Since 2005, Chinua White has created music, pixel art and character design for video game projects under the pseudonym BLK MKT. He uses a Nintendo 3DS and KORG M01d to make music for games and now needs to raise funds to make a tutorial series that will teach how to compose, arrange, record and loop music. The tutorials will be aimed to educate school aged children to make their own music, and give them skills they need to make full, rich music in any app.
Chinua’s campaign is just another excellent example of how crowdfunding is helping bring creative ideas to life. We spoke with Chinua on how he’s working towards reaching his goal on FundRazr, advice for others and how he is reaching his already established online community of support.
Watch Chinua’s video pitch below.
Can you tell us more about what you’re raising money for?
“I’m raising money to teach my school age students to compose music with the Nintendo 3DS. I intend to teach my students with a 3DS I project to the class television and the KORG M01D and DSN-12 apps as they follow along on their own 3DSs. The videos I make for YouTube would be made as reference material for the students to reinforce what I teach them personally.
I need the money I’m raising to purchase a 500 GB i7 Surface Pro 3, the Pro 3’s dock, type cover as well as audio equipment and a hard drive for storing rendered video. The computer will be used to teach my students art and music skills as well as allowing me to make the YouTube series in the first place.”
Why did you decide to turn to crowdfunding?
“I’ve had success teaching my students with game consoles and other technology before, but my equipment was just too meager to accomplish a project of this scope. Recording footage from the 3DS, making tutorial videos and allowing my students to follow along from live footage took more resources than I had available, and my expenses as a college student made this project all but impossible without crowdfunding.”
How did you promote your campaign and create a community of support?
“I’ve maintained a strong web presence for years with my website and various gallery and portfolio pages. I started by leveraging the support I already had, then launched my YouTube channel with sample videos to demonstrate and promote my campaign idea. After that, I contacted the developers of the KORG apps, people who use the apps, people who want to use the apps and more. A big key was to purchase a domain to redirect to my campaign to make telling people in person about it easier to do.”
What has been a challenge you faced while crowdfunding?
“There were a few big challenges for my particular campaign – since the product I’m using as a teaching tool occupies a bit of a niche, I first had to educate people on what the KORG apps were, why they were important as learning and teaching tools and so on. Secondly, I needed to demonstrate that I was capable of making the tutorial series with constrained hardware, and I needed to do enough to gain and keep peoples’ attention.”
What has been the highlight of your crowdfunding experience?
“Getting the support of one of my favorite podcasts, SpawnOnMe, as well as the support of Nobuyoshi Sano, the director of Detune. Detune makes the KORG apps on 3DS, and getting their support was a huge boost!”
Do you have any advice for others who want to start crowdfunding?
“Try to get as much local support for your crowdfunding project as possible. A lot of the support I got for my project came from local places, I handed out flyers and from parents of my students.”
Click here to listen to samples of Chinua’s music and support Chinua’s campaign.