Help me produce my first music video


Who am I?
I am Jade Above. I was born in Algiers, Algeria and I currently live in Montreal, Canada. My parents immigrated here when I was merely 1 years old. I have been making music as a solo independent artist for the past 10 years with my long time collaborator Stefano Galante, under the artist name Jade Above. Stefano has worked with incredible and legendary artists such as Andrea Bocelli, Kool and The Gang, Pointer Sisters, etc. While my education stems from Film Studies, I have always been very interested in the art of making music. In fact, one of my first experiences at making original music was when I shot my first movie. Since then, the idea of making music professionally has always resonated with me. I am making this GoFundMe to begin the transition from music to visuals, and for this, I need your precious help.

I often found that my personal experience with trauma has halted many areas of my life. Self-sabotage, a common result of PTSD and trauma, is something I have often struggled with, and it often pointed the tip of its nose whenever I wanted to undertake a project that would allow me to show my talents. In 2020, I took a lot of time to revisit this pain that I went and still go through every now and then. I journaled a lot and in all transparency, I cried a lot. Oddly today, I have never felt better both emotionally and physically. Two years ago, I would have never opened a GoFundMe. Not only did I have so many difficult, emotional, things happening in my life, I was just not as focused as today, quite honestly. Since then, I have seriously reviewed my priorities, dealt with most of these issues and found that making music is what makes me happy beyond anything else.

- I'm a Montreal musician of North African descent who is part of the LGBTQI2S+ community with more than 10 years of experience in writing, producing, and composing music wanting to shoot my first music video for my new song "Jaded". You can listen to an 21 seconds teaser of the track on YouTube by clicking here . The song will be made available in February 2021. A new preview will be made available as we progress towards the deadline.
- Through this fundraiser, my objective is to raise 5,000$ to be able to produce a cinematic visual that meets my artistic criteria, that expresses my message, and that encapsulates my artistic identity. As per the milestones below, I have alternatives in case the amount raised is higher or lower. Thus, I can adapt to any situation based on the amounts raised.
-This fundraiser is open to donations until February 28, 2021. The production of the music video will take place in late February, early March 2021.

(If you wish to have all the details about my project, consult the below section for the juicy bits. If need be, you may review the FAQ section below to answer any questions you may have. Otherwise, don’t be afraid to contact me via my website).

Between 50$ and 100$ -  You will receive a customized video in which I will thank you personally. Understand that I will send you a video in which I will be bawling my eyes out, thanking you for how awesome you are.
Between 101$ and 200$ - Executive producer* credit on the visuals produced (your name appearing in the credits) and of course, personalized thank you video.
Between 201$ and 500$ - Executive producer credit and a video call on Zoom*.
More than 500$ - Executive producer credit, video call on Zoom*, and an exclusive unique signed Jade Above sweater designed by a local Lebanese visual artist.

*An executive producer in the music and film industry is generally the individual that contributes to the project’s budget.
* The "Thank You" videos will be issued only upon request through the "Contact me" option on GoFundMe. The same process will be followed for Zoom calls.
*Please understand that Donation Perks have been retired from the GoFundMe platform. I'm offering them as I truly appreciated their value.

Under 250$ - The funds will be used for the distribution of the song and ad space online.
Between 250$ and 499$ -  The funds will be used to produce a lyric video for my new song "Jaded".
Between 500$ and 999$ - The funds will be used to professionally capture a conceptual live performance of my new song "Jaded".
Between 1,000$ and 2,999$ - The funds will be used to produce a short-form music video for my new track "Jaded".
Between 3,000$ and 3,999$- The funds will be used to produce a short-form music video for my new track "Jaded" and professionally capture a conceptual live performance (see FAQ below) of "Jaded".
Between 4,000$ and 4,999$ -  The funds will be used to produce a short-form music video for my new track "Jaded", professionally capture a conceptual live performance of "Jaded" and commission a remix of the song from an up-and-coming producer in Montreal.
More than 5,000$ - Beyond 5,000$, 50% of any surplus will be donated to the White Ribbon Foundation in Ontario. This foundation vows to educate and sensitize men about the devastating effects of toxic masculinity on men's mental health.  The other half will be used for photoshoots with César Ochoa, art director of the Dress To Kill Magazine and Thi Thuy Ho, current photographer for all my projects.

*(may be subject to light adjustments due to the COVID-19 regulations.)

Why should I support your project?
Supporting my project means:
- Giving a voice to a musician from a sometimes misrepresented community of Quebec: I am an openly gay Middle-Eastern/North African musician who has self-produced all of his work so far and wishes to give more visibility to my community in the mainstream media in Quebec and internationally. I'm ready to amplify my voice.
- Encouraging a new unique vision of artistry: I produce, write and compose my music. I design my album covers and singles, and create all the graphic identity of my projects. I intend to also write all my video treatments and co-direct my music videos.  I want to create something that is unique and that resonates profoundly with audiences. I have always seen myself as an art director and a musician. I want to craft experiences. It is what I'm good at.
- Giving visibility to an artist who wishes to change the modern conceptions of masculinity: As an artist, it is important to explore new perspectives. It is also important to keep  an eye on the conversations going on in society.  I believe our conceptions of masculinity are oftentimes outdated and toxic. I believe we need to give a place to this subject in pop culture. Fuel this movement. I commit through my music to continue talking about those difficult emotions, show a vulnerable side of masculinity and avoid its loops and traps: unresolved anger, isolation, denial, silence, and aggressivity.
- Giving back to someone in need of help: I don't think there's anything wrong with admitting that you need help. Au contraire, I think it shows your humanity and your will to evolve. Please see this as my way of asking humbly for your help in hopes that you help me achieve my goals.

