Parkite Elizabeth Hareza sets up Kickstarter campaign for new album
Singer and songwriter Elizabeth Hareza has performed professionally for the past seven years. Two of those years have been in an around Park City.
After doing an assessment a few months ago, she felt it was time to make a record.
"I just knew I needed to an album out. I mean, I’ve been playing for all this time and don’t have anything recorded to give to people," Hareza said during an interview with The Park Record. "That doesn’t do me any good."
So a couple of months ago, Hareza and some of her musician friends headed to Rigby Studios in Salt Lake City to record a five-song extended play.
"I told them I wanted to make an album and all of them told me that they wanted to be a part of the project," Hareza said. "So what I thought was going to be a solo acoustic album turned into a full-band production." Hareza’s band featured mandolinist Drew Fink of Small House Strings, drummer Matt "Gordo" Gordon from Muddpuddle and the Sideshow Ramblers, fiddle player Gabe Pramuk who is an instructor at Riffs Acoustic Music, fellow singer and songwriter Shannon Runyon and producer and multi-instrumentalist Joel Pack, who owns Rigby Studios.
The record is called "My Peeps."
"I called it that because it is about all the people who have come together to help me," Hareza said. "I’ve rolled with a crew of musicians, artists and videographers and am so lucky to have them in my life."
The catch, however, is that Hareza needs funds to pay for the mastering and distribution. So, she looked to crowdsourcing the project through Kickstarter.com.
Hareza’s goal is to raise $6,000 and she’s nearly halfway there, but time is of the essence.
The campaign ends on Monday, Dec. 22.
"I haven’t finished paying for the album, yet, but I’m doing that with gig money," she said. "My idea is that the Kickstarter funds will help."
Donors will receive a free song-download card, a signed CD, and Skype question and answer session of variable lengths to learn new songs and performances (Hareza will cover travel costs).
Still, if Hareza doesn’t meet the goal, she knows that the album will be released eventually.
"It won’t stop me if I don’t make that goal, but it may take me longer to get the album out," she said with a smile.
The songs on "My Peeps" were written over the past seven years, according to Hareza.
"They are about my journey, and they tell about what it took to make the decision to become a musician," she said. "It’s not an easy job. There’s a lot of teeter-tottering and questioning whether or not I’m going down the right path."
Hareza and her group of musicians didn’t take too long to record the songs.
"I think we went into the studio a total of four times over the course of a month or two," she said. "It was nice because we practiced so much at home before we went in.
"I figured since I was asking for donations to pay for the project, I wanted to do my part so the people who were donating weren’t just paying for me to spend countless hours in the studio," Hareza said. "I will remember everyone who donated to help me and I will be there for them. If there is anything I can do for them, I will do it and will be happy to help."
In addition to the musicians, Hareza tapped into another artist, Ali Petrauskas of Rose Photography, to help with the album’s artwork.
"Ali is based in North Carolina and is also a singer and songwriter," Hareza said. "She is a phenomenal artist and was trying to find her niche in the industry."
Hareza said although "My Peeps" is her album, the experience was a group effort.
"I’m so proud to say that this project is coming together to show what I can do and show what my friends can do," she said. "In fact, my website (elizabethlive.com ) will eventually have links to pages of all those who helped. Music isn’t a selfish thing for me and I want to give back to everyone who have given me not just their time, but life experiences."
Two of the songs — "Plain Ole Shoes" and "High West" — were written after Hareza moved from North Carolina to Park City in 2012.
"I love Park City and there has been so much support for me ever since I arrived," she said. "I thank Matt Wink and the Silver Star Café who have been so supportive, and I love being able to give back to the town whenever I can."
“Park City Follies” ticket sales will help buy a new expansion to the Egyptian Theatre that will house YouTheatre and serve as a black box.