Former underwear model turned country music sensation Steve Grand is working on his debut album, and without the backing of a major record label, he’s asking fans to help foot the bill.
The 23-year-old Chicago native found raging overnight success last summer with the release of “All American Boy“, a single about unrequited gay love that garnered more than a million hits on YouTube in its first week. Since then, he’s released a second video for “Stay“, and just this week, another for “Back to California” (you can download the song for 99 cents on iTunes).
Grand appeared on Larry King Now this week to talk about his upcoming debut album and the Kickstarter campaign that funded it. He launched the campaign just yesterday with hopes to raise $81,000 before March 30—in less than 24 hours, he has raised over $114,000. Grand says excess funds will be used for radio promotion:
Recording and producing an album can be an expensive undertaking. Record companies often spend hundreds of thousands of dollars—millions for the bigger artists—producing and promoting an album. My goal is $81,000. That will allow me just enough to finish my record, create album art, package it, and film my next music video, which I plan to release on the same day as the album. If we can raise this money together, you can count on my album being out sometime in May. And then I’ll see you on tour!
We’re utilizing the very best studios and musicians to make this record everything you guys deserve it to be. I’ve already had the chance to record piano on the same instrument, with the same equipment, that you hear on Adele’s “Someone Like You.” It is all being mixed on a real console at The Studio at The Palms in Las Vegas, where artists like Lady Gaga, The Killers, Usher, and Imagine Dragons have recorded and mixed their music in the recent past.
On yesterday’s show, King predicted “Back to California” will be a huge hit and pulled out his checkbook to make one of the first contributions. As a thank you, Grand drew a sketch of Larry King and flashed the most adorable smile in history:
Now who wouldn’t want to fund a face like that?