Rootz Underground goes ‘ public’

BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, April 15, 2014    

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REGGAE band Rootz Underground is adopting a novel approach to fund the production of their third and upcoming studio album.

The band is taking the sourcing of capital for the project to the people through crowdfunding — a web-based platform in which projects are financed through contributions from the public.

According to the band's bass player Colin Young, the group has decided to go this route based on the changes in how record labels operate these days.

"Artistes now have to find new ways of funding albums as record labels no longer front the money to put out a project. It's really a case of rather than hunting down a record deal once you have material, we are taking the product straight to the market... straight to the fans," he explained to the Jamaica Observer.

Young and his band mates have chosen the platform Indiegogo to raise the US$45,000 goal they have set for themselves.

"The album has already been recorded so this money is to mix and master the material, finance printing and packaging as well as fund the launch programme which includes social media presence and a public relations and promotions campaign, as well as prepare the band to hit the road for tours," Young continued.

Although crowdfunding is not new, Rootz Underground is among the first local bands to utilise the facility to get their project off the ground.

Young has high hopes that the project, which will be launched in the coming week, will realise the set target during the 30 days which the platform allows.

"When we look at our fan base we are encouraged. Our Facebook page has more than 166,000 likes and because we are always on the road, we get a great deal of feedback from persons wanting a recording of the music they just experienced during the live show... we may well crack the barrier we have set, based on the response from fans who are extremely local and supportive of reggae music," he said.

The six-member band has over a decade of performing and recording under its belt. Over the period they have recorded two studio albums, Movement (2008) and Gravity (2010). With an extensive touring schedule they have also taken their gritty reggae sound across the continents.





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