Friday, April 06, 2007

Originality and respect

I feel I have to comment on this because I have seen quite a few comments about this subject.

I think it's important to realize that one person's idea of original is not everyone's idea of original. And while I am thankful that you would think of me as original - I'm flattered actually - I should point out that several contestants still left on the show are extremely original, by conventional definitions.

Sure, there are artists like Blake, but chances are they've never been mainstream, and even if they have, Blake brings his own twist to what he does. Also, there are singers like Melinda, but Melinda is incredible at putting her own spin on the songs she chooses to sing, and I have a feeling that, though I don't think that her CD will be the most marketable CD musically, it will do very well because she can sell (figuratively) any song she sings....same thing with Jordin...there are singers like her, but she is special. Chris may sing somewhat nasally and have a shaved head, but his originality comes in his songwriting (which is fantastic, btw) and his performance style, which to me are far different than JT. Phil literally does things with his voice that I have never heard anyone else do, and I've been around a lot of singers.

I mean, I could go on to why I think each of the singers left are original, but I think the point has been made.

But let's be honest, there is nothing truly original any more. What originality is now is being able to take collective influences and combine them into something that feels fresh.

One instance in my personal life was when I first heard MuteMath, which is and has been for a while my favorite band. I thought, holy cow, this sounds so original. And yes, compared to a lot of pop/rock stuff today, it sounds very original, but when I let Blake listen to it, he then allowed me to listen to some of his influences that are obviously influences for MuteMath...I had just never heard it before, so MuteMath "felt" original to me.

Some people have told me that I was an original, and that my songwriting is very original. As I said before, I am extremely flattered...but when I listen to my songs, I know how much I owe to my influences. But perhaps what people see as originality is just me combining so many influences into one place that it "feels fresh". Or maybe they aren't as familiar with my influences as others may be.

Gina is extremely original, but I'm sure when she makes a record that people will be able to pull it apart and find her influences. Same with anyone else on the one is completely original, and I don't think any artist I know would claim to be.

However, I do believe that some artists do a better job than others to feel fresh.

I guess what I'm getting at with all this: I just don't want my friends still left on the show to read comments here and feel as though they are being attacked or called unoriginal by my fans or people finding my blog...and maybe they are or aren't, I don't think I'm the official judge of originality. I just don't want a lot of comments saying who is original and who isn't...I'm sorry if it seems like I'm being too dimplomatic, but these are my friends and though some comments slip through the cracks, I'd ask you to be respectful on here to them as I ask you to be to me.

You can say something negative, sure, but make sure it is respectful. And please don't post the same comment in different places...state your opinion once, respectfully, then let it go...not everyone has to agree with you on American Idol. That's the beauty of it is that there is a show that encourages people to learn more about music and with that knowledge form better opinions of the singers. You are allowed to have a negative opinoin, as I am, but please make sure that if you post that you post with respect to whomever it is you speak of.

Thanks so much for continuing to read the blog. I really hope you enjoy it. Peace and love....


John said...


Cool insights into AI. Question: there's a lot of slobbering here about you (don't get me wrong - I like your work, but some of the lovefest here is a BIT much), but is there any chance you could do a Q&A section? It might be interesting even to have a live chat, but I would assume posting questions would be easier for you.

Here are some questions of the top of my head:

1. I thought your rendition of Endless Love was great. Any chance you/your band would do the song on a future release/CD? The judges had it out for you, and their inconsistency regarding "shake it up vs. keep it the same" was lame. I bought the AI studio MP3 and it's awesome. I recognized/loved the Coldplay influence immediately during the show, and the MP3 is even better.

2. Any chance your band could get signed by Clive Davis? If they had any brains, they'd sign you guys up and let you play on the tour. If you can't comment, that's fine.

Ash Greyson said...

I agree, what is original anymore? Hasnt everything been done at this point? I think the real question is, what is REAL? What is GENUINE? I think people are pegging you as original because, if the cameras turned off and the PA went down, you would still be there singing, for whoever would listen. I am not saying that isnt also true of others on AI, just that the media has been flooded with manufactured or at least steered art for far too long.

chetium53 said...

Dude, I love you. I loved you the first minute you walked into the audition room and compared yourself to Christina Aguilera. I love how specific you are with your words; you really know how to get your point across.

Just wanted to give you some positive feedback.

Kimberly said...

are there any more music genres to invent? haha. seriously, i think any music that actually has heart and soul is original. there's a ton of mainstream music out there that is so not what music is all about. to me, unorginality is when the focus is taken off the talent and music, and put on the person. then it becomes a beautiful person singing an ugly song.

