After being judged by Jennifer Lopez on American Idol in 2011 and singing in front of Christina Aguilera on The Voice in 2012, Chicago’s Aly Jados is ready to write and record the album that makes her career.
The 28-year-old singer with rock star roots has been a full-time musician for the past two years. Jados grew up in Hawthorn Woods and attended Lake Zurich schools, graduating from LZHS in 2003.
That’s why she’s launched a Kickstarter campaign to get one step closer to her big break. Jados is trying to raise $10,000 on the site to professionally record five new tracks before Dec. 21—when the Mayan calendar predicts the end of the world.
“We did this crazy viral video about the end of the world, considering it’s apparently coming,” Jados laughed. “But it’s become more prevalent to have a Kickstarter for a band … Nowadays, labels don’t develop artists anymore. You really have to have the whole brand there. They don’t really put money in it anymore because of YouTube, because of Facebook. You already have to have your fan-base built and know what you are, clearly defined, for them to pick you up.”
The Lake Zurich area native and Western Illinois University graduate says performing on American Idol and The Voice put the possibility of stardom into perspective, but she wants to develop more organically.
"You already have to have your fan-base built and know what you are, clearly defined, for them to pick you up.”
" I went to Lake Zurich High School, and the people were great . . . The town’s great. I took guitar lessons at Offbeat Music in downtown Lake Zurich, and studied music theory at the high school. But I think we made our mark at the high school. Everyone knows the Jados girls (Aly has a twin sister)," Jados said.
"People back home know me from American Idol. I know the whole high school was pretty excited that I was on there," she said.
Jados says performing in a Midwest city with a music business that's not quite as cutthroat as the coasts has its advantages. According to her, the people trying to make it in Chicago are the most dedicated.
“I love Chicago, and it’s almost like it’s an advantage to me because everyone in Chicago isn’t trying to make it,” Jados said. “Everyone in LA is trying to make it somehow. I think that I should go to LA eventually, but I feel like I have a big opportunity here, and I’m paying my dues.”
While Jados may be paying her dues, she does have a deadline. In order to receive the $10,000 through Kickstarter, she needs to get pledges for all of the money. And with just 23 days left and less than 25 percent of the funds raised, Jados is doing everything she can to rally fans to make her dreams come true.
If everything goes according to plan, the aspiring rock star will be thanking all of her backers with an “End of the World” party on Dec. 21 at the Elbo Room in Lake View. Complete with VIP tickets and rewards for the backers, Jados has prepared everything—down to the performance—just in case the world actually does end.
“I’ll be playing at midnight, so I’ll be the last band you hear just before the end of the world,” Jados said, laughing. “It’s going to be a night to remember.”
Anyone interested in watching Jados’ viral video or who wants to pledge money to her album can visit her Kickstarter campaign page. The deadline is Nov. 22.