In the Nerdherd we often joke about buying albums or memorabilia as our way of buying a sandwich for the members of whichever groups we’re sweatin’ at the time. It’s our tiny of way of showing support through financial means when we don’t have the opportunity to go to a bunch of shows or fan meets on the regular. For the longest time, it was the only tangible way I could think of besides comments on Insta posts to show these far away groups just how much I appreciated what they were doing.
This changed a little for me when I stumbled on the Kickstarter James Lee, formerly of the Royal Pirates, had started to help fund an album of songs he had written following his grueling years of surgeries and recovery. He’s not all better, but he raised well over his goal and was able to do this project to prove to himself and the rest of the world that he was still there and still fighting to do what he loved. I contributed a small amount to the campaign and got a physical, autographed album by way of thanks. It felt good to know that I had done a teeny tiny bit to help him fulfill this dream.
This is when I started to hear KpopontheDL drop the words ‘did you see the Makestar for XXX?” casually into conversations. It took me a hot minute to finally figure out what Makestar really was and why it fit perfectly into my need to care for all of the struggling artists and Nugus with a smaller fanbase.
Makestar or Make Your Own Star, is a platform for crowdfunding Hallyu content. It’s like the Kickstarter or Gofundme for Korean Entertainment where you ‘donate’ a certain amount and receive a thank you gift based on the level your donation qualifies you for (think digital recordings, signed albums, your name in the liner notes, etc.) If you troll through the projects you’ll see plenty of groups you’ve heard of trying to put out an album or photo book at low cost, some requiring the support from fans and others whose companies just want to turn a higher profit by getting the funding at the front end. However, there are those golden projects you just really, really want to see happen and feel the need to do everything in your power to make a reality.
For me, that first golden project was South Club’s second mini album Contact Information. They had the songs and they had them digitally available, but they needed the funding to make the MV and produce the physical albums. I am so much in support of Nam Tae Hyun and the huge effort he’s put in and the sacrifices he’s made to make the music he believes in that I just had to invest. I’m also poor. This means I could only drop $25 to support the project and then pay the extra $10ish for shipping to qualitfy to receive a signed album as a thanks.
I’m Crazy, South Club