Todd Durrant’s Random Thoughts
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RENAME – Real Songs for Real People – Become Part of the Album!

Well, I’m very excited to be part of a very unique and exciting new project being announced this week by RENAME!   Marcus Fellechner and I have worked together to create a new music experience for the synthpop scene, and indeed the entire pop market!

First of all, just to update you a little bit on RENAME, there are currently two CD maxi-singles in production which are planned for release this summer and autumn:   “I’m Happy” and “Play in the Rain”

But aside from the continued production of new singles, Rename is announcing the release of a completely separate album project next summer (2010).  But unlike any other project I’ve seen before, this album will be written and recorded entirely in honor of the fans who become “Song Sponsors” for each of the 15 planned tracks.   This is a unique opportunity for anybody to have a song written especially for them, and included on a RENAME album release!

You can see the details of the project, which is currently called “Real Songs for Real People” by looking at Rename’s official homepage here:

But let me give you the story in more detail right here in this blog.

Marcus and I have been discussing the challenges and also the opportunities of the new music market, and how the artists can involve the listeners to a higher degree to create not only a traditional album, but a work that completely invovles and engages the listeners and fans, taking them on a memorable journey.   How could an artist create such an experience that the fans would not only enjoy, but be willing to financially support in a small way, because of the enhanced experience?

The discussion resulted in the creation of the “Real Songs for Real People” project.   Over the course of a year, RENAME will write and record 15 songs, with each song being sponsored by a real person, and written according to the outline given by that particular Song Sponsor.   Let’s imagine a fan named John Johnson, and this guy is a big pop music fan, and now one of the bands he enjoys offers to write a song just for him!   The song can even carry his own name as the title!   Let’s say that John Johnson is a student at a university, but has had a hard time imagining how his education in humanities is going to actually get him a lucrative career, and he wants a song about the struggle to choose between doing what he loves and doing what is practical.  Well, he can sign up as a “Song Sponsor” for Rename’s new album, paying a reasonable fee of $250 to claim one of the songs as his own, and then he sends that outline to the band.   A year later, the album is released, and one of the songs is called “John Johnson” (if that’s what he wishes) and it’s about his own story!

Or, let’s say that John Johnson has a girlfriend named Sally Simple who he loves for her sincere, honest nature and thinks that she stands above all the other girls because she doesn’t hide behind a mask of makeup and drama.   So, he signs up as a song sponsor, pays the $250, and a year later the album comes out with a song about his girlfriend.   However, in this case (where the song is about somebody else) Rename will not put her full name as the song title, since she is not the song sponsor and we don’t want anybody upset for the use of their full name without their consent.  So, the song is called something like, “Sally, You’re Better Than The Rest”, or whatever.

Now, aside from having a song about themselves, or about their own life story, or about a loved one, friend, pet, family member, etc.  A Song Sponsor will also be listed in the CD booklet liner notes, and can even include a photo of themselves as the inspiration for the song.  So, they also become part of the CD booklet and a permanent part of Rename’s own musical history.

Before I go much further, let me make it clear that Rename will still WRITE the songs, though the stories will be based as closely as possible to the song sponsor’s suggested ouline or subject matter.  So, there is always artistic license and the band has the ultimate say in the way the song turns out.  That maintains a level of surprise and mystery– a person sponsors the song and gives the desired outline, then watches, waits, and listens to find out what Rename has put together with that support and their story.   The band may also not want to sing a song that directly says things that are inflamatory or insulting, even if a song sponsor says they’d like a song about the person they hate the most, or some recent break-up.  The artist can cover those subjects tastefully, and according to their own interpretation.  Sure, there can be songs about break-ups or people who ruin your life, but don’t expect a string of cuss-words and death wishes in the final lyrics.


Now, being a Song Sponsor for this project isn’t for everybody.  Obviously, there are only a maximum of 15 slots available, so there will only be 15 Real Songs for Real People.   Plus, not everybody would want to pay $250 to have their own Rename song.  But we’re betting that there are a lot of music fans out there who would LOVE to follow the progress of such a project.  You may just be curious to see and hear what’s happening as the project moves along.   Or, you may be a Rename fan or collector who wants access to some extras along the way.   Here is another option for you.

If you go to Rename’s homepage (listed above) and read about the program, you’ll see that anybody can sign up to be a “Fan Follower”.   The Song Sponsors will have all the same access as Fan Followers, which is this:   Anybody who pays $25 to be a Fan Follower will be able to follow the progress of the project by way of special email updates from Rename, announcing which songs are in production, giving looks at lyrics as they are written or tweaked along the way, and will also be given access to exclusive demo previews as the songs go into production.    So, the Song Sponsors AND Fan Followers will have these updates for a year and will be able to hear songs in their early stages and will be given exclusive MP3’s etc. to put in their collection of Rename rarities.

ALSO, every Fan Follower and every Song Sponsor will receive an autographed copy of the finished CD once it is released in 2010.  So, all these people will have pre-purchased the finished product and will have it mailed to them automaticaly once it is finished.   So, for the $25, you are not only getting an autographed CD of a unique new album, but also an unspecified number of demos, previews, and news bulletins for an entire year.

Of course, once the album is released into the market on CD and as a digital download, anybody will be able to buy it as a regular album.  Anybody will be able to hear the final result of this unique and ambitious project.

There you go!  Now, at the moment I’m writing this blog, 3 of the 15 Song Sponsor spots have already been claimed, simply by people who visited the Rename website during the last three days without any notification.  So, if you think it is an exciting idea to sponsor a song, then you better jump on over to Rename’s website:

Once again, there is no limit to the Fan Followers, but we may close the sign-up window in two or three months since updates will begin and anybody signing up after that time may end up missing some of what they are paying to receive.

When you are on the band website, you’ll see an easy drop-down menu next to a Paypal payment button.   Use that drop-down menu to select “Song Sponsor” or “Fan Follower” and then click to complete your payment and sign-up.  You’ll be contacted at your payment email address about your song, or about the updates.  So, PLEASE be sure you have a current email address assigned to your payment.

I, for one, am very curious to see how this album turns out and hope that it becomes something of a landmark for the new music market.



One Response to “RENAME – Real Songs for Real People – Become Part of the Album!”

  1. […] can read more of my thoughts on this very special project on my blog .   I hope that it gets the necessary support to become a reality and create a band+fan […]

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