Anonymous said...

I love the way you worded this: "What originality is now is being able to take collective influences and combine them into something that feels fresh." and I completely agree with your statement. I believe that you and HPF are a perfect example of that.

I respect every contestant and feel that each person brings something different to the show. Although we don't really get to know what type of artist they are just based on what we see on AI. I consider myself lucky by being a fan of yours that we've been introduced to HPF because we know who you are and what direction you'd take as an artist. I believe that most people can feel the passion and love you have for music through your song writing and your voice.

P.S-I know you're a dog lover because i've seen your two little ones and I recently wrote about you being a reason for me to smile through some rough times... earlier today we had to put my dog Torre to sleep. In the past two months she has been suffering from Cushing's Disease and brain tumors and her body couldn't take anymore. I've grown up with her from the age of 8 to now 22. She lived a healthy 14 years of life but it's still so hard.

Love & Hugs

Anonymous said...

Hey, Chris -

Will HPF be playing in the Los Angeles area anytime in the near future? I'm crossing my fingers ...

A California Girl

Mon said...

Hi Chris,

You are absolutely right. I wouldn't say you're original but would rather say you a breath of fresh air.

When Men At Work burst into the scene in the 80's, I thought they were original but like many other artists, they have influences.

Have a nice weekend.


P. S. Pardon the grammar. I hardly speak English at home.

Michael Angelo said...

Always and forever respect.

It's like the tryout shows were people kept making fun of the bad auditions. It would actually make me a little mad. Regardless of what you think, think on this: they had the courage and fortitude to go up there and give it their best regardless of how good they are, they deserve my respect for trying. Things like this transfer into all facets of life.

Thanks again Chris and I do surely enjoy the posts. It's wonderful to look into the mind of your influences. Yes, you are a great influence and inspiration. It's like 'How Long'...
Son I am away from my Fiancee right now and that song brings tears...seriously. That and the logistics of the song musically. Changing register is awesome in there. Excellent stuff. Might not be original but as you say, for me, its wicked fresh and it also touches home.

As for the the top 24 (yeah not 12...24).
I love everyone. Too damn bad it all has to go the way of Highlander right in the eyes of American Idol

There can be only one my ass!

Thank you.


Melissa said...

Listen, I'm sorry you're getting so much negative feedback. This is the first season I've watched American Idol-- just because of you and Gina, actually-- and I can't believe how worked up people get over the show. I'm shocked that you'd be getting death threats over comments you've made. It also disgusts me that people feel comfortable disrespecting other people so openly on the Internet. All the artists on American Idol are amazingly talented in their own way.

I'm sure you've heard this from hundreds of other people, but you're an amazing artist. Hang in there. I'm so glad you were on American Idol-- otherwise, I may not have ever heard of Half Past Forever.

Peace and love right back to you, friend.

Anonymous said...

Hey Chris. A couple of things that it would be great if you could comment on. Through the internet, your fans are able to watch/listen to many of the radio and TV interviews you have done over the past few days. Do you know if you are doing more than the normal AI contestants who are sent off?

You do a fantastic job on the interviews and speak so easily and with wit and intelligence. It comes very naturally for you, obviously. Read somewhere about a posible television series and/or talk-show host gig. You'd be great at either of those - but just make sure you keep singing and producing music! We will be waiting patiently for your next CD.

Finally, do you get tired of all of these responses to your blogs? Of course, that is a loaded question, isn't it?

Finally, would love to know if you will be performing at your church on Easter Sunday. Even more awesome if someone recorded your music for all of us out here. Hey, now that's an idea. Have a Blessed Easter!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that they apreciate this.

Rick said...

Good stuff, Chris - I posted something at the beginning of Idol this season about how DIFFERENT isn't BETTER, but BETTER is BETTER (here). Different might be original, but if it's bad different, that's not good. Your take sound similar - you and the rest of the Final 12 showed as BETTER than more than DIFFERENT THAN. Your differences while doing the same thing, pop-wise, were better than the rest of the folks not making it to Hollywood or getting voted off later.

carolmwl said...

hi, Chris,
I'm uncomfortable when people go over the top about American Idol, and feel the need to trash the contestants they don't like. What's the necessity of that?

The cool thing about Idol is that it's a doorway for a lot of its performers, a very wide doorway to exposure, at the very least, and great success for a few.

Could you explain your comment about Phil's voice? (that you heard him do things with his voice that nobody else does.) I'm very curious.

Also, one more question about Phil - I read he is, like you, a worship leader at his church. Did you and he have a lot to talk about in that vein?

