Goodnight Darlings Launch Fundraising Campaign in Hopes of Working With Beyoncé Collaborator

The duo is a few thousand shy of funding their dream music video.
The duo is a few thousand shy of funding their dream music video.
Photo by Robert Adam Mayer

New York-based Miami natives the Goodnight Darlings embraced vampirism back in October with their elaborate “Empire Vampire” music video off the All I Ever Wanted EP. Now the duo, made up of vocalist Kat Auster and instrumentalist Wilson Jaramillo, is hoping their hometown can help them produce a new project.

A video for the pair's song “Carousel” is currently in the works, an effort that will see them team up with Ethan Tobman, the production designer behind Beyoncé’s famous “Formation” music video. But the project needs some help to get on its feet. Simply put: The Goodnight Darlings need a bigger production budget. To increase the filming budget, they've started an IndieGogo fundraising campaign with a goal of $16,000. Currently, they've raised just over $10,000.  

With only 16 days left to collect the funds, New Times sat down with Auster to talk about Tobman’s involvement in the creative process, the fundraising campaign, and what more the band is doing to help fund their dream video.

New Times: How did Tobman get involved with the project?
Kat Auster: Ethan had seen our last music video "Empire Vampire" through one of our friends. We got in touch and he asked to hear more music. I sent him "Carousel" because we had just recorded it and that song felt special from the moment we wrote it. Ethan loved the song. He immediately wrote us a genius treatment and set design... It was like a fabulous guardian angel showing up and blessing our hard work. Once we looked into Ethan's body of work, we were frankly mesmerized. And we love that he has created a "Carousel" set design that is not at all about the obvious ride of horses, but something unsettling and unique. That revelation feels like the style of our music. We love juxtaposing the sweet and obvious with a dark bite. Also, personally and poetically, he's an amazing match as my fairy god-director. The entire reason I fell in love with music videos in the first place was watching Madonna videos when I was little. Ethan has worked with Madonna many times, on her video "Give Me All Your Luvin',” an album cover, and even her halftime show. I am fulfilling a little girl fairytale.  

The video for “Empire Vampire” was quite the production. How do you plan on outdoing yourselves?
This production will stand out in a completely new way since we explored a darker mood on the first single "Empire Vampire,” and the song "Carousel" explores a bright, summery love. Ethan also wants to focus much more on us as a duo, to tell the story of our love and our band in a more personal way.

What are the fundraising campaign’s ultimate goals? 
It's our first time working on a crowdfunding campaign. We always do everything DIY and actually just self-funded our most ambitious EP yet, with punk legend Tony Maimone producing and star drummer Joe Tomino. We had so fully invested on gorgeous recordings that when Ethan got attracted to us, we knew there would be no way to afford this creation without the help of our audience. This vulnerability has put us in closer touch with our listeners, friends, and family in a really strong way. We are so beyond touched by their enthusiasm, and since they've literally invested, there's a cool anticipation built in to see the video. We hope they really feel a part of it. Ethan usually deals with the likes of Beyoncé and Eminem, so it's unusual that he'd be giving this platform to an up-and-coming indie band like us. In order to make his vision physically come true, it's going to cost. We're doing what we can, and hopefully now, we'll get new people interested and behind the project. 

What other ways are you campaigning? 
This video is so special to us we're willing to go to any length to make it happen. Our producer/choreographer Isis Masoud had the idea to go door-to-door serenading Miami with our song “Carousel” to gain awareness of the fundraising campaign. Isis and I have been friends since we were 12 in Miami, and we had to sell gift wrap door-to-door in junior high to afford the class trip to New York. We thought it'd be fun to do it again. We spent three days through heat, rain, and mosquitos — doors slamming in our face. But ultimately we made new friends and raised $1,500. 


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