Nate Rau nrau@tennessean.com  November 8, 2016

A Nashville startup aims to take crowdsourcing to the next level by offering artist development, marketing and other mentoring help to artists who use their service to fund their project.

Bandtwango is aimed specifically at country artists. The service is the brainchild of Music Row veteran John Alexander and professional songwriter Carl Allocco.

The Bandtwango cofounders prefer the term fan-funding over crowdsourcing. Like other funding websites, Bandtwango allows artists to seek donations from fans to fund their next creative endeavor. Fans get perks like early copies of the album or VIP access at a concert.

So what separates Bandtwango from Kickstarter or other crowdfunding sites?

Alexander said Bandtwango’s work begins after a fan-funding campaign ends. He and Allocco will offer creative advice, help with marketing and make connections to country music industry professionals.

“(We want to) work with them on the curation of a campaign,” Alexander said. “They come to us. This is what they’d like to do. Let’s get the fans involved and make the connections to the industry professionals that will most help them achieve their goals.”

Bandtwango cofounders John Alexander and Carl Allocco. Photo submitted (Photo: Mark Reay)
Bandtwango cofounders John Alexander and Carl Allocco. Photo submitted (Photo: Mark Reay)

Allocco, a New York-based songwriter, said the idea for Bandtwango came from watching friends launch crowdfunding campaigns to varying degrees of success. Maybe they reached their fundraising goal, maybe not. But either way, the young artist often doesn’t know what to do next.

Bandtwango is aimed specifically at country artists. The service is the brainchild of Music Row veteran John Alexander and professional songwriter Carl Allocco.

The Bandtwango cofounders prefer the term fan-funding over crowdsourcing. Like other funding websites, Bandtwango allows artists to seek donations from fans to fund their next creative endeavor. Fans get perks like early copies of the album or VIP access at a concert.

So what separates Bandtwango from Kickstarter or other crowdfunding sites?

Alexander said Bandtwango’s work begins after a fan-funding campaign ends. He and Allocco will offer creative advice, help with marketing and make connections to country music industry professionals.

“(We want to) work with them on the curation of a campaign,” Alexander said. “They come to us. This is what they’d like to do. Let’s get the fans involved and make the connections to the industry professionals that will most help them achieve their goals.”

Allocco, a New York-based songwriter, said the idea for Bandtwango came from watching friends launch crowdfunding campaigns to varying degrees of success. Maybe they reached their fundraising goal, maybe not. But either way, the young artist often doesn’t know what to do next.

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Jeneve Rose Mitchell

The platform has already partnered with an up-and-coming country artist in American Idol finalist Jeneve Rose Mitchell. A multi-instrumentalist from western Colorado, Mitchell embodies the kinds of artists that Bandtwango wants to work with, Alexander said.

By reaching the Hollywood phase of American Idol, she made a name for herself. Alexander said Bandtwango can help her fund her next project and make the Nashville connections necessary to aid her career.

“Bandtwango is like a dream come true for me,” Mitchell said. “ Without them, I would not have the chance to do an album in Nashville. They contacted my family a few days after I left American Idol, then flew out to Colorado to meet with me.  My parents and I immediately decided to work with them.”

Bandtwango makes 10 percent from each fundraising campaign and 10 percent for each industry connection, such as a radio promotion or publicity firm, that the company arranges for its artists.

“We feel that by being genre-specific, there is nothing like what we’re doing out there right now,” Alexander said.

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