Thanks, Chris.

Anonymous said...


I wrote on your blog once before, but you didn't post it. That was wierd since it was extremely positive. I pre-ordered your cd in the middle of February. It is awesome by the way. I didn't know about Mute Math until you sang one of their songs on idol. The next day, I went down to the book store and bought their latest cd. It was the last copy. When I found out you were on idol, I called literally everybody I knew from California to Connecticut and told them to vote for you. Sorry, you didn't win. I think you should have gone much further, but you will do very well with the talent God has given you.

I am a '98' eagle heights grad. Also, I graduated from PCC both as an undergraduate as well as a graduate student. I now reside in South Florida. I hope y'all come down here. If you do, I will be going to the concert. You would not remember me, but I remember you. Then again you may remember me. When your family was on furlough back when you attended Eagle Heights, your dad preached at Northeast Baptist, John Tucker's church. I know you know Matt Tucker because you played ball with him. At that time, I still attended public school. I started there the school year after you graduated. My good friend Ryan Price started a church in Fort Lauderdale. I believe you guys lived on the same hall at PCC. We actually watched a couple of shows of AI together. We both agreed you had the best male voice. Anyway, I hope all is well for you. If you decide not to post this comment, at least shout me an e-mail. MY e-mail is

In His Grip,

HstryQT said...

The negativity that always surrounds American Idol astounds me. It's as if people forget that these are real people that they're tearing apart. As a person who hates confrontations and negativity, it's hard to deal with! Unfortunately, the negativity has become so intertwined in the show (as it is in American media in general) that it will never go away. Makes me sad :( - but you brought so much humor to the show! And even after you're gone, you're continuing to add positivity to it - kudos to you, Chris!

risalea said...

An FAQ section is a great idea. It might keep you from having the same questions asked over and over.
Maybe Kay could post that over on the fansite as well.

Now, having said that, I have a question! : ) Do you have the lyrics of the songs on "Take a Chance on Something Beautiful" posted on the internet somewhere? I'm one of those that likes to read them so when I'm singing along I'm not singing my own version of the words. The people riding in the car with me appreciate it, too.

You've no doubt got a lot of younger folks reading your blog. Thanks for giving them a good example of what loyalty, diplomacy, and support for your friends looks like.

Again, Happy Easter. Isn't it great that not only Easter Sunday, but every Sunday, we can celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of our Savior?

Have a great weekend, Risa R.

Anonymous said...

First, I love reading your blog. Second, you think too much. LOL Which is one reason I read - people accuse me of the same thing. I do get what you are saying about originality. I choose music by how it makes me feel. I have your CD playing right now. I play "Gone" over and over and over. (slobber slobber) I love the way the music is orchestrated and how it changes up throughout the songs and how your voice soars on so many of the songs. (slobber) Good on you for caring about your fellow contestants/friends!

Anonymous said...

Chris...again, thanks for being you. Also, will you be able to sing one of "your" songs on the at the season finale?

ChrisSligh said...

You can find the lyrics to the songs here on my blog (scroll down) or you can get the lyrics to songs over at


Anonymous said...

Happy Easter Chris and Sarah or Sara

Rebecca said...

I think everyone has their own story, and relaying that is what is important.

sandmoran said...

Original is
only different than most
for some. Do you see?

Sarah said...

Wow, Well said Chris! I completely agree. Im sure your friends will appreciate this too :)

Happy Easter, have a great weekend!

Badpacifist said...

Just saw your Jack Osborne look alike thing on VH1s best week ever ...rofl ..Classic!

risalea said...

OK, I feel stupid. I've got that middle age brain dysfunction thing going on. Thanks for pointing me in the direction of the lyrics. Risa R.

p.s. If you are allowed, please post the cities the AI Tour will be coming to when you know. I'm in the Little Rock, AR area and I know it came here the year Fantasia won, but I don't think they've been here since then.

Cathy Storms said...

I love reading your blog. I don't think you have shown any disrespect to any of the contestants or the judges on AI. I think just the opposite. It's kind of sad that you have to keep defending yourself on these matters. I love your music & your originality. Personally, I would like to read more about you. I agree with the John the first comment. Not the slobbering part but the Q&A part. You are truly unique & would love to get to know you more.
Hope you have a blessed Easter with your beautiful wife.

Anonymous said...

