I meet more and more singer-songwriters who went to college for a degree in audio and video production. It’s common knowledge now – to a social media audience, a young artist’s ability to create engaging video content is arguably more important than the actual music. Quincy Jones recently gave a staggeringly truthful article about the death of musicianship in today’s music for this very reason. Nevertheless, it’s the world we live in now.
In seven full length albums, I’ve only done three professional music videos. I have done no special features like behind the scenes content, in-depth interviews, and quality live performance videos. The kids these days are smart to teach themselves how to shoot and edit video because artists and videographers are on different financial pages right now.
Recording artists do not make money on albums anymore. I’ve made albums that cost up to 75K to create…only to watch the world stream it for free. In my opinion, videographers are still stuck in the early 2000’s, expecting indie artists to come up with 10K to do a professional music video. I still get quoted that number. Artists are eventually forced to find ways around this disconnect. You either learn to do video yourself (which I’ve desperately tried), or you find another way.
Here’s my best way. Patreon.
I discovered Patreon in 2015 when I started supporting fellow singer-songwriter and The Voice contestant Tony Lucca at a simple $1 per creation. He would usually post content once or twice a month. I capped my pledge at $3 per month in case he ever got really prolific and posted more than usual. Today, I also support Ari Herstand, who has become somewhat of an authority in today’s indie music business world, and this kid with a really heart-warming story called Taylor Ray Holbrook. I’m in for $1 per creation for all of them as that is all I can afford right now. The experience has been great though. When I want to enjoy a news feed of content that is artistic, engaging and that I had a hand in creating, I open the Patreon app on my phone instead of the facebook app. I also get to see more revealing social content on a daily basis – stuff that more casual fans will never see. It’s been great.
Welcome to the Patreon Kreis Circle
My uncle Garry passed away last year. He was a hometown hero. A star football player, Oliver Springs eventually named the circle he lived on “Kreis Circle” to honor my uncle’s success. Kreis means “circle” in German. This, plus the fact that some of you have been around since the old iForce days lending your love and patronage to my music, it felt natural to call this venture the Patreon Kreis Circle. After all, you guys are my inner circle. Some of you have had a vested interest in my success through every phase of my adult life – for 12 years now! You’ve seen me through so many changes. I share with you like I don’t share with those outside of this circle of patronage.
We launched this week. Our first video begins a Behind The Scenes series. A music video is in the planning stages with a shoot date of Feb 26th, 27th, and 28th. In March, I’m shooting an in-depth interview like you’ve never seen before. And I just got a yes from one special celebrity to do the interview with me.
Consider this LKTV! Video content for all things Levi Kreis and exclusive social media content only for those who actually care about supporting my art in a meaningful way. I’m very excited about this new chapter. Join me, will you? You can stop at anytime. You can cap it so you never go over your monthly budget. For me, my hands are no longer tied. I’m seeing new possibilities of staying busy creating great content for great people.