WITH the help and support of a growing fanbase, singer Charlotte Campbell has made an album and is on the verge of starting a UK tour – and all on her own terms.
Charlotte, 23, of The Fairway, South Ruislip, has been writing songs since she was 15 years old and has dreamed of performing since she first picked up a guitar.
Without the financial support of a record label, up and coming musicians rarely get further than busking and the occasional gig at their local pub. But for Charlotte, that simply was not good enough.
With the help of Pledge Music, an online way to get your music directly to fans without the constraints of record label red tape, Charlotte has succeeded in getting enough money together to record her first album and have some left over for the tour.
The way Pledge Music works is that fans pledge money for a campaign, in Charlotte’s case her debut album, and in return gain an exclusive perk, such as a signed or limited edition item, or a shared experience with the artist.
Charlotte has been giving away her trademark hair accessories, but that is not the only benefit of using Pledge Music.
“It gives musicians complete freedom,” she says. “It depends what you want to get out of it and you work out how much you want to spend and ask your fans to pledge money for extras from you to raise money to get you there.
“I’ve been sending my own hair bands as well as exclusive videos and songs.”
Charlotte set a target amount to raise, which she has already exceeded by 500 per cent. Five per cent of any pledge made from now on will go to Herts Inclusive Theatre in Bushey.
“It means I can spend a little more money on the album,” she says. “And because so many people have pledged, I want to make sure it’s a really good one.”
The singer, who spends her days busking in London by the Thames, now wants to go on a busking tour of the UK.
She played her first gig at the age of 16 and the same year enrolled at the Brit School for Performing Arts and Technology. With her fellow alumni including Adele, Jessie J and Amy Winehouse, the experience cannot have been anything short of inspiring.
“When I look back on it now, I can’t believe how young I was and I was surrounded by great musicians. It was a very exciting place to be,” Charlotte says.
“The people that have come out of there, I look at what they’ve done and it makes you feel like maybe you can do it too.”
? To order Charlotte’s album, Blue Eyed Soul, go to www.pledgemusic.com/projects/charlottecampbell, and to www.charlottecampbell.co.uk to find out more.