Marjana Semkina

Marjana Semkina

is creating Bedroom Covers

85

patrons
Hi, my name is Marjana (or Mariana for easier pronunciation!) and i sing.

I'm about to begin a new chapter in my career, or think bigger - life, something that i find equally thrilling and terrifying, and i invite you to join in. But first, let me tell you a little bit about myself (as bad as i am at talking about myself!):

I sing and write songs for the band called iamthemorning. We do rather well: got some awards and recognition in press, toured some countries, released some albums. Because of how well we do, Arts Council England vouched for me and UK Government gave me Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa and now, if i find a way to begin a new life in the UK, in a few years i'll be able to get citizenship.

You see, if you've been born and bred in Russia, they don't allow you to stay out of the country too much, and this affects everything in my life. More than anything, i want freedom to leave if i want to, and work in another country, make music somewhere else, somewhere where i feel myself, somewhere where people would respect me for what i am and not treat me like social pariah because of the career path i've chosen. 

So what's the problem?

According to my visa, in order to get the UK citizenship, i have to make a living within my field of expertise, and that would be music. But even though my band was successful enough to prove that i'm worthy of Tier 1 visa to Arts Council, it is nowhere near bringing real profit - and here, i'd like to take a short detour to tell you, why.

In the past five years, neither me nor my colleague Gleb (we're officially a duo) have taken any money from the band despite releasing 2 studio albums, one live album and a Blu-ray movie. We keep everything saved on our band's account because we know that the production costs of our albums are impossible to cover if we don't save for years and years, so we do that. Every penny that we're paid for the gigs we use to pay our session musicians and to cover touring costs (travel, visas, accommodation). Because of how expensive touring is we don't really do it much, which is really bad for the band.

All of this also requires a lot of work, and i'm taking care of majority of it. I pack and send merch for our online shop, do social media and all necessary admin, book gigs in Russia and make sure people show up and pretty much everything else that has to be done if you're in a band. As a side job, i sometimes make origami birds to raise money for animal shelters.

But none of this brings me any profit that i can show Home Office during the settlement application process. I have a beautiful full-time job that helps me get by and support my parents, it allows me to put most of my energy into music, lets me tour, but as i already said, to get the passport i need to earn with music.

So after a couple years of trying to fight the crippling self-doubt (i was thinking about getting it long before the possibility to move to the UK came around), i decided to try Patreon. If Patreon works, i'll be able to move countries while still dedicating most of my time to music, writing songs, playing gigs, taking part in all sorts of music-related projects and being in direct touch with the community of people passionate about the genre overall and what we do in particular. And because i'll still have my day job, i won't have to raise the bar too high or put too much pressure on myself for getting patrons - i hate aggressive PR that a lot of musicians are forced to use nowadays. 

My ultimate goal with this page is to earn the minimal UK salary. This should be enough for the Home Office to consider me eligible for settlement eventually (more specific, three years after i officially move e.g. rent a place, get a bank account yada yada yada), and even if i don't reach the target, i might try and move out of Russia nonetheless. It's not cheap but it's good for my career in music and even better for my soul (i'm very open about my mental health struggles and i would love to dedicate more time to helping people that are in a similar position).

I hope you will join me on this journey. Being a musician is not easy, neither mentally nor financially, it's not a secret to anyone who is paying attention but i hope that this page will help me because nothing else seems to have this power.

Here's to our new adventure together <3 
Marjana 
Tiers
Observer Tier
$5 or more per month

Thank you for joining the party <3


Here's what you get for being with me:

• video blogs from places i go with or without the band, including recording studios, venues, museums and other pretty places

• blog posts about the writing process, band's life and personal reflections (i'm terrible at sharing my experiences, but i'll learn)

• getting access to most things i do before general public (promise not to share)!


Bedroom Covers Tier
$10 or more per month

Hey, this is amazing! You're amazing!


•  Bedroom covers each month with an ability to download the recording

• Once-in-three-months live streamed Bedroom Gigs with my usual chatting from wherever in the world i am. 


Plus:

• Video blogs from places i go with or without the band, including recording studios, venues, museums and other pretty places

• Blog posts about the writing process, band's life and personal reflections (i'm terrible at sharing my experiences, but i'll learn)

• Getting access to most things i do before general public (promise not to share)!


