106% Funded


Target: €16000


€17,060 Raised


189 Funders

Help ZASKA's 2nd Album - A Better Way

By Max Zaska


I have a brand new album called “A Better Way” ready to go but I need your help to bring this baby to life.

It’s the next musical step in the neo-soul/funk evolution from my first album and it has face-melting, stanky grooves to get those sweet sweet endorphins flying. It’s a concept record themed around sustainability - not just sustainability for this gorgeous planet, but for all aspects of living a harmonious life. It’s a hopeful album about our ability to turn it all around for ourselves and the next generation.

The artists who are bringing their talents to A Better Way are AMAZEBALLZ and I’m a lucky man to be working with them. Check this line up…

Tolü Makay - Faye O’Rourke - Jess Kav - Melina Malone - Precious Okpaje - James Smith - Carly Coonagh and more.

The dream team band: myself (guitar), Dylan Lynch (drums), Neil Dorrington (bass), and James Smith (keys/synth), who’s also co-producing the album with me.

But Max, why Fund It Round 2?

Back in 2016 my first album, It Takes A Village, came to life because 379 beautiful people contributed €14K on Fund It. This Round 2 is happening because...
2020 gave me lots of time for writing as d’aul anti-craic COVID cancelled a full calendar of paid gigs including festivals, headliners, corporate & private shows.

Approximately €26,000 gonzoooo.

And, my teaching income was reduced to about ½ of what it was pre-pandemic.

Wait, didn’t you get a grant? Why do you need €16,000?

I was very fortunate to have been awarded a grant of €6000 towards the studio and recording costs of this album. It’s awesome and I’m super grateful.  But it doesn’t cover these costs...

PRODUCTION: Remaining studio hire, recording engineer, mixing, mastering, and artist fees = additional €4,000
MANUFACTURING: Vinyl pressing & limited merch manufacturing = €3000
ALBUM MARKETING - photography, design, album artwork, advertising, website redesign, other marketing tools & fees = €3500
SINGLE #1 PROMOTION - video,  PR/radio plugging, radio monitoring, digital advertising, other marketing tools & fees = €3000
SINGLE #2 = €1220 remaining for single #2 budget + additional funding from my future earnings.
FUND IT CUT = Fund It 5% + 3% payment processing = €1280
= €16,000

I learned so much about budgets from releases over the last few years. This budget’s still conservative in comparison to what even a small independent record label might spend, but if expenses aren’t on track, I’ll make like Snoop and drop ‘em like they’re hot.


2014: My first EP with Andrew Hozier-Byrne & Karen Cowley
Dec ‘16: Funded €14.5 K for 1st album. 3 weeks later 1st baby born
Feb ‘19: 1st album It Takes A Village launch. 6 weeks later 2nd baby born
Mar ‘21: Funding 2nd album ends. 5 weeks later 3rd baby expected
Fall ‘21: 2nd album A Better Way launch

I can’t thank you enough for your support on this incredible journey.

Much love,


P.S. Check out those delish rewards!



Final call: Vinyl is shipping + other rewards updates

Hello you beautiful people!


What a journey this has been! A Better Way was released on 21 October with a 4-star review in the Irish Times. Then we played Guinness Cork Jazz Festival and the next night was the most incredible album launch party in Dublin! I had all the amaze balls vocalists from the album performing and a full band with horns - the buzz was unreal!


With a slight delay afterward (due to a nasty stomach bug that got my whole family) I’ve already sent the first round of vinyls out in the post and plan to have the last of them out tomorrow.


→ If you’re waiting for your vinyl, and you haven’t seen an email (or 3) from me asking for your address, please check your spam or get in touch. I have a few people on the list who still haven’t gotten back to me.


→ A link to the digital download was emailed out on release day.


→ I’ve been in touch with people about the other funding rewards and I'll be uploading the requested covers over the next week or two, but if you think I’ve missed you or if you have any questions, please get in touch. 


I can’t thank you enough for supporting me and giving so generously to my Fund It. As an independent musician, you made recording and releasing A Better Way possible. I hope that you listen to it and stream it on your favourite music service → https://smarturl.it/Z-ABW


Please let me know what you think of the album.


Sending much love and gratitude,


ZASKA xxxx


Album Launch Party on 30 October


You absolute legends!


It’s almost time! A Better Way will be released in 10 days! To celebrate, I’m having an Album Launch Party on 30 October @ The Button Factory, Dublin.


