Who is this Jonny Gowow?
Jonny is the moniker I've given to my creative ego. I grew up in the hills and farms just north of Nashville, and began the study of music at an early age. It was during my late teens that I discovered that I had a message to deliver through music - and it was a message that was a little too queer for the music industry of Nashville. Since then I've played honkey-tonks, dive bars, burlesque shows, blues clubs, gay bars, weddings and even funerals - and now I am performing directly for you, the fans. I thank you all for listening and watching - and now it's time for me to ask you to contribute a little bit to keep the music coming.
Why is Jonny asking for money?
The short answer to that question is this: producing music is expensive, and I want to keep doing it for you. But let me break it down:
- Music takes time: we all know that time is money, and all well-crafted art takes time to germinate and be nurtured. I take time out of every day to sit down and work on perfecting at least one song or piece of music. Those who appreciate my music and the thought I put into it are paying me for that time, and for that I can't thank them enough.
- Music takes money: quality production is something I value, and something I want to deliver in my music - and production costs a lot of money. A small studio in Nashville will charge a songwriter $650 to record one song - and that's just a demo version. Personally I have opted to build my own studio, which will be cheaper in the long run - but the equipment is still very, very expensive. Your contributions will cover those costs and increase the production value of my music.
What does my patronage support?
- Monthly expenses: these include video production, mixing fees, mastering fees, the rates my musicians charge to record, etc. These are currently accrued in the making of our Nashville Studio Tour web series, that features performances and productions in many of Nashville's independent studios.
- Equipment: this is where things get really pricey: microphones, cameras, pre-amps, tripods, virtual instruments, lenses, patch cables, mic cables, audio interfaces, drum sticks, guitar strings, keyboards, pens, notebooks, manuscript paper - this list is really endless, but you get the idea.
- Live performances: people may not be aware of all the expenses that go into live performances, but there are a lot. The major expense is time: rehearsal time, practice time, buying the time at the venue, etc. When it comes to touring, so we can come to those of you not situated in the Nashville area, there are van rental fees, hotel rates, per diems (a daily allowance to everyone on the tour for food, drink and personal expenses), gas, toll roads (hello New York!) and a host of other expenses that pop up on the road. Help us bring the performances to you - I promise, you won't regret it.
Why doesn't Jonny just sign a record contract?
This is a fair question, because hypothetically a record label would cover all these expenses and allow me to produce and perform my music without spending my own money. There is a threefold answer to this little bugger:
- Record contracts don't grow on trees: they may be made of paper, but they're not very easy to come by. Inborn talent and years of practice make a great musician - but luck and bumping into the right people are what recording contracts are made of.
- Record contracts aren't free: the record label that signs an artist is not just handing money over for the artist to produce and tour their music - they are giving you a loan, with lots of strings, and you will have to pay that loan back.
- Record contracts bind the artist to a specific image: this is the most important reason artists should avoid record contracts if they want to produce freely. A record label is not interested in music that critiques society, delves into the human condition, or challenges the status quo; a record label wants commercially viable songs that ultimately make the record label a lot of money. But my goal with music is much bigger than making money. I will live and die satisfied if my music is enjoyed by the few who truly understand and appreciate it, and I wouldn't trade that satisfaction for all the screaming teenage fans in the world. You are my fans - that is enough.
So...why should I patronize this loon?
Well, because you love music. I'm here to create for you, and I'd appreciate a little something in return. Anything you give is helpful - be it a dollar, a like or a share - but the more you and others can contribute to me, the more I can produce for you.