I Think You're Going To Love This

SHORT VERSION: 

Watch this 1-minute video to learn about my Kickstarter campaign.

I'm releasing a new (my second) lullaby album this fall, and I would LOVE for you to be a part of it

I'm a mom, so I know the struggle is real when it comes to children's music. Here are my two problems with music my kids want to listen to: 

1) I don't really like it to begin with. 

2) My kids want to hear it over and over for all eternity. 

CAN YOU RELATE?

My new album, I Dream of You (Volume II) was created to solve those two specific problems. It was thoughtfully and lovingly crafted to bring peace and beauty into your home in a timeless, nostalgic way that both you AND your children will love. It's DESIGNED to be played over and over (because let's be honest – that's how our kids roll). We worked really hard to make I Dream of You (Volume II) an album that no one is going to get tired of anytime soon (hallelujah!).

If this sounds like something you're excited about, I would be so honored for you to join me! My Kickstarter campaign is a chance for you to preorder this peaceful, classic and cinematic album for yourself, and help me as I spread the word about this campaign on social media. I'm sure you know a mama or two who would love this project! If you tell another mama about it right now, a *lullaby fairy* will get her wings ;) 

All you need to remember is KickstartJJ.com 

 I wanted to make the cover look like a classic children's book. It's better than I could have imagined!

I wanted to make the cover look like a classic children's book. It's better than I could have imagined!

I hope to raise at least 50 percent of the budget for the album ($30,000), but if we reach the stretch goal of the full budget of $60,000, all backers who pledge $20 or more will get their name listed in the album credits. Yay! 

To some, making a lullaby album might seem frivolous and unnecessary, but not to me. I believe making lullabies plays an important role in my calling. I know God cares deeply about babies, children and their moms, dads and caregivers. He sees us in those millions of ordinary moments throughout the course of our lives. He's there in those times of exhaustion, hospitalizations or grief and also when we're simply drifting off to sleep at the end of the day. He sees the moments of pure celebration when babies are held in our arms for the very first time, and His heart rejoices right along with ours. 

I consider it an honor and a privilege to provide the soundtrack for some of life's most sacred moments. Knowing that you’re joining me in the journey makes it even sweeter!

Grace & peace,

*jj

A LITTLE HISTORY (LONGER VERSION)

In 2014, I made a record that altered the way I think about my music. I Dream of You was packed full of love songs for and about my two sweet little girls, Lucy and Nora. In the years since it released, what I thought would be a fun side-project turned into something bigger than I ever imagined! 

As I saw the calming power these songs had, I realized that it was time for me to stop trying to convince decision-makers at radio stations to play my songs, and instead bring honest songs of hope and peace into the lives and hearts of moms like me and children like mine.

I've been able to donate over 100,000 copies of the album to children’s hospitalsadoptive families, moms in NICUsteen mothers, and families all over the country. The stories I regularly receive continue to amaze and bless me.

Whether the lullabies are promoting family bonding in adoptive families, playing as the soundtrack during labor and delivery, or encouraging mamas experiencing postpartum depression, it always puts a lump in my throat when I hear how the Lord uses these songs! I am completely overwhelmed with gratitude knowing that I get to be a small part of His work.

Here's one of my favorite stories someone shared recently:

 Katherine (Washington)

Katherine (Washington)

I'm the mama to a heart baby (actually, two heart babies) with special little lungs that work real hard to breathe. This means that crying fits are a bit more taxing on her little frame. 

That's where you come in. In the evening, if she's having a hard time calming down, all I have to do is put on your sweet voice singing your I Dream of You lullabies.

The effect is almost instantaneous. Her breathing slows, the tension in her body evaporates, and she melts into me as we slow dance to the rhythm of grace.

It is your voice alone that has this effect, and so I have to thank you for sharing your gift with the world, for helping a little tiny heart warrior, warrior-on one more day.

There's that lump in my throat again. 

WHAT DOES VOLUME II SOUND LIKE?

