Friday, June 27, 2008


So...I spoiled some of this in a comment below.  But...

Yesterday was spent in a 10-4 meeting with management, dealing with every aspect of my career and how we can do things better, what we're doing right, what is wrong (if anything) and how to move forward.  It was an exciting time!

The main focus of the meeting was to discuss mainstream possibilities.  We feel like Christian music is our home, definitely.  And we will continue to build my career in the CCM industry, even when we're focused on mainstream conjointly (like the big word?).  But, at the same time, I was recently with a large group of radio consultants and program directors for some of the largest mainstream radio stations in the nation and several stations sought me out in a large party to tell me that they would support me and give any song I brought at least a chance to connect...and if it didn't work, it didn't work, but at least I'd have the chance.  

So, we're trying to figure out how to go to mainstream radio as smart as possible.  We feel strongly that you don't have to spend a gajillion dollars to make a record work.  It comes down to the song.   So, the plan is to spend the next several months with 5-10 radio stations that will give the first mainstream single a full cycle, giving the audience a chance to know the song, feel it, then they will test it.  Hopefully (fingers crossed) the song tests as a hit.  That testing can then be used to entice other radio stations to take a chance on me, a new artist.

It is not failsafe, by any stretch.  Pop radio is HARD to break into.  So, there is a touring plan in place that I won't give all the details for yet...but it will involve 20-25 cities where we will hit the ground running and build a following that will (hopefully) spill over to radio in those markets and spill over to other markets.  This touring plan is grassroots at its best!  I'll have more details down the road, but the plan is pretty darn cool.

So, mainstream is going to be huge.

But for the Christian market, what's up?

First off: August 1 is the official release date for Single Numero Dos: "Arise"!  Everyone feels strongly that "Arise" is a song that will make an impact at radio.  "Empty Me" was an introduction to the market, and radio stations are already giving excitement for "Arise".  So, that will come out and we'll probably work that until Christmas time or so.

Over the next couple of months, I'll be recording a digital 3-song Christmas EP that will be available exclusively online.  We will be releasing 3 singles to radio at the end of November for the Christmas season.  CCM radio is strange in that it literally shuts down current music for about a month and a half for Christmas and plays Christmas music.  So, in order to have a toe in the market, we're sending Christmas music out!  Tony Wood and I wrote a song called "Comes From the Heart", I might be doing the Harry Connick, Jr. tune "I Pray On Christmas" and some well-known Christmas song that hasn't been chosen yet!  So, look for that stuff soon.

Touring the CCM market is going on throughout this year.  Then in 2009, we'll be doing a tour here and there.  We're working on a co-headlining tour with a major Christian artist that would AWESOME if it worked out and we're still working on the God and Country tour.  2009 will probably be spent mostly touring mainstream, but we'll be doing several small tours in the Christian market and a couple of larger ones.  

So, that should get everybody up to date!

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Blake Lewis announced recently that he was dropped from Arista.  From what I understand in talking with him at the finale this year is that 19E is still on board and are very loyal to him and his I doubt you've heard the last of Blake Lewis.

Blake, in my opinion, made a record that was just enough left of center that it didn't quite work in the mainstream, though I still think this record could've and should've been one of the bigger records of this year.  If "Know My Name" had been the first single, I believe it would've been a smash and then "How Many Words" could've been the hit it deserved to be.  But Clive, in his omniscience decided that "Break Anotha", my least favorite song on the record, should be the first single.  The moment I heard the song, I had a feeling that A.D.D. probably wouldn't recover - bad first single usually leads to the album not doing great...and unfortunately, I ended up being right.

However, let's put it in perspective.  He has sold close to 300k.  In today's music culture, that is fantastic for a new artist.  I think he'll end up with an indie label, making great records for years to come.  And from what I've heard Blake saying, it's where he'll be more comfortable.  If he can put together a hit for his genre, I think it's gonna be great!

I'm excited and disappointed at the same time for Blake.  Blake is a good friend who got screwed by the major label system.  Say what you will about the guy, he's a talented musician and is remarkably creative.  If anyone deserves to have a career in music, it's Blake.

So, rest in peace, Audio Day Dream.  Blake, here's to the future!  It's looking good!

