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Kickstarting a career
Thursday, 08 March 2012
ImageSanta Fe’s Alex Maryol turns to fundraising website for creative projects to record his record
By Justin De La Rosa
For many musicians in the industry who are trying to catch a break, it can be a great struggle – especially considering the state of the music industry. There’s a lot less money being spent and risks being taken on new talent. This has left musicians from all genres turning back to their community and loyal fan bases for help in their success. Santa Fe’s Alex Maryol is proving that you don’t need a major label to make it work, just a good, honest product and people who love it so much they want to put their own money towards more of it.

The process of putting out an album is an expensive one. After recording, mixing, mastering, duplicating and packaging, you’re looking at thousands of dollars out-of-pocket. This is where community comes in. At the beginning of February, Maryol set up a Kickstarter page — a website that is used as a funding platform for creative projects. The artist sets a dollar amount for their pledge goal, then anyone is able to pledge as much as they want toward the project.

In an interview with Local iQ, Maryol said he sees Kickstarter as an opportunity to get fans involved in the development of an album. “The cool thing is that you get your fans involved and they become a part of the creation as well,” he said.
Maryol is currently seeking $5,500 in pledges, but said his album will be released even if his goal is not met. “I’d like to reach the goal and have it released, but even if the goal isn’t met, it (the album) will be released digitally,” he said.

To Maryol, Kickstarter is not about crying out to fans for help, but rather, an alternative means of selling his album. “I actually think that Kickstarter has more to do with pre-selling your product,” said Maryol. “So I don’t really feel like I’m raising funds for charity, I’m selling my album.”

As an incentive for fans, Maryol offers those backing the project a tiered prize package, ranging from a digital download to private concerts and music lessons.

At face value, you might just say that Maryol is a blues musician — and a great one at that. Upon further listening, however, you’ll hear subtle elements of indie, folk and even funk. Any way you look at it, his music has charm and sincerity written all over it.

When asked about how he approaches the writing process, Maryol said, “I’m writing what I actually want to express and not worrying about what everyone will think is good or not.”

Several years ago, Maryol moved from Santa Fe to Chicago, not to pursue music, but to try something different. “I moved to Chicago because I had never lived outside of Santa Fe,” Maryol said. “I gigged here and there, but really just needed to do something new and different.”

Moving away from your hometown can be a whirlwind of emotions and experiences, and that is apparent in the material from Maryol’s upcoming release, Six. The only obvious theme from the album seems to be the experience of living life.

“I wrote that album about a certain time in my life when I was living in Chicago and the time I spent there and moving back to New Mexico,” said Maryol. “It really reflects what I was going through during that time period — a tumultuous breakup, leaving home.”

Through his move to and from Chicago, Maryol has grown as a musician and a person. The recording of his new album was a natural and enjoyable one. “It was a really great process. I had all my material together,” said Maryol. “This is the first album where I feel like I reached a certain level of maturity, and I went into the studio knowing my songs inside and out. It was very second nature to me.”

Maryol really is one of the best of the unsung hometown heroes. Spend some time listening to his music and catch one of his performances, so you can understand and be a part of the inevitable success of Santa Fe’s Alex Maryol. 
Alex Maryol deadline:
3p, Wed., Mar. 14
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