13 piece band + guest vocalists: Tolü Makay, Faye O’Rourke (Soda Blonde), Jess Kav, Melina Malone, J Smith, Precious Okpaje, Carly Coonagh, and just added, Karen Cowley (Wyvern Lingo) with more to be announced PLUS the absolute grooverz, Bricknasty on support.


Come buzz with us! Because you were so sound and supported my Fund It, you get an extra 10% off tix, just enter code Thankyoufunderz10 at checkouthttps://bit.ly/Z-ABW-tix-bund


 (And you’ll be entered to win one of two 700ml bottles Dubliner Whiskey & Honeycomb Lliqueur)


If you funded A Better Way at the €40+ level, the vinyl is in and it is feckin gorgeous! Here’s a preview → https://www.instagram.com/p/CjVnskiAO3U/ It’ll be shipped starting from 1st Nov (but if you’re coming to the Album Launch on Oct 30, you can pick it up there!)


All the digital items from the Fund It will be sent on October 21st to the email address that you used here.


I can’t wait for you to hear this album. I’ve poured my heart into it and I can’t thank you enough for helping me to make it a reality. 


Much love, 


ZASKA xxxx


3rd Single & Update on vinyl delivery

What’s up, everyone?


I hope you’re all keeping sweet. My apologies that it's been so long since I've sent a Fund It update. With all the releases recently, the new label that I just signed with, and with 3 kids in the mix, time just seems to be flying by crazy fast! 


So the good news is that the vinyl is on schedule to arrive in Ireland in October! As soon as I have it, I’m shipping it to all you lovely, patient people. Worldwide supply chain problems and the resulting order backlogs caused a really long wait. Some places even told us it would take 2 years! So October is quite fast in comparison LOL 


I’ve just booked the album launch night and haven’t publicly announced it yet. But, as you are all complete legends, and I know that some of you will be travelling for this, I’ll tell you in secret that it’s going to be 30 October in Dublin. Shhhh!


For any other rewards like cover requests, dedications, personal songs, or chicken updates, I’ll be sending these out before the end of July.


In other news, the 3rd single from the album, Gone In A Minute, with the legend J Smith was released 3 weeks ago and I'm buzzin’ with the reception it's getting! It has almost 30K streams on Apple Music alone and got featured in a ton of Best-Of lists on blogs. 


It’s my first release licensed to independent UK label edbl recordings and feels really nice to have teamed up with them. If you haven't heard it yet and want to get a taste of the album, the link is below. And if ya have, then keep streaming the sheez out of it (especially on Spotify as it needs a little boost there.)


Listen here: https://smarturl.it/Z-GoneInAMin


Thank you all so much for your patience. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your support. It really means the world to me! 


Have a sweet day. 


Much love, 


ZASKA xxxx

Calm Down (feat. Jess Kav) - 2nd single out now!

Hey beautiful humans!

Today I released the second single from the album you helped fund. You can listen to Calm Down (feat. Jess Kav) everywhere.

Was blessed to have the powerhouse vocalist Jess Kav on this - she just absolutely killed it!

It's a track all about the scandalous Direct Provision system we have here in Ireland. If you want to help end it then please support organizations who are making a difference like MASI (Movement of Asylum Seekers Ireland), Nasc, Irish Refugee Council, and Doras.


Lead Vocals - Jess Kav

Guitar - Max Zaska

Bass - Neil Dorrington

Drums - Dylan Lynch

Piano, Synth & Percussion - James Smith

Trumpet - Paul Keirnan

Saxophone - Ryan Hargadon

Trombone - James Doherty


Executive Producer - James Smith

Co-Producer - Max Zask


Here's an update on the status of Fund It fullfillment:

December & January I was away with family

February I was in writing/performing residence at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris for the whole month

March I spent most of this month with Covid running through the family (thankfully we're all well now!)

This has put me behind on fulfillment. If you are waiting for your cover song or other promises, I have my list and will be working on this shortly.

If you're waiting on vinyl, there have been more production delays. But I promise that I will be shipping vinyl to you as soon as I have it, and likely before the album is relased to the general public on streaming or Bandcamp.

Thank you so much for your patience. And, as always, thank you for your support.

Much love,





The Basics: the 1st single is here because of you

I'm buzzin' to let you know that all funderz were just sent an email with a link to listen to or download a hi-res version of the first single from A Better Way! (Check your spam if you don't see it in your inbox.)

The Basics is out on Wednesday 26 January and it's my first time ever singing on a track. I'd love to know if you're vibin' with it!

