Releasing original new music is a lot of fun but it’s also time-consuming, emotionally demanding and EXPENSIVE! A musician’s main goal is to get as many people as possible to listen to their music, to give new listeners access to their musical and lyrical ideas. Covering some of the basic recording costs is, for most of us, the most we can hope for. Only selling music to a small circle of friends isn't even going to get you CLOSE to that dream of breaking even. Selling in excess of that number of albums and maybe get a little reward for the time, effort and “artistry” involved (why not brag a bit?) would be AMAZING! But this is not about the money and selling lots of albums. I have to tell you that I’m very proud of XUK’s new album “U”. It’s special to me and I hope that other people will feel the same way about it - because this music has something to SAY. If you were one of those people who bought XUK’s first album all those years ago - THANK YOU! Sure, I’m hoping there will be more albums sold this time around, but outside of the XUK fans we’ve reached over the years (and my personal Facebook friends) people will only hear about XUK music IF THEY HEAR ABOUT IT FROM YOU! So shares, likes, album reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations are the most valuable thing that XUK can get right now.
So... the new XUK album “U” will be available for purchase on CDBaby.com THIS WEEK (shortly after Tuesday Dec. 5th when the physical CDs arrive at the warehouse) and on iTunes maybe 10 days or so after that. Thousands of other (independent and major label) records are released every year and unless I get help from friends like you, “U” will remain a largely undiscovered "needle in a haystack". And the unsold CDs will just take up valuable space in my closet! YOUR RECOMMENDATION IS THE KEY TO SAVING “U” FROM THE OBSCURITY OF MY CLOSET!! Eleven years after the release of our 2006 debut album, “Love Hits …like a cricket-bat-out-of-hell”, it’s still not made anywhere near enough sales to recoup even the most basic of costs - even though it was mostly recorded at home, with a lot of help from my adult son (and composer) Robin and other musicians who also generously donated their time and talents. Despite my efforts to promote the debut album online, the income from annual sales and online streaming peaked at under $200 in the first year and quickly dropped to less than $40 per year. Not enough to cover the cost of this band’s web site! Much, much, much less than the initial production costs for the double CD. I’m not complaining. I’m just letting you know the realities of being an independent singer/songwriter - and why there’s still not much room in my closet… This is why it’s taken me so long to come up with this new, much smaller scale album. IT’S A BIG COMMITMENT WITH FEW TANGIBLE REWARDS other than the fulfilling process of writing new material. It’s also a big reason why the new album is a solo venture. I didn’t wish to impose on other people’s time and energy this time round, but those production and distribution costs are STILL involved. Even if everyone who bought "Love Hits ... like a cricket bat-out-of-hell" and all my Facebook friends were to buy the new album, it will STILL not break even - UNLESS I GET YOUR HELP SPREADING THE WORD! Getting the word out - as fast and as far as possible - is essential for ANY level of success for this new album. And I have to tell you that without your help it’s going to be IMPOSSIBLE. Telling someone, “Hey, you should check out my friend’s new album!” is one of the very best things you can do to help to build a buzz for “U”. It is probably too much to ask EACH AND EVERY ONE OF MY FRIENDS, RELATIVES AND THE HANDFUL OF XUK FANS AROUND THE WORLD to dip into their pockets and make a purchase - but each one of you can help ENORMOUSLY by doing what you can to let others know that the new XUK album is out! And time is of the essence. Music sells the fastest when it’s just been released - or when an artist dies. So please, think about supporting XUK (and averting my premature death**) by reviewing the new album on RadioAirplay, CDBaby and iTunes. Letting other potential listeners hear what you think of XUK and the new album “U” is invaluable. We all have a lot of important things to do with our money these days, and buying friends’ music isn’t even MY number one priority these days, with the way things are. All independent artists value their friends’ moral support and appreciate hearing the reactions to their new music. So, IF YOU DO BUY “U”, YOU ARE A TRUE FRIEND! If you follow up your purchase BY LEAVING AN ONLINE REVIEW WHEREVER YOU CAN, THEN YOU’RE A HERO! Fan reviews can mean the difference between only ever selling a couple of dozen copies - and losing a lot of money in the process - or perhaps covering those evil out-of-pocket costs and ensuring that new music keeps on coming! Sharing your appreciation of independent music is THE BEST WAY to bring it to the attention of people who have never heard of XUK! Thanks in advance for your help in bringing “U” to a wider audience! Love “U”! Simon (XUK) P.S. **When I do die, I want the new XUK song “All These Circles” played at my funeral (preferably with a cathedral organ and a huge choir if possible). That’ll make the buggers cry!!!