Chris, I just recieved my Half Past forerver cd and I LOVE IT! I have worn out track 15, your vocals on the whole cd make me feel the lyrics. You and your band will go far, god willing. Your refreshing attitude and sparkle shines thru no matter how much you are edited in the press. Keep your chin up...God has an amazing journey ahead for you. Congats on being #1 in music nation. I vote everyday as soon as my eyes open. U guys deserve it! Please keep us posted on when u guys get signed. U have a very devoted fan base that are waiting for their next cd!

Cynthia said...

Just want to take this brief moment to say ...


Peace out.

Anonymous said...

Chris, I agree that most music is derivative by now. We've all heard it before. The musical influences are evident. Everyone falls into a genre.

And now that it's the 6th season, most fans are jaded. We have seen a certain type of "character" already on this show, ie., belting divas, R&B boy band-types, gospel singers, the pageant kid, the hottie, etc. I think that's why it's easy to categorize them. I venture to say, that all the contestants were cast by the producers because they appeal to different demographics. They want the usual variety and they all fit their slots.

So, yes, no one is quite "original" anymore in the strict sense. Perhaps that's why the public grows more weary, cynical and bored.

However, I must admit, I thought in the beginning that you were an original "character" for this particular show. They've never had a snarky self-aware Christian before. We had Clay, of course. But you are a hipper ironic sly type guy. And the whole Bob Jones angle was intriguing. There was a lot of early buzz about you because you seemed different, and people were curious about you.

I dare say, that the same applies to the Sanjaya madness as well. His fans seem to love him because he's just different, funny and being himself. He's not afraid to laugh and be goofy to entertain us. Sweet kid. His personality stands out.

I think the problem this season is that the other contestants are too serious in a way that makes them uptight. They are trying so hard to please Simon, the judges and the public, that they lose their own sense of originality. You say Chris R is a great songwriter, but on the show he comes off like a Timberlake wannabe. Blake gets blander with each show. The divas belt their standard songs and don't take risks. Gina and Haley seem so needy and desperate to be accepted by Simon. You can tell the show is wearing them out. They look tired. I fear they are breaking Phil down too with their harsh comments.

I wish you hadn't lost your spark, Chris. That spark that made you stand out from this crowd of contestants. I honestly believe that if you hadn't capitulated to Simon, you could have gone all the way.

In the meantime, I am enjoying your CD. I love it, but I still wish you could have won. You're just more interesting than Melinda.

ChrisSligh said...

To the anonymous poster...and to those who read it. This is the perfect example of how to not have a positive comment and do it respectfully and intelligently. Thank you for that. You stated your personal opinion and it wasn't super nice to anyone, but it makes sense, and though people may disagree, they can agree, I think, that it was nice and respectful.

So, thank you.

wstaple said...

I think it's funny how Simon will talk about wanting "originality", but in the end he simply wants someone who he thinks is marketable. It's all about how much $$$ Simon can put in his pocket.

-Di. said...

Happy Easter everyone!!

I do agree that while one might not care for any of the Idol's style, it is important to remember how hard it is go to out in public and do what they do.

I wish that there was a system where buying the performances and studio recordings helped the Idols. I hate the idea of paying to vote but I totally would not mind if I could vote by buying the single or video of the performance. I bet they would sell more singles off the store if that purchase counted.

Love & Peace,

Bette van said...

Hey Chris

Can't say how sorry I was to see you chopped up in the slice n dice
machine - its how I think of AI now. You should have been the last man standing.

I know its perhaps not relevant at this point, nor high on your things to do today list, but are you going to get your 3 credits for your music degree? Seems you've spent a lot of time & energy towards it; having degree in hand would be good on the CV.
Can you do it through distance learning?

Are you really tall or is Sarah really tiny? You make a great couple.

Love your music & vibe, hope to see you in concert if you make it
close to where I live in Canada.

Peace & love.

Bette van

x-ray chick said...

There is nothing new under the sun, its all been done before...

Respect comes to all of you for having the guts to put yourself out there on TV to the criticism of the world.

I don't have that much guts, or talent.

With love to you and yours for Easter! He is risen!

carolmwl said...

I didn't see Anonymous' comments as negative, or being not' super nice' to people. Actually he/she was really right, I think.

Tho...would someone PLEASE tell me what the heck snarky means?? LOL

IknowIam said...

I wonder if Al Jolson had any influences....In any case, everyone has some sort of influence on them, whether it be their music, character, thought process, or experience. It just depends on how you assimilate them and those charactaristics of the influences, whatever they may be. The dictionary describes the word "orginality" to be "the quality or state of being original, freshness or novelty, as of an idea, method, or performance."
So with that being said, I have no trouble whatsoever claiming you to be original. Mainly because of the individual experience that you've created for me and for so many other fans alike. A person's experience is as unique as unique can be. You can argue all day with that, but its the truth.

