How did this collaboration start?
After a busy six moths of uploading riddims, mixes & dubplates to our blog, Tenna Star was passin' trough our riddim section on soundcloud in mid march 2013. Obviously stunned by our productions, he contacted us for a collaboration. So we first agreed on a dubplate special on one of our free download riddims, so Tenna could start with the writing right away. The dubplate itself was released by the end of June, still available as a free download here.
Amazed by Tenna's powerful voice it was instantly clear to us that we wanted to continue working with him in the future. So we sent him more riddims, but to record some brand new tunes this time. "Be smart" then was the first track Tenna has sent back to us.
LISTEN HERE: "BE SMART" PREVIEW
After recording 3 songs and having a 4th one waiting to be recorded soon, we put our heads together again. In our mail and chat conversations, Tenna has asked us several times if we could record an album togehter... But as we already reached our budged limit by making these tracks (and all the dubplates on our blog) it was clear that we needed to find another source of funds. Because there is no way we can come up with the funds needed for such a project out of our own income. We all have jobs and we are all working very hard at them to pay our bills. Yet we are trying to make this album become reality during a time when it's incredibly difficult for musicians to make any profit off their album sales, unless they are ultra-commercial. With this realisation, we came to the conclusion that only a fundraiser could possibly allow us to make our wish of a common album come true. Or as Tenna sings in the second tune: 'Right now, we need your helping hand...'
LISTEN HERE: "RIGHT NOW" PREVIEW
What are you hoping to fund?
- The singer for his songwriting
- Hours of studio time at Hit Factory studio Birmingham/UK
and our own Highsmile studio for:
- Programming, recording, mixing and mastering
- The digital release of the album including it's promotion
- The production of 500 vinyl lp's
What is the breakdown of the cost?
We agreed to pay Tenna Star 100.- per tune upfront for his songwriting and the recording of his vocals. If we are doing at least 10 more tunes this adds up to 1000.-. Mixing a record is a time-consuming process and it tends to cost a good amount of money. With Mastering it's pretty much the same. Based on our experience, we cosider another 1000.- for these 2 steps a great value deal. As of yet, the LP is not attached to any specific label. Maybe this will change once the record is complete, but it still means that we are fully responsible for paying for the album's production (digital release, vinyl pressing, etc.) and it's promotion, which adds up to an estimated 3000.-. On top of that, we would need an extra 1000.- to cover some of the extra benefits and the mailing costs arising from this fundraising campaign and it's fees.
This Indiegogo project is to give us the "advance" that normally a record label pays to their artists. There is no way for us to make the album we want to make from our personal income alone. We already have invested our time and money to get this far, now we ask for your help to make the next step possible. Maybe some day, if a label gives us a real "advance", we will be able to spend that on a rusty van so that we can tour together and visit each one of you in your local dancehall!
What you get:
We have lots of fun & cool stuff for you guys!
- 5.- STARTER KIT: Digital download of the 3 preview tracks featured in this campaign (Video track, 'Be smart' and 'Right now')
- 10.- DIGI PACK: Digital download of the full length album
- 20.- THE TRUE SUPPORTER: A custom designed Tenna Star meets High Smile Hifi wallpaper + DIGI PACK
- 30.- THE REAL FAN: A personal 'thank you' picture of the crew + DIGI PACK
- 40.- THE VINYL LOVER: Limited press of the full length album on vinyl! (shipping withion the EU only, add 10 EUR for shipping to non-EU countries) + DIGI PACK
- 50.- THE VINYL ADDICT: Limited press of the full length album on vinyl! (shipping withion the EU only, add 10 EUR for shipping to non-EU countries) + THE REAL FAN
- 75.- CREDITS: Get a honorable mention in the album's credit section + VINYL LOVER (shipping withion the EU only, add 10 EUR for shipping to non-EU countries)
- 100.- BEST DRESSED CHICKEN IN TOWN: A limited 'HighSmile' T-shirt (different sizes and colours available, shipping included) + CREDITS
- 200.- THE ALBUM A&R: You will get the chance to choose 1 of 3 riddims, which Tenna Star will voice on the album + CREDITS (shipping included)
- 300.- MIC CHECK 1, 2: A new SHURE Beta 56A drum mic (shipping included) + CREDITS
- 300.- MIC CHECK 3, 4: A new SHURE Beta 57A universal mic (shipping included) + CREDITS
- 400.- PIMP MY SOUND: Send us your riddim, song or soundfile (1 track) and we take care of the mixing and mastering + CREDITS
- 500.- RIDE THE RIDDIM: You will get an exclusive and royality-free riddim for your personal use + CREDITS
- 1000.- BECOME A PRODUCER: You become our assistant producer. In 2 x 1 hour skype sessions you wil be a part of the riddim building and mixing process of one of the album's tracks + CREDITS
- 2000.- THE PARTY ANIMAL: We'll invite you and one of your friends to one of our shows (applies for EU residents only, we will come up for your travelcosts and for 2 VIP tickets) + CREDITS
- 4000.- LIVE AND DIRECT: We will come to play a live showcase of the album at a location of your choice (applies for EU-countries only) + CREDITS
Your contribution will help us to make this album possible. We're very excited and passionate about the music we're creating and we encourage you to become a part of it's creation by picking up one of our super-supreme fundraiser perks. Thank you so much! We'll love you forever!!
