"It's been a long road. It took me a while to get out of the situation I was in for years. My label hadn't released music on me for years. Everything was changing, so I said 'If you're not going to release music, can you release me?"
However, it wasn't as simple as leave one label and find another. "But, when I got out of that deal, it wasn't a possibility for me to go off and sign with another label due to the stipulations and overrides. I couldn't just go 'Hey! Let's get a new record deal.' So, I was stuck in a spot. I realized that the way I've done business for the last fifteen years, I can't do that. It's forbidden. So, I have to find another way through the maze. I took a minute, stepped back and took a breath, and got more active with social networking with fans. I decided to do something fun. I would put a song that I wrote online and say 'If I was to make a new record, would this be on the record – thumbs up or thumbs down? Then, I had a StageIt show, where people could log on and see me perform these songs in my living room."
Working through Kickstarter hadn't crossed her mind yet – but it would soon be brought to her attention through a family member who is in the news right now.
"That's when my 19-year-old cousin, Alex Preston - who is in the top eight on 'American Idol,' comes into the picture," she says. "He's here living with me, and I told him 'We've got the songs, but it's going to take a fortune to make a record.' He said 'Why don't you do Kickstarter? Everyone is doing it.' I researched it, asked Julian King – who co-produced with me, how much it would cost to make a record,. He drew up a budget, we set the goal, and crossed our fingers that people would show up. They did. I give them all the credit. They made the record possible."
Messina had a hand in writing or co-writing seven of the 12 cuts on "Me," including the new single – which she joked was a first-hand experience.
"That was inspired by the baby," she said, referring to son Jonah. "Literally, it was a journal entry. He didn't sleep through the night until he was a year old. He would wake up every two hours. I was just exhausted and run down and had the flu. 4:30 in the morning, I heard the baby crying. I started nudging my husband, punching him, kicking him. 'Can you hear that?' He made not a sound! So I got up, fed the baby. It took about an hour, and I was wide awake. I went downstairs, and started writing in my journal - 'Six A.M, I'm out of bed, I stumble through the haze. There is no coffee strong enough to get me through today.' I had one thing going after another, and no time to stop. I was sick. What I was writing sounded like a song, so it just grew out of that."