Bedtime Reading Tier
$25 or more per month

So so so thankful. This is very generous and i'll try to make the experience as fun for you as possible!


You'll be getting

• Live streams of my performances, with or without the band

• Demo recordings and intermission-like tracks 

• Monthly Bedtime Readings, with an ability to vote for the book i'll be reading for you next month. Might include some spontaneous lullabies singing.


Also includes:

•  Bedroom covers each month with an ability to download the recording

• Once-in-three-months live streamed Bedroom Gigs with my usual chatting from wherever in the world i am. 

• Video blogs from places i go with or without the band, including recording studios, venues, museums and other pretty places

• Blog posts about the writing process, band's life and personal reflections (i'm terrible at sharing my experiences, but i'll learn)

• Getting access to most things i do before general public (promise not to share)!


Very Special Monthly Postcard Tier
$50 or more per month

Wow, you rock. Glad to meet a fellow postcard lover! I just love sending and receiving them but i have to admit i send them far more often that i receive them hehe.


I'll send you a postcard from places i go, and i go places! This will happen each month. <3


Also includes:

• Live streams of my performances, with or without the band

• Demo recordings and intermission-like tracks 

• Monthly Bedtime Readings, with an ability to vote for the book i'll be reading for you next month. Might include some spontaneous lullabies singing.

•  Bedroom covers each month with an ability to download the recording

• Once-in-three-months live streamed Bedroom Gigs with my usual chatting from wherever in the world i am. 

• Video blogs from places i go with or without the band, including recording studios, venues, museums and other pretty places

• Blog posts about the writing process, band's life and personal reflections (i'm terrible at sharing my experiences, but i'll learn)

• Getting access to most things i do before general public (promise not to share)!

Ultimate Well-wisher Tier
$100 or more per month

Wow, you get ALL of the above. Plus i'll write letters sometimes. I love surprising people so this will happen but with no specific schedule! My letters will probably make little sense cause i make little sense but when was the last time you received a handwritten letter? From a musician? ;)

Hi, my name is Marjana (or Mariana for easier pronunciation!) and i sing.

I'm about to begin a new chapter in my career, or think bigger - life, something that i find equally thrilling and terrifying, and i invite you to join in. But first, let me tell you a little bit about myself (as bad as i am at talking about myself!):

I sing and write songs for the band called iamthemorning. We do rather well: got some awards and recognition in press, toured some countries, released some albums. Because of how well we do, Arts Council England vouched for me and UK Government gave me Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa and now, if i find a way to begin a new life in the UK, in a few years i'll be able to get citizenship.

You see, if you've been born and bred in Russia, they don't allow you to stay out of the country too much, and this affects everything in my life. More than anything, i want freedom to leave if i want to, and work in another country, make music somewhere else, somewhere where i feel myself, somewhere where people would respect me for what i am and not treat me like social pariah because of the career path i've chosen. 

So what's the problem?

According to my visa, in order to get the UK citizenship, i have to make a living within my field of expertise, and that would be music. But even though my band was successful enough to prove that i'm worthy of Tier 1 visa to Arts Council, it is nowhere near bringing real profit - and here, i'd like to take a short detour to tell you, why.

In the past five years, neither me nor my colleague Gleb (we're officially a duo) have taken any money from the band despite releasing 2 studio albums, one live album and a Blu-ray movie. We keep everything saved on our band's account because we know that the production costs of our albums are impossible to cover if we don't save for years and years, so we do that. Every penny that we're paid for the gigs we use to pay our session musicians and to cover touring costs (travel, visas, accommodation). Because of how expensive touring is we don't really do it much, which is really bad for the band.

All of this also requires a lot of work, and i'm taking care of majority of it. I pack and send merch for our online shop, do social media and all necessary admin, book gigs in Russia and make sure people show up and pretty much everything else that has to be done if you're in a band. As a side job, i sometimes make origami birds to raise money for animal shelters.

But none of this brings me any profit that i can show Home Office during the settlement application process. I have a beautiful full-time job that helps me get by and support my parents, it allows me to put most of my energy into music, lets me tour, but as i already said, to get the passport i need to earn with music.

