Mariachi Ghost get their game faces on. (courtesy Mariachi Ghost)
Interestingly enough our parents have not yet donated and some friends are waiting to see how far we get.
—Jorge Requena, musician
Mariachi Ghost is getting into the fundraising business. Like a lot of local acts, including Matt Epp, Chic Gamine and Cara Luft, the band is using crowd sourced fundraising to help finance its first full-length album.
Founder and lead singer Jorge Requena says having that extra cash will go a long way to helping them make the kind of album they're envisioning. "With complex songs all linked together, a story arc, and a producer who would be able to put everything together was going to cost more money than the funds we would be able to acquire from other sources," he says.
"An Indiegogo campaign gave us a chance to raise the money we needed, while allowing our fans to be an essential part of building this album with us. They can truly tangibly help. And it helps promote the album to people who might not have otherwise known what we do."
It also takes a cut of the profits, ranging from five to seven per cent depending on the agreement the act chooses, and how successful they are in hitting their target.
With so many artists looking to fund their projects, the crowdsourcing space is growing increasingly...crowded. With Mariachi Ghost, Requena realizes he is trying to carve out a unique space in a highly competitive one.
"We are trying our best to show people we do something special by releasing little mini documentaries about our band and showing how it will change our lives when people help. We are willing to work hard to get funded."
The band is in the midst of a campaign to raise $10,000 by July 20, 2013. And they got off to a strong start, raising 20 per cent of that target in three days. Since then, things have slowed down, and funds are at just over $3000.
But Requena says the band is experiencing generosity in other forms. "We've had fans get behind us and offer things other than money. One fan, a videographer, made his own video to promote our campaign. Another fan, a professional artist, donated a painting worth $1000."
When he talks about the people who've already made donations, Requena seems a little humbled. "We'd like to thank all of our loyal fans who have donated to this project. And it's also thrilling to see some new fans, especially from other countries. We're just starting to receive donations from Mexico, and also had someone donate from Berlin," he says.
"Interestingly enough, our parents have not yet donated and some friends are waiting to see how far we get. We are truly running on the power of what we are creating. If our pitch is not good enough we will soon find out."
Mariachi Ghost's Indiegogo campaign continues until July 20, 2013. The band plays the Jazz Winnipeg Festival June 14th at 10:10 pm at Old Market Square.