking people for money, but she said that Kickstarter alleviates some of the discomfort.
“The most difficult part is overcoming the terrible feeling that asking for money gives you,” Kopp said. “It’s a very humbling thing; it’s a very unpleasant thing. But I think Kickstarter provides a classy, socially acceptable way to ask for money because you get a chance to explain what your purpose is.”
To show her appreciation for each pledge donated, Kopp provides rewards to her contributors. Essentially, the more a funder donates, the more Kopp gives back.
Funders can donate as little as $1, which is reciprocated with a “thank you” email, to $10, which is rewarded with a pre-release of the new record via digital download. Donations can be more than $2,000.
With the rallying support of her fans, friends, bandmates and family, Kopp’s dream appears to be coming to fruition. As of this moment, the project is nearly 50 percent funded.
“It’s amazing, the amount of support that she has gotten from people,” Kopp’s mother, Ivy Spiro, said.
Steven Myones, UCF alumnus and friend of Kopp, is equally impressed with Kopp’s progress.
“What Emily has been able to do through Kickstarter is nothing short of inspiring,” Myones said. "The fact that word-of-mouth on this project has spread so quickly is a testament to not only her success as a musician but as a person.”