Blue Scholars sign to new label and it’s YOU!

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Blue Scholars “Cinemetropolis” Kickstarter Campaign from Blue Scholars on Vimeo.

The Blue Scholars announced the details of their upcoming record Cinemetropolis Sunday night and like most everything Geo and Sabzi do, the details of the album make a statement.

The group has decided to go without a record label and self-release Cinemetropolis with the help of its fans. To do this the Scholars are reaching out directly to their fans via the ever-popular Kickstarter and offering up tons of incentives — ranging from early downloads of the record, VIP passes to secret album release shows, a thank you in the liner notes and more — to get fans to contribute to the release. The group is hoping to raise $25,000 before April 21 and as of 3 a.m. today $3,951 has been pledged by 94 people so it looks like the goal of 25K will easily be surpassed. (UPDATE: As of 7:50 a.m. today it’s $4851 with118 backers)

It’s an interesting and smart move by Blue Scholars given their loyal fanbase and the current successes of the local hip-hop scene and Kickstarter campaigns by Macklemore and others.   Of course this isn’t the first time the group has gone an unconventional route to release an album. The band partnered with Caffe Vita to release 2009’s OOF! EP and that seemed to work well for all parties involved.

You can check out the details of the Cinemetropolis release plan in the video above and read the band’s pitch for the Kickstarter campaign below.

From the Blue Scholar’s Kickstarter page:

CINEMETROPOLIS is coming. And we’re bringing it back home.

After weighing all options for the release of our third full-length studio album, Cinemetropolis, we’ve decided to forego all traditional channels and return to the independent approach that made Blue Scholars who we are. No record label. No marketing and distribution deal. No middlemen. No bullsh*t.

Instead, we’re going to sign a deal with the people. Specifically, you.

An industry-standard release leaves very little to the imagination or creative diversion. A set amount of singles, videos, and a tour, constantly negotiated by a contract that dictates the “life cycle” of an album. Thing is, Cinemetropolis is our most ambitious release yet, and we don’t want to stick to the script.

Our philosophy has always been to create our music and our media with creative freedom while still being able to sustain and grow ourselves. And at this point, we don’t believe that the tired music industrial model is necessary for people to pick up what we’re putting down. We don’t need to compromise our vision by ascribing to the “deal.” We believe the power of word-of-mouth far more than industry-induced hype, recognizing that it’s been the support of our fans and not what we’ve signed that have gotten us where we are.

With your support, we’ll be able to release Cinemetropolis to you directly. Those who pledge in this campaign will receive the digital album weeks before it’s actually released in June, and will get special exclusive-to-Kickstarter swag, not to mention be the first people to find out about when our Cinemetropolis singles, videos, and merch gets released.

ABOUT CINEMETROPOLIS

Cinema has always played a major influence in Blue Scholars music, and this collection of songs is the most complete expression of that source of inspiration. During the creation of this collection of songs, an idea emerged: how does music influence cinema?

With your help, Cinemetropolis will be both an album and a collection of films inspired by the music. A sort of reverse movie soundtrack. With this project, each song, through collaborations with an array of filmmakers, will take on a life its own. We got a gang of music videos, short films and multimedia projects in the works, anchored by a featurette directed by longtime Blue Scholars collaborator Zia Mohajerjasbi.

Cinemetropolis, our first full-length release since 2007’s Bayani, will drop in June 2011, followed by a Fall tour. Kickstarter is the only way that you’ll be able to get the album *before* the official release date

Travis Hay

About Travis Hay

Travis Hay is a professional music journalist who has spent the past 13 years documenting and enjoying Seattle's diverse music scene. In 2009 he established Guerrilla Candy and is currently the site's editor and publisher. He has written for various media outlets including MSN Music, the Seattle-Post Intelligencer, Seattle Weekly, Crosscut.com and others and was the founder and former editor of the defunct music site Ear Candy.