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Comments

erich

what do you think of this campaign? can we really change the world? please let us know your thoughts!
-erich from calabash

erich

do you have ideas for artists we should feature? any great projects going on that we should be aware of?
keep those ideas flowing!
-erich @ calabash

Zach Niles

I think it's a brilliant idea and I'm extremely honored that you've chosen The Refugee All Stars for this project. As the co-director of the documentary film that launched the band (and that produced the album) ... I would be hugely grateful if you could make a mention of the award winning film about the band and possibly note the website... In any case - either way thank you for letting us be a part of this.

Best,

Zach

erich

done. and done. there is a link to the film site (http://refugeeallstars.org/) from the all stars page on calabash (http://refugeeallstars.calabashmusic.com/),
and as for the film being mentioned, we'll add some references and links in other blog posts, and i think your comment is a great reference for our visitors as well. thanks for finding these guys and bringing their light to the world!
-erich

erich

One of our lovely customers (you, maybe?) wrote to us asking about our Tune Your World campaign:

> Hi "guys":
> This is a great and painless plan, except I already have all the music you've designated - well,
> except the kwaito [Zola] . . .
> But anyway, before I forward this, I'd like to know your criteria for choosing the recipients of the
> $$, because I know my friends and relatives will ask me.
> When even the RedCross has been caught 'teefin', we've become very careful in
> choosing where our money goes.
> Hope you already have a thing ready to go on this aspect, but if not, I'd suggest
> saving your answer to me, since I likely won't be the only one asking.
> Thanks-a-bunch,
> ~granny

She is right, of course, we're sure that more of you have questions about our campaign, so we've put some answers here in this post. For those of you who haven't put the dots together fully, these articles on our front page are coming off of our blog, and you can respond to these posts, and comment on them by clicking on the title of the post, or by going directly to our blog.

Our criteria in choosing who we designate as a "Tune Your World" artist is still being defined and refined, but it involves the following aspects:

* Some or all of the money being generated by music sales going directly to NGOs, non-profits, or community based projects (Mutubambile Orphan Choir, Stop Excision Project, Afrobeat Sudan Project, Zola)
* Artists involved in actively changing their community for the better (all groups so far)
* Artists/Projects who we are directly working with, so that we know that the bulk of the money earned through download sales will end up in the hands of the artists or the intended project (Stop Exision, ASAP)
* Artists who are raising awareness around important issues (ASAP, Stop Excision, Mutubambile Orphan Choir, Sierra Leone Refugee All-Stars)
* Artists who are lifting up their communities with their music (Sierra Leone Refugee All-Stars)

Calabash is sending the money from music sales to the artists, who can choose what they do with this money. They can put it into community building, they can buy a new roof for their house, they can buy bags of rice for their family, or they can buy new clothes.

It is not our position to either choose or dictate to these artists how to spend their money.

What we are trying to do is to make music a viable form of making a living for these artists, so that they can support themselves and support their communities. We can only do this with your help. Your word-of-mouth will help these artists sell music, and help fans realize that amazing music is being created world-wide, and that they don't have to be satisfied with the sticky pop pap on the radio. To be part of this transformation, just forward this link to your friends: http://tuneyourworld.com/

If you have ideas for criteria we should be using, artists we should be featuring, or other thoughts, please share them with us either privately via our feedback form or here on our blog.

thanks for being part of our community,
erich

Marilyn

Hi Erich:

Thanks for the feedback - but now I'm more confused than ever!
When I read about the Tune Your World program, I had thought that it was a different and separate program from your usual program of trying to see that the artists get a larger %age of their income for themselves. It sounded as if the TYW money was going directly to projects.
Now your response to me makes it seem as if the TYW monies are going the same route as the rest - to the artist (or in a few cases an NGO that put the recording out)who may then give the money to a project if they want, or use it for themselves if they want.
Given the average annual income of the artists you are featuring, I have no problem with that. They need support, education for their children, health care and so on and I'm very happy to support that.
What I do question is IF money is going to projects, and knowing the propensity of funds to end up in some person's pocket, rather than as project funds (you have to really scour the financials of these projects thoroughly)how are you weeding out the worthy from the unworthy? A project can sound absolutely lovely and worthwhile, but the funds can easily be diverted and not do any good at all. It's a typical western blind spot to think that throwing money at a problem is helpful when it may just be increasing the problem if the money doesn't reach the intended recipients and then we think we've done something about it so quit trying and/or caring.
AND IF the money is going to the same place it went previously, why have you started what seems to be a separate program?
Perhaps it's just the wording of the blurb you sent out about the TYW?

Erich

thanks for all that marilyn. certainly some valid concerns raised.
Tune Your World is meant to highlight the work that artists in our catalog are doing, and as such is a new Campaign, but we think the beauty of this is that we're highlighting what we've always been doing, and we're giving people a whole new way to think about music downloading. We've been giving 100% of the revenue to ASAP and Stop Excision since they came on the site. Because we are a small company, we meet and talk with most of the artists, labels, and projects that are on the site.
As for how we have chosen these projects, it is on the strength of those personal connections and our digging into those. With Stop Excision, both Brad and I personally know Susan, the woman who runs that program. She lives here in our town, except for the 3 months or so that she spends every year in Mali working with traditional excisors trying (and succeeding) to get them to change their ways. I also know a bunch of the artists on her compilation, and know that they are happy with the work that Susan is doing with their music and in their country. So I'm very comfortable telling people to support Susan. She is NOT playing the role of do-gooder while living the high life. She is working very hard to change an awful, painful practice.
As for ASAP, this is a project run by two young motivated guys in Brooklyn, whom we also know very well. Their label (Modiba - www.modiba.net) is engaged in a series of really good works, including a project called Fight Malaria, which we'll highlight later in the Tune Your World campaign. I also know some of the groups personally on this album, and know they are also happy with the project.
So, again, this comes down to our personal knowledge of the projects, the people involved, and the good being done on the ground.
As for other projects we have featured and will feature, we will continue to screen them to make sure that we are highlighting projects that we can be proud of, and that you can be both proud to support and comfortable supporting knowing that your money is a) doing good work in difficult conditions and b) bringing you wonderful music.
does that help answer your questions?
-erich

Marilyn

Hi Erich:

It sure does!

There's nothing like personal involvement or knowledge to see if the funds are actually doing the work.
I've always loved this site, because it was a good replacement for a couple sites that did much the same thing but that bit the dust due to perhaps being before their time, or bad management.
It's so nice to see a well managed site with lots and lots of new music for my greedy ears to explore - music that fills my heart as well as my ears.
I really appreciate all the work that you and your confreres do here, finding new gems for us to savour, and maybe on my summer 2007 trip to S Africa I'll come home with some worthy candidates for you.
Thanks for taking the time to explain exactly how the TYW program to me, and I'll send the e-mail on to all my friends and family.
~marilyn

erich

marilyn -
thanks for your kind words and for spreading the word. we'll do our best to highlight as many aspects of artists that we feature on TYW. we just got a new submission from a group of women in Uganda, and they have included a break-down of how they spend each $10 they receive, so i imagine that will be something that would be worth putting up in our profiles of these artists.
and let me know when you head to SA, i'll point you to some artists i've met on my travels down there, so that you have a wonderful musical trip as well.
peace.
erich

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