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Shawnee Kilgore: Crowdfunding, Honesty & Collaborating with Joss Whedon

Joining us this week out of Austin, Texas is singer/songwriter and photographer Shawnee Kilgore. Shawnee has a crowdfunding story that most artists can only dream of. Hollywood director Joss Whedon loved Shawnee’s music and voice, and backed her Kickstarter.

After the campaign ended and she was working on a personalized song for him, he emailed to ask if she would be interested in working on a co-write with him. Their single “Big Giant Me” came as the result and they went on to create Back to Eden, their new EP.

The EP release sold out The Alamo in Austin where they daybued the video starring Oscar nominee Richard Jenkins and Ashley Johnson. It was shot by Jay Hunter on two Alexa 65’s that until then had only been used on the highest end of big budgeted feature films, such as “The Revenant” and “Rogue One.”

In this interview, we hear more about Shawnee’s approach to crowdfunding, what it was like collaborating with Joss Whedon, and the advice she’d offer to her fellow musicians. Enjoy!

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  • Shawnee tells us how she became ok with asking for help
  • “Asking for help in the places where you need enables you to focus on what you do well” – Shawnee Kilgore
  • “Knowing what you suck at can be really valuable!” – Shawnee Kilgore
  • We talk about the positive reasons for artists to run a crowdfunding campaign
  • Shawnee tells us about her experience of collaborating with Joss Whedon
  • “Collaborating with Joss was so surreal in that it wasn’t weird!” – Shawnee Kilgore
  • Shawnee shares how she had unrealistic expectations of the success of her EP collaboration with Joss Whedon
  • We hear how having Joss Whedon’s name attached to Shawnee’s project opened some doors
  • We appreciate Shawnee’s honesty in talking about her career
  • “If something falls into your lap, you’ve already done the work to get out there enough for it to happen” – Shawnee Kilgore
  • Shawnee shares what her favourite Kickstarter reward to make was


  • When crowdfunding, have goals in mind and know what you’re asking for money for
  • On crowdfunding – “You’re asking for a purpose and for specific things” – Shawnee Kilgore

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