Been so long since I have blogged! I just touched down last night in Texas, and I wanted to visit with you all about my new free fan club that I'm so excited about.
As you know, I got up my new site and new store, and hopefully you all are finding it user-friendly. You are also probably aware that I started a free fan club.
My free fan club offers a special rare download from my archives, and handwritten lyrics. All that's required is to sign up, and obey the honor code of not file sharing, so new fans come to my site for their goodies. Why? Well I will tell you!
My goal over the last 5 years has been to set the ground work establish a better direct relationship with you. As the business changes, and as my life does, it is harder for labels to sell records, and it’s harder for me to drag myself across the country and promote them to radio nonstop. While I still may do label and radio records, I want the freedom to release more albums that are more creative, and also to maybe break the cycle of the nonstop travel that I have been on since I was 18.
I have LOVED my career and all the travel, but at 36, I ache to make less commercial albums, and to do that I need to make them on lower budgets, (like Lullaby) and sell them directly to fans. That's why I built a home studio, and that's why I have been taking the steps needed to get albums directly to you: the folks I make albums for!
As you all know, my writing has been more prolific than my album output, and I want to change that. But if I am going to go independent, and not sell albums in stores, I need to be able to let you guys know when I have a new project out. So every time you are kind enough to give me your email information, it allows me to build my list of fans that I can let know about new music.
I don't sell lists, obviously, and only use it to let you know about my music, so rest assured.
The other reason for my EDA fan site, free fan club, and free EDA concert is this:
Of all the things I have built on my career, what I'm most proud of is the sense of community my fans have.
Since the beginning of my career I have been humbled by the intelligent and innovative nature of my fans. People who feel they can make a difference in their lives and in the lives of others. People who do not simply settle to be sycophants, but are merely empowered by my music and inspired to bring change in their own lives. It’s been an amazing thing to watch.
My original EDAs scattered in the early 2000s because a management switch caused a glitch and I lost all my fan info, which sucked - but also because of me, I think. I went through a terrible time in my personal life and I moved back from everything. I did not know who to trust, and I withdrew contact from everyone, including fans, during this hard time. Luckily I have made it back from the dark night of the soul, and feel energized and triumphant. I have faced many hardships in my life and am most proud that I have not let them make me bitter. It’s a tough feat, but I still believe in my song “I'm Sensitive,” and I'm 36 and not changing that about myself. It’s hard to go through life and not get beaten down - but we must! We must walk through fire and know we can be completely healed and happy on the other side. We must demand it and do whatever hard work it takes. It took me several years and gallons of tears, many dark nights and lots of good old-fashioned hard work- (and 2 songs- “Goodbye Alice in Wonderland,” and the unreleased “A Place in the Sun”) but I resurfaced and have excitedly turned back to my life, my music and my fans. I have enjoyed the new tech age where we can be closer than ever via social media like my website and twitter and vlogs.
It’s so important to me that we are a resource to each other. That we reach out and rely on each other through these hard times we find ourselves in, or in sharing the joy that we come across. We are not just a singer and a group of fans; we are humans going through life together and we can lift each other up. I encourage you to make friends with each other. If someone needs something in this network, help them get it. If hope is needed, be free with your love and support. If clothes are needed or just recipes, be generous with yourselves and make miracles happen for each other. If life has taught me anything, it’s that miracles are easier to grant than we think possible. The smallest thing can change life. I have been on both ends of it. Don't underestimate the power of your own small hands.
I am 36, but I feel like the same girl who was living in her car at 18. I am that passionate, I am that hopeful, and I am that stubborn. We all need to demand the happiness for ourselves we desire. Fight for it. Wrestle it out of the clenched fist of the world you live in. Don't let our age or our years or our experience take away that spark and enthusiasm of youth. It’s not naïve – it’s our right. We are never broken, and even if your life is blessed with happiness, it can only get better by sharing it!
So I want you all to use my site to build a community. Get to know each other. Post wanted ads, or ask for jobs or any other thing. Put it out there - you never know how it may get answered.
It’s also why I work hard to do the free fan show (date announcing soon, by the way. It’s been hard to find a good venue, free on a weekend, near camping and cheap lodging!) I want you to meet each other face to face and build something. It’s not about me - it’s about us and our community.
You have cared about the most important parts of me - my lyrics and thoughts, beyond singles. You have cared enough to dig into my bootlegs and study my lyrics until you knew them better than I did (ok- not THAT hard.. Haha). To know that at this stage in my career I have the rare opportunity of releasing music direct to my fans means the world to me. It makes me proud beyond measure.
So enjoy the new fan site. Enjoy the monthly gifts, spread the word to go to my site to help me build my indie following, and get ready for the free EDA concert! In the meantime, I want you all to come up with a name for it, and I will run a contest a little closer to the event to pick the winning name. Go to this thread to share your thoughts about names and we will be announcing the date SOON!
I promise to blog again soon - I want to tell you all about the Bravo show I just filmed!
My love to you all, Jewel