Brian McKnight is launching a project via his website McKnight360.com which will allow his fans to download a new song and video every month, and also be able to watch the recording process in a series of videos he posts online.
“I’ve never heard of anyone doing an album that was interactive with their fans,” Brian, 44, told BANG Showbiz. “On McKnight360.com I’m giving my fans the opportunity to be in the room with me as I create my next 12 songs. It’s called ‘Brian McKnight Interactive’ and basically the fans will get a new song, a new video and a song from my archive every month. I’ve got about a thousand songs I’ve written and nobody’s ever heard that I’m giving away for free. Basically, it’s going to cost $12-a-year, like a club.
“The great thing about this is it’s going to challenge me to write a new song every month. I’ll put up videos every week of me recording the song and at the end of the month, you’ll hear a brand new song that you heard the beginnings of … My fans will also be able to comment on that process as it’s unfolding. I’ll take on comments from the fans, it’ll be as interactive for me as it is for them.”
The 16-time Grammy nominee says he was partly inspired by how Beyoncé released her self-titled fifth album on iTunes last December without any promotion or previews.
McKnight, who released his 15th studio album “More Than Words” last year, now wants to sell his music directly to his fans who have followed him since he started his career in 1992.
“I’ve got a following and that’s why I got this idea for interacting with my fans,” he said. “Why should I spend my time working with people who don’t necessarily understand the music that I do? I see 300,000 to 400,000 people a year who will pay $100 to come and see me. I’m going to sell directly to them, it seems to make a lot more sense to me.
“It was really exciting what Beyoncé did because in one day she sort of changed the landscape of the music business … All of a sudden, boom, her album was there. I think that showed people you don’t necessarily have to have this huge marketing machine behind you to be successful in this business.”
(Photo: Rance Elgin)