I guess T-Boz and Chilli learned from mistakes made during their early years in the music industry. After selling 65 million albums worldwide and becoming one of the most successful girl groups ever, at one point the trio was dead broke.
After getting a lawyer to re-negotiate their contract, TLC was able to finally make money off their work. For their next album, the last remaining members of the group are going to the public to fund their next project.
The group has officially launched a Kickstarter for one last record today, Jan. 19, a decision that TLC stress was brought about solely due to popular demand. Although acquiring funding without the backing of a major record label might seem risky from afar — or perhaps just a worrying reflection of the band’s current financial status — TLC feels that the crowd-sourcing move is the natural next step in response to the current state of the music industry.
To be fair, developing an online partnership to reach fans worldwide isn’t a new concept. Fifteen years ago, TLC was one of the first major musical acts to partner with MP3.com to distribute a new song (“I Need That”) while promoting their 1999 FanMail Tour, back when the idea of a digital download was a curiosity at best. Fan participation is an established move for them, too: Inside the liner notes of the tour’s namesake record, FanMail, are the names of hundreds of fans who’d submitted fan letters to the group over the years.
The two have already began to work on the album and can boast that pop star Lady Gaga will be one of the acts featured on it.
T-Boz and Chili spoke to TIME about the album, the reasons their using this method over others and more.
Read their interview here