I teamed up with the producers of my Christmas album (Unto Us), Ben Shive and Brown Bannister to create I Dream of You (Volume II). Together, we reimagined some of my favorite songs of all time. My hope is that these songs will not only soothe babies and little ones, but also evoke peaceful nostalgia in grown-up hearts. The album features 12 cover songs (I didn't write them), and three songs I've written for this project.

Much like Unto Us, we want this album to stand the test of time, so we set out to capture classic organic sounds that will never grow old. That meant including a 10-piece string section, harp, clarinet, trumpet, drums (quietly played), guitars, piano, French horn, children’s choir (plus a few other instruments), and the result feels truly magical.

So … do you want to join my Kickstarter family? I would love it if you did! I pray these songs will be around for generations to come, offering peace and comfort to hundreds of thousands of moms, dads, babies and grown-up kids too. Let’s bring beauty into the world together!

REWARDS INCLUDE: 

rewards NEW.jpg

To hear my daughter read the book, watch the video below.

 Onesies feature lyrics from "Big World Baby" on I Dream of You (Vol. I). When the campaign ends, you'll be able to choose from these three color options.

Onesies feature lyrics from "Big World Baby" on I Dream of You (Vol. I). When the campaign ends, you'll be able to choose from these three color options.

• LYRIC SWADDLE BLANKET

 Organic cotton muslin blanket measures 47 x 47 inches. I'm working on another design for the blanket too :)

Organic cotton muslin blanket measures 47 x 47 inches. I'm working on another design for the blanket too :)

 

• CD GIFT BUNDLE 

• HAND-WRITTEN LYRICS

• KEEPSAKE "I GET TO BE THE ONE" NECKLACE

 Options include gold-plated and sterling silver.

Options include gold-plated and sterling silver.

• A JJ HELLER CONCERT FOR YOUR COMMUNITY 

 Photo by Jeff Harris ( jeffharrisphoto.net )

Photo by Jeff Harris (jeffharrisphoto.net)

Is there a reward that you'd like, but don't see? I'm happy to receive and consider your suggestions! 

I'm working on some more rewards, so keep checking back to see if I've added anything new :) 

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If you’re interested in the nitty-gritty number stuff, keep reading: 

You probably already know the whole music industry is shifting. Fans used to pay $15 or more for a CD, but now we can stream most songs for free or at a very small cost. I love discovering music through streaming too, but artists like me are still trying to figure out just how to keep creating music for you when streaming services sometimes pay as little as 1/3 of a cent each time a song is played.

In the olden days, patrons have underwritten the arts, helping artists (like me!) create beautiful things to benefit the entire surrounding population. That’s how I view this campaign and project. You are investing in an album that will bring beauty to families all over the world.

I've gone all-in with the production of I Dream of You (Volume II) because I want to make it super special. That means working with over 30 incredible people (top-notch producers, engineers, graphic designers, and super-talented musicians) to help my vision come to life, but who also need to be paid for their time and talents. The total expenses associated with paying everyone involved (not including the months of labor my husband, Dave, and I poured into the record) lands at around $60,000.

If I hope to recoup that cost through streaming alone, people would need to stream the full 15-song album over a million times (more than 15 million streams) before it pays for itself. To put it into perspective, in the four years since its release, I Dream of You (Volume I) has been streamed about 1.3 million times (or 15.6 million streamed individual songs). That is wonderful, but it also means that without this campaign, there's a possibility that it could take up to four or five years before this new album pays for itself through streams alone.

Lastly, there are several additional costs associated with running a Kickstarter campaign (shipping, packaging, Kickstarter's fee, credit card fees, etc.) so the final take-home figure is often far smaller than you may suppose. To break down the numbers, my husband and I wrote about this after our last successful campaign, and Inc Magazine even picked up the story.

In spite of all the fees, Kickstarter is a wonderful platform for launching a record like this, and we're glad you found your way here! I love that I can team up with you to make music this way. Thank you, in advance, for your generosity.

JJ Heller