Indie Rock? A degree in Victorian literature? Another degree in business marketing? How does all of this come together, and just who is Jason Manns? And what’s he doing with a new crowdfunding campaign?
If you don’t know him yet, Jason Manns is an LA-based singer/songwriter whose concerts in the United Kingdom and Germany have played to sold-out crowds. He’s no stranger to the Kickstarter community; his last album was a crowdfunding project that landed at number 7 on Billboard Magazine’s Heat Seeker’s chart. The Victorian lit and business marketing degrees are courtesy of the College of William and Mary, his alma mater in his home state of Virginia, where he grew up on a farm. His success has shown that it pays to be a singer who can’t be typecast; his songs have shown up in popular television shows like Happy Endings, Parks and Recreation, and Supernatural. His eclectic tastes in music aren’t surprising to any of his fans, who’ve heard him follow up one of his own laid-back folk-rock original tunes with a favorite Motown cover.
Now he’s trying out a new venture following the success of his Christmas with Friends album. He’s inviting some of the friends who helped out in the studio on his last album, along with some new friends, to rework some of their favorite songs. Much as Manns loves writing his own music, he wants to pay homage to the songs of other artists because he credits them with helping him to grow as an artist. Titled Covers with Friends, this latest musical journey has already brought in more than $27,000 of his $30,000 goal, and the August 21 deadline is still almost a month away.
Last year’s full-length studio album was Christmas with Friends, and the process was a lot of fun because Manns had friends with him. He finds the studio part of music to be a little more solitary than he likes, so having friends with him made it something he wanted to do again. The fans must have picked up on the enthusiasm. Manns says, “The album was really popular with the fans as well, so if I loved it, the fans loved it, and my friends loved it . . . I’d be crazy not to do it again!”
He learned a lot from his first crowdfunding project and this time, he made sure to set a target that would cover the costs of making a cover album with almost a dozen or so musical guests. If the fan support is as enthusiastic as it was the first time, he’s thinking of possibly doing a double album with even more friends helping out (he has a lot of friends), a worldwide release tour, and who knows what else? After playing live for five million viewers on Los Angeles’ KTLA morning show, and in the Star 98.7 star lounge with host Ryan Seacrest, as well as touring in the Singapore, Italy, Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States, he’s added a lot of fans to his base.
Jason Manns figures that it’s time to sing and make a few more friends.