So after a couple years of trying to fight the crippling self-doubt (i was thinking about getting it long before the possibility to move to the UK came around), i decided to try Patreon. If Patreon works, i'll be able to move countries while still dedicating most of my time to music, writing songs, playing gigs, taking part in all sorts of music-related projects and being in direct touch with the community of people passionate about the genre overall and what we do in particular. And because i'll still have my day job, i won't have to raise the bar too high or put too much pressure on myself for getting patrons - i hate aggressive PR that a lot of musicians are forced to use nowadays. 

My ultimate goal with this page is to earn the minimal UK salary. This should be enough for the Home Office to consider me eligible for settlement eventually (more specific, three years after i officially move e.g. rent a place, get a bank account yada yada yada), and even if i don't reach the target, i might try and move out of Russia nonetheless. It's not cheap but it's good for my career in music and even better for my soul (i'm very open about my mental health struggles and i would love to dedicate more time to helping people that are in a similar position).

I hope you will join me on this journey. Being a musician is not easy, neither mentally nor financially, it's not a secret to anyone who is paying attention but i hope that this page will help me because nothing else seems to have this power.

Here's to our new adventure together <3 
Marjana 

Recent posts by Marjana Semkina

Tiers
Observer Tier
$5 or more per month

Thank you for joining the party <3


Here's what you get for being with me:

• video blogs from places i go with or without the band, including recording studios, venues, museums and other pretty places

• blog posts about the writing process, band's life and personal reflections (i'm terrible at sharing my experiences, but i'll learn)

• getting access to most things i do before general public (promise not to share)!


Bedroom Covers Tier
$10 or more per month

Hey, this is amazing! You're amazing!


•  Bedroom covers each month with an ability to download the recording

• Once-in-three-months live streamed Bedroom Gigs with my usual chatting from wherever in the world i am. 


Plus:

• Video blogs from places i go with or without the band, including recording studios, venues, museums and other pretty places

• Blog posts about the writing process, band's life and personal reflections (i'm terrible at sharing my experiences, but i'll learn)

• Getting access to most things i do before general public (promise not to share)!


Bedtime Reading Tier
$25 or more per month

So so so thankful. This is very generous and i'll try to make the experience as fun for you as possible!


You'll be getting

• Live streams of my performances, with or without the band

• Demo recordings and intermission-like tracks 

• Monthly Bedtime Readings, with an ability to vote for the book i'll be reading for you next month. Might include some spontaneous lullabies singing.


Also includes:

•  Bedroom covers each month with an ability to download the recording

• Once-in-three-months live streamed Bedroom Gigs with my usual chatting from wherever in the world i am. 

• Video blogs from places i go with or without the band, including recording studios, venues, museums and other pretty places

• Blog posts about the writing process, band's life and personal reflections (i'm terrible at sharing my experiences, but i'll learn)

• Getting access to most things i do before general public (promise not to share)!


Very Special Monthly Postcard Tier
$50 or more per month

Wow, you rock. Glad to meet a fellow postcard lover! I just love sending and receiving them but i have to admit i send them far more often that i receive them hehe.


I'll send you a postcard from places i go, and i go places! This will happen each month. <3


Also includes:

• Live streams of my performances, with or without the band

• Demo recordings and intermission-like tracks 

• Monthly Bedtime Readings, with an ability to vote for the book i'll be reading for you next month. Might include some spontaneous lullabies singing.

•  Bedroom covers each month with an ability to download the recording

• Once-in-three-months live streamed Bedroom Gigs with my usual chatting from wherever in the world i am. 

• Video blogs from places i go with or without the band, including recording studios, venues, museums and other pretty places

• Blog posts about the writing process, band's life and personal reflections (i'm terrible at sharing my experiences, but i'll learn)

• Getting access to most things i do before general public (promise not to share)!

Ultimate Well-wisher Tier
$100 or more per month

Wow, you get ALL of the above. Plus i'll write letters sometimes. I love surprising people so this will happen but with no specific schedule! My letters will probably make little sense cause i make little sense but when was the last time you received a handwritten letter? From a musician? ;)