Ventura Lights (formerly known as "My YouTube Band Project") explained in words
-- An open letter from Cobus Potgieter --
My name is Cobus. I have a YouTube channel. I have accumulated more than one hundred million views by playing the drums along to my favorite songs, but now I want to write and record and produce my own music.
The core of this project was to reach out to the internet community, accept auditions from completely unknown (but completely epic) musicians, choose and connect with the people that inspire me and that I have chemistry with, fly them to Los Angeles for a few weeks, and write and record an album and show that it is now possible to put together a band, make inspired music that comes from a place of freedom, and all of this without any pressure from record companies.
To fund the project, we created a Kickstarter project, and through the most unbelievable, humbling, crazy support of my fans, aspiring rock stars and people who love the vision and wanted to come along for the rideÖ we raised over $50 000! This money is going toward the costs of bringing the band together, in LA, Calif., recording and producing the album and all of the paperwork that goes along with that.
With a green light on funding, auditions opened and over 450 musicians submitted videos, from guitarists, bassists, singers, didgeridoo players, triangleíists, you name it. I went through each video, and compiled a list of 14 awesome musicians who I thought would work well together in a new band. The selections said nothing about each musicians skill, there were many, MANY people who impressed me with their music and the time they had taken to prepare an audition.
Choosing a select few from such a huge field of great options was one of the toughest things Iíve ever had to do. The YTBP was always supposed to inspire musicians to follow their passion and produce great music, and my hope is that anyone who auditioned but didnít make the Top 14 would not feel ANY less a musician, and would continue to support the project as it moves into the next phase. I was AMAZED at many of the auditions and inspired about the talent which exists out there, as yet undiscovered in many cases.
I think that the size of this project is possibly miles above anything any independent musician has ever tried, and that makes this the most intimidatingly big idea I have ever had. Iíve had this idea for so long, and I am more excited and passionate about this than I have been about almost anything else. I just sincerely and honestly and really believe I have to try this, I canít NOT try it, I canít wuss out and not try this. I have always pursued what I am passionate about, thatís the way I try to live my life and thatís what I am doing here. So if youíve followed my story and you want to be a part of this next chapter, or if you have no idea who the flip I am and you just think this is a rad idea, or if youíre at all as excited and passionate about this as I am then please come along for the ride. You can leave your email address to receive a weekly email about our progress and get the inside track on whats happening, quirky stories, photos and videos and anything noteworthy that happens.