What a year it has been!
Most of you know that I lost my father, Kent Carter, to cancer last year. After a few months of mourning – I was inspired to write an album dedicated to him. With that idea in mind, I compiled some of his most favorite gospel hymns and arranged them with a jazz vibe. When we played the program live in my hometown back in October 2013 and received such a positive response, we immediately got in the studio to record this music. The result of this effort is the new album – Songs for My Father. I’m excited to announce the release is just four weeks from today! Here’s a short preview video. (http://youtu.be/-FPQKp-WRqA)
As a thank you – you can download my dad’s favorite hymn, THE OLD RUGGED CROSS, instantly. You will be able to download the rest of the album on the release day – August 26, 2014.
This will help me out immensely. Let me tell you why…
If Songs for My Father were a movie, the next four weeks would be its extended opening weekend.
Following in the footsteps of other independent artists who I greatly admire, I am attempting to top the iTunes Jazz charts without the help of a publicist or a great (and costly) PR campaign.
iTunes is the dominant player in retail music. The top of the charts in any genre is normally occupied by artists with major resources behind them. Landing there means a few things:
1. It sends a signal that lots of people like this music. That alone might provide currency with agents, promoters or labels in the future.
2. More people will discover the music. We love Top 10 lists and tend to favor what’s at the top more than the bottom. This is much better publicity than a write-up on a jazz blog.
3. Because it would make my Dad proud.
Also, it would be fun to knock one of the jazz legends out of the Top 10 for just one day.
Financially, this might not be the best decision. I’d recoup far more of my investment selling the album directly on my website and/or at shows (I net only $4.50 per album after iTunes, the distributor, and Uncle Sam take their cuts).
This is a gamble, and I’m betting on a snowball effect from getting in front of more iBalls, err, eyeballs via iTunes.
It’s an ambitious goal, yet I sense there are enough family and friends listening to make it worth trying.
Why pre-orders matter
In order to reach the top of any chart you need a large volume of sales the opening day and week of the release. As far as I understand, iTunes counts all pre-orders as day one sales.
If everyone reading this pre-ordered a copy, and convinced one or two friends to do the same, we would succeed.
So, now “what’s the ask?”
2. Download my dad’s favorite hymn, THE OLD RUGGED CROSS, instantly
3. Forward this message to your ten closest friends and ask them to do the same (come on – you send forwards all the time and I know my dad LOVED a good forward email
Thanks for your support and for spreading the word. I know you will enjoy this album as much as I enjoyed making it.
- Kenyon Carter