There is something both beautiful and daunting about watching the girls you've grown up with evolve into women as you yourself are also coming into your own. Singer, writer, composer, producer, and teacher Rachel Ohnsman
exquisitely balances a blend of both qualities not only with her compelling nature but in her music alone. From being young Girl Scouts together to becoming acquaintances at colleges far from one another, for me, I have always been in awe seeing her musical work blossom into what it is now.
Ohnsman has released a number of loveable works from her debut album of Lovers
to her fun-loving single of Cliche
. Furthermore, she is now preparing to launch not one, but two fully-written albums. The only difficulty Ohnsman is grappling with is, which album to release first (I wish I had that problem!).
Creative workers are already frequently exploited by employers, especially in the COVID-19 era, which has motivated Ohnsman to develop unique ways of paying her collaborators and become a testament to her creative morals.
In each of Ohnsman's albums, Nuclear Family, and Moon Songs, her lyrical work is profoundly personal. She uses her music to explore and further process her experiences overcoming trauma. One of the most respectable commitments of her productions is that she has not forgotten all the creative artists that have helped her develop the initial phases of her striking work. In April 2019, The National Endowment for the Arts published a report
revealing not only the significant number of artists and other cultural workers in the U.S. labor force but also the large number of those that hold their creative position as a second occupation. Creative workers are already frequently exploited by employers, especially in the COVID-19 era, which has motivated Ohnsman to develop unique ways of paying her collaborators and become a testament to her creative morals. According to KQED
, recent Duke Ph.D. graduate Jae Yun Kim
, Professor Aaron Kay, University of Oregon Professor Troy Campbell
, and Oklahoma State University Professor Steven Shepherd
studied the ways that passionate workers are increasingly being taken advantage of in the U.S. labor force, which in turn often equates to those in the arts. Ohnsman's professional integrity won't let a system who doesn't equate passion with work ethic stand in the way of fair pay.
Ohnsman has launched a one-of-a-kind Kickstarter
where we, the supporters, get to choose which album we want to hear first, the Battle of the Concepts albums
. Every single Kickstarter contribution is a vote for either album, and whichever album gets the most votes will be produced first. It is hard to grasp how she or anyone on her musical team would be able to balance producing two full-length albums and have time for anything else, which is why she needs our help in making sure creative workers are getting paid fairly. The pandemic changed the economic landscape for many, but especially artists, Ohnsman is not letting these difficult times take away from the hard-working musical collaborators that have poured their hearts into her talent.
Healing through the creative arts is a difficult process, but one that can be cathartic as well as absolutely riveting.
When I received her message, I leaped with excitement at the thought of finally being able to hear the entirety of the albums she has long been working on. In 2018, Ohnsman and I had been reconnecting to see how we could both aid each other in our work. We realized that outside of our creative endeavors, we were both women that had overcome similar traumas and were looking for ways to have our voices heard in curated but healing ways.
We originally bonded over my efforts branding The Sparkle Movement, a jewelry company to raise awareness of sexual violence,
and how she could compose a song that amplified that message. Although The Sparkle Movement is on hold while I source funding, watching Ohsman continue to work through her trauma within her art has been incredibly inspiring. Ohsman originally developed her song, "Sparkle," to help amplify the Sparkle movement. And now, she's expanded the song into an entire album, Moon Songs, as a means of sharing her voice and overcoming her trauma leading to Battle of the Concepts Kickstarter
. With her resilience in mind, I can't help but feel hopeful for another wave of my own healing.
The pandemic changed the economic landscape for many, but especially artists, Ohnsman is not letting these difficult times take away from the hard-working musical collaborators that have poured their hearts into her talent.
Healing through the creative arts is a difficult process, but one that can be cathartic as well as absolutely riveting. Ohnsman is incredibly brave for sharing her trauma and healing process with the world. But she couldn't have done that alone, which is why she has been upright in recognizing those who have aided her healing experience and musical endeavors. This Kickstarter campaign
is not only a feat of ingenuity in itself but it is also absolutely vital for gathering funds to fairly pay instrumentalists, vocalists, producers, mixing and mastering engineers, and virtual orchestrators for the work in this particular time of economic need. And, no, it doesn't stop there. Because along with musical collaborators there is another side of the taskforce which includes: visual creators, like animators, videographers, photographers, and makeup artists as well as promotional collaborates and materials like PR specialists, physical CDs, custom stickers, pins, and more.
Both of these albums are completely written but in need of further musical and visual production. Ohnsman is offering special rewards, releases, and promotions with each level of funds that are contributed, and has exactly two days of her campaign
coming to an end on Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020. This is "all or nothing" for her Battle of the Concept albums, and I am happy to support Rachel Ohnsman
as a friend and fan in her beautiful, daunting, and important work of amplifying artists, and women. Ohnsman's music is bursting at the seams to be heard, and I, personally, cannot wait one more second to hear it. The gorgeous arrangement of her lyrics, sounds, and visual creation coupled with her empowering, healing messages are exactly what the world needs right now.
To learn more about this unique and poerful project, you can watch the video below.