Kate Havnevik – Interview

Kate Havnevik is a singer and songwriter from Oslo, Norway. Her debut album, the critically acclaimed electronica infused Melankton, was released in March 2006 on iTunes and April 2006 (on physical CD) in Norway only, before being licensed internationally later. Kate released an EP called ‘me’ in late 2009, while preparing her second album, ‘You’, expected in late 2011. Kate is releasing her albums through her own record label, Continentica Records. Kate is running a hugely successful campaign to raise funds for the release of her new album through PledgeMusic. Buzzbands spoke to Kate about her PledgeMusic campaign.

Listen to Halo by Kate Havnevik

The landscape of the music business has been changing radically over the past few years. Major labels haven’t been making as many new signings or investing as much money in new music. How do you feel about the current state of the music business?

As long as I have been in the music business it has been in a bad state….record companies are always complaining about how difficult everything is and how there is no money….so it’s nothing new really….Let’s just hope more money is going to people who work hard and create something, and not the big fish behind a desk with a nice tie…..

For your latest album you’ve taken a DIY approach using crowdfunding website Pledgemusic to fund its release. Did you consider using other crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter? What attracted you to Pledgemusic?

Pledgemusic is UK based and for music only, Kickstarter is US based for all arts/projects film/music/art etc…so it was natural to go with Pledge as most of my business and team are based in the UK and I did live there for 10 years….it’s a bit closer to Norway….It is crowdfunding, but it is important to highlight that it is pre-sales of the record and exclusive items for sale….there are no donations and no shareholders….

Your Pledgemusic campaign has been running a while. When and how did you get started?

I launched my campaign in September 2010, and the frustrating part is that I can’t send out albums to the pledgers until the album gets its official release…..

What methods have you used to publicise the campaign?

I used email, facebook , word of mouth…and Pledge publicized it on their website and front page.

You have now gone beyond the amount you need to raise, how long did it take to reach your target?

I think it took me around 2-3 weeks to reach target, I’m not quite sure…



You offered some quite unusual pledges as part of the project, such as the concert in a Mini Cooper. Have you worked that one out yet?

Yes , I will probably have 3 people in the audience inside the car…. we’ll park it in an open space or use the Mini Cooper Showroom, so we can have two doors open….. and I will have my laptop,mini-guitar, melodica etc…. and sing… and play my songs for them…will make sure I film it as it will be something quite unusual…

Were there any other unusual pledges which you decided not to include or have saved for another time?

I was considering a Concert in a Hot Air Balloon ….but the logistics would be hard to plan …. we would be depending on weather as well as a lot of other things….so I will leave it for another time….:)

Pledgemusic take 15% of any funds raised. What do they offer by way of support in running the campaign?

The pledge team are really supportive all the way, you can get in touch any time ask questions get advice… they also try to introduce your campaign to new people who have pledged on other projects in the past…

When doing crowdfunding it is great to be part of something like Pledge, they take care of all transactions and possible refunds… etc…


Many musicians are using Pledgemusic successfully to fund projects. What do you feel are the most important elements of running a successful campaign?

The most important thing is a good introduction video, updates, being in contact with the fans…and having really loyal fans really…..

This is Kate’s Pledgemusic intro video

Kate also does a regular vblog which you can watch on her Youtube page, here’s the latest installment from June 2011


What advice or tips would you give anybody considering using Pledgemusic to raise funds?

To have a very clear plan and budget for the project, and make a really good introduction video of the campaign. It is important that the audience get a sense of what you are like as a person, and that they feel you are working hard at it and giving a lot of yourself.

Make it as personal as you can…. within your limits of course… it is about the music, but people wanna learn about who they are supporting…and feel part of the journey really. It’s important to include the fans on your ups and downs in the running of the campaign…


Coming back to your new album, when is it due for release?

The album does not have a 100% hard release date of today unfortunately,,,,even when you are independent you are a little bit stuck in the system of what time of year it is best for your music to be released, or you might end up with no reviews and not much exposure because 200 superstars just released a new album same month..! It is also better to start a pr campaign for a finished album almost 6 months before the release …. so things easily get delayed even though the record is done…all I can say is that it’s extremely frustrating, but if you have worked really hard for something you wanna get it right…..

Do you think you’ll use this same method for funding future projects?

Yes absolutely ! This is definitely the future of financing records….. for now at least …. until something new comes along. 🙂

Is there anything you think you might do differently next time?

What I will do different is before a campaign I would do even more planning for when the album actually can/will be released ….I feel immense pressure to get the album out now, but there needs to be a proper set up around it for the release, there is no point just sending it out to the pledgers and letting it leak onto internet download sites….there needs to be a frame and a plan in place…for the actual release….. The music is one part of many in a big puzzle to get an album out ….

There’s still time to support Kate’s PledgeMusic campaign here
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You can follow Kate on Twitter here

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