Toronto-based hip hop artist k-os will do for live concerts what Radiohead did for recorded music sales.
Backed by an idea developed by his manager, Nettwerk Music Group chief executive Terry McBride, k-os will start a 10-date Canadian tour kicking off April 30, where fans will be able to pay what they want after witnessing the show.
Telecommunications giant Rogers Wireless will also have 100 promotional tickets and are underwriting 60% of the costs, McBride says. Venues for the shows range up to 2,500 in capacity.
The artist, who has just entered a new deal with Universal Music Canada after three albums with EMI, issued his latest album, “YES!” on Tuesday, and said it took little convincing for him to make the “pay what you can,” concert idea a reality.
“I love risk,” he says. “If I wanted no risk, I’d work some other job. I’m excited to see what will happen.”
McBride says he doesn’t view the concept as risky. “I don’t view it as an experiment,” he says. “It seems intuitive to me. I think the more chances people have to see k-os, the stronger his fan base will be.”
Live Nation is involved as a promoter for the tour, and McBride says the company was extremely accepting of the “pay as you can” idea.
K-os will be asking fans to make a “karma” donation inside the venue. Not all the proceeds will be going to him; fans can also donate to the David Suzuki Foundation and will get a “fan-mixed” version of the new album called “Yes! It’s Yours,” with donations.