Seth Matlins
April 05, 2016 12:09 pm

You might remember Terra Naomi. She’s the once-rising star who garnered millions of video views and made Internet history in 2006 as the winner of YouTube’s first Best Music Video award. Island Records came knocking, and so began her rise to super-stardom. Except…that didn’t happen. The record deal fell apart and, like a lot of women working in entertainment, Terra was told she was—though not even 30—too old to start over. It was too late, they said. She’d blown her one chance.

“I felt like my life was over,” she remembers. “I saw male artists, well over 30 and comfortably considered ‘up-and-coming,’ and I began understanding that while men can take their time, being a woman puts this perceived expiration date on our viability and desirability.”

Now, 10 years later, Naomi has decided to do something to combat that ridiculous logic. Three weeks ago, she launched an Indiegogo campaign to help fund what will be her first album in five years—and raise $1 million for causes she cares about in the process.

“My making an album doesn’t really do anything to help the world in a bigger way,” she acknowledges. “And the world needs help in so many ways.”

So she reached out to big philanthropic funders, “to set a challenge to inspire people to consider ways we can all be charitable, no matter how much money we have or don’t.” And she convinced 10 of them to each align $100,000 of their giving with her campaign in a matching challenge.

“Doing this allows me to use my influence to raise awareness for important causes and organizations (like the ASCPA, World Wildlife Fund etc.)…and makes everyone who sees my campaign think about how they can find creative ways to give even if they have no money,” she says. “And, yes, hopefully it also gets people excited because it becomes about something bigger than just an album.”

She’s reached her first goal of $35,000, and is now focused on getting to the $100,000, which will unlock the $1 million. And she’s optimistic—not just about the campaign, but about her life.

“I’ve spent a long time living in fear, believing time was running out, that I was alone,” she says. “But we all have the power to help others, and what’s good for one can be good for all. I want to believe—and I want everyone else to believe — that we can do anything, be anything, at any point in our lives. That it’s never too late to start again.”

If you feel like helping Terra make her album and trigger $1,000,000 in charitable contributions, you can check it out here.

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