In September of 2017, Nashville based singer-songwriter Chelsey Carter introduced herself with her EP Nothin’ Better to Do. Full of twangy guitars and tales of love lost, the EP allowed Carter to hit the ground running.
In the two and a half years since her debut release, Carter has been honing her craft and putting the right team together around her to make sure her sophomore release is even more special.
Fast forward to February of 2020; Carter is on the precipice of that release, but she needs her supporters’ help to make it a reality.
Carter recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for the release of her next EP, which she says will follow the classic country vein of Nothin’ Better to Do with additional pop elements as well.
“Sonically, it’s going to be a similar essence as my first EP, however, there’s definitely a little bit more of a pop inspiration as well,” Carter says. “But there’s no need to worry because the classic country vibe is still very much present, and my songwriting style is still very much the same.”
Carter says that the songs on her second EP will give a truer version of herself as an artist and as a person, and has spent the time since her first EP growing as a songwriter.
“This new EP is a lot more personal and vulnerable than my first EP. My first EP was a lot of generalized songs that had pieces of my experiences, but all in all, a lot of the overall stories were embellished (as my Dad would say, I ‘didn’t let the truth get in the way of a good story’),” Carter says. “This EP is a complete 180 from the first one in the sense that every single song on this album is something that either happened to me, is a reflection of myself, or a statement about where I came from. While I already knew this and touched upon it in my first EP, moving to Nashville has really beaten into me that the best songwriters aren’t afraid to lay their heart out on the table for anyone and everyone to see. And while this was super uncomfortable to do at first; to just expose yourself to strangers and longtime supporters, I found that once I started doing it in every song (as opposed to one or two), my writing improved tenfold. I learned that while my experiences and feelings may seem unique to me, a lot of times, there are things that many people can relate to, so there’s really nothing to be afraid of.”
Carter has the EP’s Kickstarter campaign set to “all or nothing,” meaning if the $7,000 goal is not met by March 1, none of the money that has been previously donated will go to the campaign, something that brings a fair amount of stress for her.
“Pressure would be a really casual way to put it. Honestly, it kinda feels more like Mentos in diet coke, where you just feel like you’re going to explode at any moment. There’s so much uncertainty towards whether I’m going to reach my goal or not. All I can do is promote it the best I can and hope that I can generate some excitement towards being a part of this project,” Carter says. “I chose ‘all or nothing’ because I already put everything I have into writing this record, and because of that, it would be a sin not to give it the same treatment when it comes to recording; which will only be possible if I can reach my goal. So at the end of the day, if the campaign is not successful, it just means that recording the songs will be put off until we can record and produce it with as much love and attention as was given to the writing process.”
To incentivize the campaign, Carter has added several iunique and humorous rewards, including a mini golf challenge, an ice skating lesson, and even a custom written drunk song. Carter says she enjoyed putting the rewards together given the personal nature behind them.
“I wanted to create things that were not only unique and random, but also true to me and who I am. Far too many times, there is this division created between the artist and the ‘fans’ (which is a word that I actually hate to use because I think it only supports said division). I don’t have fans, I have a team,” Carter says. “My team rallies when I come to town and parties with me at my shows, and my team comes together to help me record new music. My team members know me, and you bet your ass that if I don’t know one of them, that will be fixed ASAP. Because of this, I tried to create rewards that would help break down that divide and allow me a chance to interact more personally with my team. Music is obviously the biggest influencer in my life, so a few of my rewards reflect that, however, there’s also some that involve adventures and outings. But basically that’s a long-winded way of saying that I tried to make my rewards as personal as the writing on my album.”
All signs point to 2020 being a big year for Carter, with the release of her EP being a catalyst for even bigger things.
“2020 is the year of the hustle! I recently signed on with a management and booking agency, and have been balls to the wall with them trying to book as many shows nationally as possible,” Carter says. “One of the other reasons I need to record a second EP is that my manager thinks that a few of these songs would be amazing to pitch to a few record labels that he has contacts with, as well as pitching for sync licenses (for TV and movie deals); but I have to get them recorded before we can do any of those things.”
As of press time, Carter is already more than 1/3 of the way towards reaching the campaign’s goal, and is appreciative of the support she has received so far and continues to receive.
“It’s so humbling to see how many people have come out of the woodwork to help support my project, and I couldn’t be more thankful for everyone who has contributed; whether it’s financially or promotionally by helping me spread the word,” Carter says. “It literally means the world to me that so many people want to hear my new music, and help me get it into as many headphones nationally and worldwide as possible.”
*Find Chelsea’s Kickstarter campaign here*
*All images courtesy of Chelsey Carter Facebook Page*