Q&A with Songs for Sandy Artists - Gene and Kim

This is the first in a series of Fast and Fun Interviews we're doing with our first artists in the Songs for Sandy initiative - so you all can get a little insight into what makes them creatively "tick." Caution: this interview might make you hungry!

Gene Ellsworth has been fine-tuning his songwriting craft in Pittsburgh, Nashville, and California since 1985. He’s had several number one hits, including "The Fool" (Lee Ann Womack) and "All Aboard" (the Del McCurry Band). He met Kimberly Manns in Pittsburgh through yoga, and together they plan to produce and release an Indy Folk CD in 2013.


Why do you write?

Kim: Well, I don’t think Gene has much a choice… it just comes out. Of course, then he spends chunks of time fine-tuning and tweaking. Gene encouraged me to work with him and found out how fun the process can be...even when he disagrees with me.  I love the journey and sharing something we’ve completed.

Gene: I don't have the words for why, but I love the feeling of not knowing where a lyric or melody came from...like magic it's just there.

What fills you with great joy?

Kim: The sunset, the sunrise, watching the sky.

Gene: Being on a bike ride with Kim.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Kim: I get out of bed because I’m tired of being there. I am a doer.

Gene: I like to stay in bed and vegetate...you know, I'm a vegetarian. (editor's comment: ha ha)

Do you meditate?

Kim: Meditation Is the best part of my yoga practice.

Gene: Yes, meditation reminds me again and again of who I really am.

What’s your favorite food?

Kim:  Popcorn made with coconut oil and a little garlic salt.    

Gene: I shouldn't but I love sweets...cake, pie, candy, cookies...yeah.


How much money will really go the Red Cross?

Just read an article in the NY Times from 12/2/12 that addressed the issue of how much of that money raised for charity really goes to the charity.

I certainly wonder that myself when I give - so thought I should address it for our Songs for Sandy initiative.

First of all, I chose the Red Cross to partner with because its spends 92% of its money on programs, not administrative expenses, fundraising etc (according to Charity Navigator). It is also doing an amazing job for Sandy victims. 

Second of all, our numbers.

We are selling five songs for $5 - so $1/each. From that, we pay the artists who choose to receive royalties 18 cents - 9 cents for the use of the recording, 9 cents for the use of the intellectual property of the song itself. 2 of the 5 songwriting teams elected to donate their royalties.

Paypal takes 6 cents per unit. 

Hope Sings is taking zero for admin, overhead - nothing.

So here's the math:

$1.00 - paypal = $.94

$.94 - royalties = $.76 net per song 

2 songs w/no royalties - $.94 x 2 = $1.88

3 songs w/royalties - $.76 x 3 = $2.28

total net proceeds of a five song package (with minimum $5.00 payment) = $4.16

Hope Sings MATCHES that - so your $5.00 purchase results in a donation of $8.32 to the Red Cross.

PLUS you help emerging singer-songwriters AND get five fun songs to boot.

Not bad (we think).

What do YOU think?