x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Staying independent

Gayathri Krishnan is about to release her debut album, which she has made using crowd-funding.

Gayathri Krishnan. Courtesy Ekta Saran
Gayathri Krishnan. Courtesy Ekta Saran

The Dubai-based musician Gayathri Krishnan has crowd-funded the cash she needs to get into the studio and finish her debut album. "I've done what a record label would do for me," says Krishnan, who used Indiegogo to raise a total of US$23,130 (Dh85,000) in just one month - $3,000 above her original target. "Raising the money yourself makes you more street-smart and engaged with your audience. It pushes you to learn about marketing. Social media has made everything fun and less of a struggle. I think crowd-funding is a new way for artists to become successful on their own."

The rewards that Krishnan has been offering to backers have certainly had an effect: $10 gets you a digital copy of the album before anyone else, $200 gets you a thank you in the liner notes, $300 lets you contribute a sound byte that Krishnan will work into the album. One generous donor, an Abu Dhabi-based restaurateur, even gave $5,000 to the cause. He gets the "executive producer package": "He's an angel investor, and he gets all the rewards perks, but in terms of royalties once the album is made - no, this is just a donation," says Krishnan. The album is set for release in November.