Monday, 14 October 2013 10:07

Jon McLaughlin Navigates the World of Crowdfunding for Latest Release

Written by  Madeline McMahon
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Jon McLaughlin Jon McLaughlin Courtesy photo

Jon McLaughlin
The Intersection, Grand Rapids
Oct. 18, 7 p.m.
$12 advance, $14 day of show, (616) 451-8232

For his latest album, Holding My Breath, singer-songwriter and pianist Jon McLaughlin signed a campaign with PledgeMusic. A crowdfunding source similar to Kickstarter or Indiegogo, PledgeMusic is strictly for musicians with notable users such as The Lumineers, Luke Bryan and Gang of Four.

But before signing with Pledge, McLaughlin solidified himself as a working musician, by selling more than 170,000 albums and more than one million digital tracks. With McLaughlin's past success, what was his reasoning for signing up?

It was his management team that had the idea to sign with PledgeMusic, thinking it would help the musician reach out to more fans. McLaughlin, on the other hand, wanted to play it safe, as it was a "new territory and a new model" that he hadn't attempted before.

"I have really loved the process. It has been a really great way to engage the fans and give them more; give them a different/more personalized experience," McLaughlin said.

In the long run, signing with PledgeMusic payed off. McLaughlin had 1,444 pledges and exceeded his goal by nine percent.

"I was ecstatic to find this out," McLaughlin said. "It's a really cool thing, and I'm grateful for all of the people who came out of the woodwork to produce this album."

The finished product, Holding My Breath, is based on suspense, which McLaughlin puts as "kind of like holding your breath before the record sees the light of day."

Since its release on Sept. 24, Holding My Breath has yielded three singles: "Doesn't Mean Goodbye," "Imaginary Tea" and "Broken Hearted." McLaughlin said "Imaginary Tea" was one of his favorite songs to write because it is about his daughter.

On Oct. 18, McLaughlin travels to The Intersection to perform a set of stripped-down songs.

"This tour doesn't feel like other tours I have had," he said. "This one is more dynamic and brings out the happiness of the fans and myself. Grand Rapids is our last stop, so by then we will have the show perfected."


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