Thank you so much for making this album a reality.

More soon!

Much love,


Submitting artwork & master for vinyl pressing

If you funded at the €50 and over levels, I just sent out a second email requesting your deets for the thank you name on the album artwork. Please check your spam if you don't see it.

It’s been an absolutely mad 6 months since I last updated you about my new album, A Better Way.


At the end of June I was asked to produce, co-write, and MD a new contemporary jazz project with hip hop elements called MåsExödus. In 4 months, I took the project from the idea stage through assembling a band, writing & recording a studio album to performing 3 sold out shows at the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival with Chicago’s Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. The final show at The Sugar Club in Dublin was recorded for a live album and a concert film, produced by legendary hip hop photographer B+ (Brian Cross) and his film company Mochilla.


At the same time, I was also asked to be Tolü Makay’s live Musical Director, charged with assembling, rehearsing, and arranging her band for shows that began in August and ended with her sell-out Irish tour in November. The final date was a performance that was broadcast live from St. James’ church in Dingle for Other Voices.


These two massive projects and the need to also prioritize family (our 3rd baby arrived in May!) meant that I had to push back work on my own album. The original plan when I launched the Fund It was that I would release the album in the autumn. To allow time to release singles in advance of the album and for the necessary promotion, the album release is now targeted for September 2022.

But, if you funded at the €50 and over levels, you'll receive your vinyl copy this spring, months before the album is released to digital streaming platforms.


Annnnnnnddddd.... The first single from the album is being released on 26 January. It's called The Basics and everyone who contributed to the Fund It will receive a download on release day!


Happy New Year!


Much love,





11 May Update

I can’t thank you enough for helping to fund my next album, A Better Way. Soz that it’s taken me a while to send an update.


It’s been a cray-cray 7 weeks since the Fund It closed in March. All the vocals on the album have been recorded and the first batch of mixing is done.


I also finished renovating our old cottage, moved into it with my wife and 2 kids, turned 31, and Char had our 3rd daughter on May 3, named Thea Ocean. I'm severely outnumbered now!


I’m taking some time off to settle in with our latest addition, but wanted to get this update to you.


Because we passed the target on the Fund It, everyone will be getting the stretch goal of the instrumental version of my first album, It Takes A Village. The next email will have a link to download the files. 


In addition, if you funded the project at a level that requires personalisation of some sort - like a thank you, dedication, or request - you will receive a form to complete the needed info.


I’ll be back to you soon to keep the wheels turning. Thank you for your patience while we welcome our newest family member.


Much love,




We did it! Bonus rewards unlocked!

We hit the target with 5 days left! I'm celebrating today on Paddy's Day!


Thank you so much to everyone who donated! You’re straight up legends! Bonus rewards unlocked!


  • Everybody who has pledged anything at all will get a download of It Takes A Village Instrumentals - the perfect chill soundtrack to your work day, dinner party (when we can party again), or to vibe over if that’s your jam.
  • If you donated at the €40 level and over, your sweet, sweet vinyl will now be supercharged in colour!


Please keep sharing - bonus rewards go to future funders too. Every bit over the target means I can do more to promote A Better Way!


And THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for your support!



96%... Push this over the line and unlock bonus rewards...

Lads… we’re SOOO close! Everyone has been insanely generous in their support, not just financially - I’ve received some lovely messages as well. Thank you!


If we and go over the target before the deadline, I'm going to unlock some special bonus rewards for everyone who has contributed.


Why? Because every bit over €16,000 means there's more sponds to help promote A Better Way. More advertising, more videos, more bills that get paid.


So if you want some tasty surprises, please, you’d be an absolute legend if you would share this Fund It with your music loving friends who love an aul sweet groove.


Thanks everyone. You are all a bunch of legends. Let’s goooooo!



Live streams and funding update


We’re 11 days into the 4 week campaign and I’m delighted that A Better Way is 34% funded! Thanks to everyone who has contributed and supported so far. You really are amazeballs for stepping up and helping a lad out.


I would be so grateful if you could share / help spread the word about the campaign online or through word of mouth.


As this is an all-or-nothing campaign, we've got to reach the goal or none of this will happen.


I’ve been posting some teasers of the new music to my Instagram, as well I did a little live stream on Instagram last Sunday. I’ll be doing more lives coming up. So if you want to get notified when that happens, you can follow me on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/zaska.music/.


17 days left to go! Let’s do this!

Much love,



funders (189)

There are 175 public funders of this project

There are 14 anonymous funders of this project