Risks & challenges:
As stated above, we have no label deal and this production is, as of now, not attached to any label or distributor. we intend to evaluate all our options once the album is fully completed. But until we have worked out all the details on how and when the album is going to be officially released, we can not give you a exact release date as of now. Be assured that we will work hard on all open issues and we will be very communicative about everything as soon as we have any information. We are happy to answer all of your questions, just ask. Should this project be successful, recording will take place this September and the album will be finished by November, 2013. As we mentioned above, this fundraiser is necessary for us to make a full length album in the absence of an real "advance" from a label, as we do not have one yet.
If we get more than 100% funding:
- Over 125%: We would live up to the project's name and meet Tenna Star in person.
- Over 150%: We would probably make some CD's too.
- Over 200%: We would start to make plans about a LIVE TOUR to promote the record
Other ways you can help us:
If you're unable to contribute financially, here are other ways you can help us:
- Share our campaign on your social networks and tell it to your friends,
- Add us on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, YouTube, Mixcloud
- Like our stuff on our profiles and
- Leave us a comment on our tracks
We thank you so much for your helping hand and for your interest in this project!
Who are we?
TENNA STAR, born in Kingston Jamaica, grew up in the Red Hills Road area where he spent most of his life. Tenna’s earliest experience in the dancehall was singing on numerous sounds on the Island. He has been singing alongside artists like Red Dragon, Flourgon, Daddy Lizard, Sanchez, Buju Banton, Terry Ganzie, Courtney Melody, Mr. Vegas, Quench Aid and many others. Tenna's first visit to England was back in 1994. Upon his arrival he wasted no time in gaining instant recognition and fame in Birmingham and the London area. His talent was quickly discovered by a lot of record producers like Stingray Records where he recorded numerous tunes, which gained great popularity in the UK and Europe. He also recorded some tunes for producer Murray Man and toured with him to play shows in Switzerland, Austria and Sweden. His outsanding musical career continues for more than 10 years now... Link up with him on Facebook, Soundcloud, or Myspace.
HIGH SMILE HIFI consists of 3 members: Icky Top, Kebilli & Pappa Irie. Icky Top was making various productions ranging from Rap/Hip-Hop, Indie Rock to Electro, starting in the mid 90's troughout the first decade of the new millenium. These days, Kebilli was a selector in the local dancehall and Pappa Irie was producing mainly Hip Hop beats. It was back in 2004 when we decided to team up together to mash up the local reggae scene, whitout even having a proper name for our sound. In the following years, we've been playing records on more than 200 occasions in different locations in Switzeland, Austria and Germany. Over the years, we also collected a respectful amount of vintage synths, keys, drum machines and effects, as well as some kick-ass software tools which we use for our productions and live shows. Spending countless hours in our studio and gaining more and more experience, our main goal always was just making music. It was around mid 2012 when we decided to unite all our musical efforts towards our new digital reggae project called High Smile Hifi.
So we started to cooperate with other soundsystems and studios to record our first dubplates featuring Ranking Joe, Junior Roy and Solo Banton in September 2012. Since then, we recorded many more dubplates with various artists from all over the world.
Why digital reggae?
First and foremost this is because of our personal addiction to 80's reggae, digital reggae & rub-a-dub. The invention of digital synths and drum machines led to massive changes in reggae music. It was back in 1985, when Jammy introduced the famous SLENG TENG riddim - the first 100% digital reggae production ever to hit the dancehall. The the digital era lasted for roughly 5 years and has seen lot's of artists and producers to leave their marks on numerous boom tunes. We personally consider this relatively short period of time as one of the most interesting and most changing time in reggae-/music history. And because we know that music repeats itself from time to time, we aim to create sounds like those in the late 80's, so we sample lots of analogue synths and drum machines to produce a sort of vintage sounding but modern reggae music.
“All things are possible if you put your trust and faith in the Most High Jah!!! Blessed Love” Tenna Star