Take care,


ChrisSligh said...


I would never argue with that. Great, great points. I'm not upset that people find me original...I'm extremely happy about that. I mainly was writing to defend some of my friends, really. But, Norman, I genuinely appreciate your comment.


Selena Parsley said...

Hi Chris,
I am posting this question a second time I swear I am not trying to spam you, but I was wondering if I could use a song by HPF on my site. I do Massage Therapy for women and on my website I have therapeutic music playing. I love Transcendental as it sounds very therapeutic. HPF does not have a contact link on the site so I couldn't ask for permission to use this song there. I don't know the rules with y'alls music and if I cannot use the song that's understandable, I just had to ask though. Here is the link to my site.
Blessings & Peace,

ChrisSligh said...

Sure, that's great, Selena.


Selena Parsley said...

Thank you kindly!

Anonymous said...

Chris, do you visit musicnation to see how your video is doing? Almost to 13,000 stars currently.

Also, have you commented on anyone elses video? I see alot of members of other bands post on there but so far I haven't seen any from HPF. Week 9 winner is a big fan of you guys. Think week 6 winners are too and possibly others as well.

steve-o-meter said...

We have added an Event Calendar to the fansite.

Also, do you know if you will be on Ellen on Tuesday, or just taping for Wednesday? Scott wasn't sure.



risalea said...

Cathy, you mentioned in your post wanting to read more about Chris. Don't know if you've seen it, but when you scroll down to past blogs, the one for Dec. 7 has a whole lot of history on Chris and his music. (found that when I found the lyrics)
Risa R.

Anonymous said...

It's always surprising to see Phil in the bottom 3. I agree with you 100% when you say that he can hit notes that most people can't hit. I wish they'd give him more credit. He's very talented.

I think it's great that you are being so vocal in your support for him! You both totally seem like the nicest guys ever.

bmorebamma said...

originality in today's world seems to have bitten da dust..

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your performances, but I have to say, the best was when the group you were in redid a BeeGees song...any chance of the four of you getting together and performing that as a single? Also, if you have contact with the remaining contestants, suggest to Melinda to do a Tina Turner song. My wife and I both agree she could nail that very well.

Jenn K. said...


I agree with your take on originality--that it's the inventive combining of influences that allows something to sound "original." I've had close friendships with members of various "mainstream Christian" and "indie Christian" bands over the years, and will never forget one particular time when I got to visit the studio as one group was still finalizing their mixes for an album, and their drummer/producer asked which of the songs I'd heard so far was my favorite...then went through the song with me pointing out how this or that musical phrase or idea sounded just like part of a song by U2/REM/The Beatles/etc--basically underlining how each of their influences had combined into this fresh, unique sound. It was an amazing lesson.

h00h00dilly said...

I'm so glad that MUTEMATH is getting some mainstream press by the whole Idol-Sligh-Connection.

I found MuteMath on about a year ago and I loved every note I heard. I quickly ordered their CDs through their website and have had them on heavy rotation ever since. "Chaos" is my favorite - but "Typical" was a perfect choice for Idol. Thumbs up!

Korrine said...

Hey, Chris, thanks for all the behind the scenes info. I didn't even watch AI (as a musician, I have, shall we say, "issues" with the show), but I always made sure to catch your performances on youtube. I proselytized several friends and family regarding you & HPF, as well. :o)

I agree with your comments about originality. As the Preacher said, there's nothing new under the sun. Everyone is influenced by something / someone. Our view of what is original is based on our own (lack of) experience with that particular sound / genre.

Anyway, best wishes to you as you continue to follow your dream!

Ben and Nikki said...

What is your funniest memory with Dan Rood? :)

bmorebamma said...

btw i also disagree with jordin. the tweens . and teen girls are gonna love her, i think she is the cutest, (after you of corse) , she has not gone the way that another contestant has gone, and simon hit on the head tonite, when he said that to hailey, i would never go there, i don't have her body type , and i have passed the expairation date on that one age wise.

bmorebamma said...

hey mr. sligh who is mute math??? or maybe iam way pass my expireration date music wise lol never heard of them????

bmorebamma said...

mr. sligh iam gonna take that leep of faith, mutemath cd will soon be heading my way.the bad news is that i will have to give hpf a little break ,until i hear their cd. lol

bmorebamma said...

mr. sligh . i got the mute math cd it's really good .any hoo mute math tongue twister say it real fast about 10 times