With COVID-19 affecting our day-to-day lives, independent artists have to make difficult decisions. Whether you are a touring legend or a newly established independent artist, you are most likely affected by the weight of this pandemic and its devastating consequences. Recent reports  indicate that live performances from artists as we know them, might be absent from the public domain until the end of 2021. La Presse  indicates that nearly one artist out of five has abandoned their artistic endeavours due to the damage caused by the pandemic. If music means anything to you, you probably agree with me that those statistics are at least a bit concerning.

While there are certain efforts made from the juggernauts of the music industry to provide "minorities" with more visibility in mainstream media, the route is filled with hurtful and sometimes traumatic setbacks. I believe it's essential that Quebec decides to open its doors to anglo artists and stop ignoring them until they no longer can. Backxwash, the latest winner of the Polaris Prize, the most prestigious music prize in Canada, is an excellent example of this.

If you have already read up to this point, thank you! Let me tell you what held me back.

Truth be told, Quebec's music industry funding programs have some profound gaps on how it decides to fund projects. Labels obtain the vast majority of the funds, leaving independent artist with scarce amounts. Worse, certain labels, including major labels, function solely on the amount provided by these grants and are unable to budget production for music videos otherwise. This shows an inability of the industry or more specifically, record executives, to produce a profit from most projects, which consequently penalizes an entire roster of indie artists.

I do not think it's normal for this industry to function in this unsustainable way. Thus, to bring my vision to life, I had to find alternatives.

"Can you tell me more about "Jaded"?"
Jaded is a track I wrote a year ago or so. It is the story of the past 3 years of my life marked by struggles, pain, self-destructive behaviour and punctuated by a very loud and almost deafening silence in an ocean of noise. The song is masked through loud bass and in-your-face type of drums, but it is built around the melody of a broken music box. Stylistically, the music has a lot of R&B influences but it's still very pop oriented. To produce the record, I worked in collaboration with two amazing producers: Gloze, and my long-time collaborator Stefano Galante.

For this song, I produced the topline (vocal) entirely, came up with the melodies, wrote all the lyrics, entirely recorded my back vocals, arranged the entire song, and composed the strings section throughout. I also added some instrumentation in the pre-chorus and chorus. I already have a video treatment ready to go, and I did contact certain directors whom I think will bring this project to life.

"What happens if you cannot raise the entire amount?"
I came up with milestones to determine realistic and smart ways to spend this money.  My intention is to release "Jaded" in February 2021, with a music video release in March 2021. Thus, most of the funds would have to be received by February 28, which is when I plan to retire this page and stop the funding. See the milestones section above for more information.

"Will you pay yourself a salary with your fundraiser?"
Although GoFundMe welcomes the idea of recipients cutting a salary for themselves, I can confirm that I do not plan to be receiving an amount for my performance with this fundraiser. The funds will be used entirely to pay the collaborators I will have to hire to bring these projects to life and rent the equipment. Depending on the final amount accrued, I also believe that purchasing the filming equipment might be a better alternative as I would be able to simply use that equipment going forward without having to rent it every time.

What defines a "conceptual live performance"?
A conceptual live performance is a performance not limited to a stage and that is filmed in a specific setting that fits the universe of the artist. In most cases, these performances have a very specific visual treatment, stunning cinematography and can sometimes act as a music video with « live » recorded vocals.

I love the way a lot of American artists visited the concept of performances while in confinement. I'm very inspired by Chloe X Halle  's performances, specifically. I also thoroughly enjoyed recent performances by Shawn Mendes. The performance video that I’d like to capture would be shot in a similar fashion with a specific treatment.

"Why should we support your project instead of another artist?"
The decision remains yours. In all honesty, there are so many unsigned talented artists in Montreal, it's absurd. I have always been proud of being a Montrealer for this reason. I have often purchased their music, recently started funding their GoFundMe, and shown support through my social media whenever possible. Quite frankly, I'm not always comfortable having to convince individuals. I believe people tend to gravitate towards what represents them and their character naturally. Every one is different and there might be a project that is more akin to what you would like to support, and whomever you decide to support, I commend you for it. Support independent artists and their voices. By giving to any Montreal artists in need of these funds, you are giving back to us, our community.  Should you decide to support my project, I guarantee you that I will not disappoint you and that I will offer unique and quality content.

"Are there any other Montreal artist we should keep an eye on?"
There are so many great artists out there but I personally fell in love with the projects of Backxwash , Maryze , Zaya Solange , Common Holly , Wiz Kilo , and Wake Island . Pay attention to them as they all have something different to offer. Some of them are readying new releases for 2021.

Whoever you are, if you have read this whole section, I truly appreciate the time you have invested in learning more about my project. I have poured my heart and soul in making this music, and I truly believe that it's my calling. Regardless of how much you decide to contribute, I appreciate you taking the time and your interest, and know that I'm grateful. I will give my everything to honor the trust you put in me.

2020 was a very challenging year for all of us. I do believe it was a very eye opening year as well. I hope all of you are in a safe space, capable of taking care of yourself, and if you can, of your loved ones. Be safe out there, folks.


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Jade Above 
Montréal, QC
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