ETA: By the way: the way that record deals work, is that every album is an option.  A normal record deal is 1 option + 4.  Each option is the label's choice.  An option can be a year.  An option, if an album is ultra successful can be 3 or 4 years.  Most of the time, an option on a new artist comes up right at a year from when they first signed, which was the case for Blake, when the artist and the label decide on if they're going to make another album.  It was also the case for Katherine last year, as well as Taylor.  Though news didn't filter down until later in the summer, Kat knew in May last year when I saw her that she was going to be leaving her label and going fact in May of last year, she already had an idea of where she was going to end up.  It wasn't announced until August-September that she had been officially dropped.  Blake signed in June of last year.  It wasn't announced until September.  You'll notice you haven't heard an official announcement from Arista yet.  Why?  Because it takes a while for a record label to get around to that stuff. make clear...Blake did NOT get dropped sooner than any other Idol ever.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Paul

I meant to do this "Yesterday", but I forgot, so I'll just "Let It Be".

Happy one day belated 66th, Sir Paul McCartney.

You have influenced me as much as any other person if not more as a musician.

I think that you are a genius and 100 million people who bought your records can't be wrong.

Plus, I can't be wrong.

Thanks for all you've done for music.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

2 more new ones....

....are up for your perusal at


The titles are "Simple Love Song" and "Love Remains"

Yes, I know "Simple Love Song" is similar to "Poorly Written Love Song".  

Sue me.  [insert smiley face here]

Here's the lyrics:

Simple Love Song

Words and music by Chris Sligh

Sarah’s got a way of shining

Like the sun in mid July and

She’s the woman they all wanna be

She’s got my heart all tied up in a knot 

‘Cause she’s center of my thoughts

And she’s the only one for me

This is just a simple love song

‘Cause being honest with my feelings

Never feels wrong

There’s no other high intentions
Just a way to mention

All I have inside my heart to say
So it’s just a simple love song today

All my life is wrapped up in
The girl who made me love again
And she’s the reason everything is good
I know I’m taking all the easy ways
To say the things I want to say

But I don’t feel bad, even though I should


...the truth is, I’m done,
The best part’s to come:
I’m irretrievably hers
I know it’s not vague
Or poetic, okay?
I’m just trying to get across

My heart to her
That’s all that really matters to me...


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

This Record

Life doesn't get much better than this: I'm sitting back at home - MY HOME!!! - and I'm listening to the new Coldplay album (which, btw, is fantastic), getting great news about what's going on.

First off, let me be clear.  Me talking about the next album or showing you guys new songs should in no way be construed as "moving on" from this album.  It will probably be at least 2 years before another album comes out, maybe longer.  This album has a ton of life left to it.  We're the best-selling new Christian artist of 2008 so far and as I mentioned before we're finalizing booking my first official headlining tour, promoting the album.  

However, because of the way my schedule is looking for the next few months and even years, the label and I have decided to take a different approach with the next album than with this one.  Instead of spending 3-4 months straight working on a record, I'm gonna be recording it off and on for several months, perhaps even over a couple of years.  The plan is to end up recording great songs as I write them and when it feels right to make a new album, then we'll figure out what we have, who we need to bring into finish the singles and then the album is already done.

So...these 5 songs I recorded last week are simply the first batch of songs that I recorded.  It may be a direction for the album, it may not.  We've got a long time to come to that conclusion.  What I do know is that the next album will be different from this album, and it will be better than this album.  This album is the peak of who I am creatively at this point...but with every day, I'm growing musically and lyrically and creatively and the next album will definitely explain and inform that growth!

Anyway, on to this album.  Remember a while back I told you to not worry - that the Billboard chart is just a waiting game?  Well, after I think 8 weeks at #18, last week, we jumped to #16, and this week, we gained more plays but moved to #17 (MercyMe's new song hopscotched from #21 to 16 - hey, it's MercyMe - they're bigger than me!).  However, early indications for next week are looking like we could be #12!  The plays are so close between #12-16 that it will be hard to tell this early, but we're moving up.  On the other main chart, AC Indicator, we have a top 10 hit!  So, "Empty Me" is by no means done at radio.  It just takes a long time to move up the charts, especially as a new artist!

We finally got the 2 biggest Christian networks  - KLove and Salem -  to pick up on the song!  These are 2 stations that several other stations watch as an indicator if the song should be picked we may get a bevy of adds in the next few weeks!

I think I'm finally allowed to announce that "Arise" is the second single.  Depending on what happens with "Empty Me" it looks like it'll be coming out some time in July.  We may have to hold it off, if "Empty Me" picks up even more steam - but for now it looks like July is launch for "Arise".  I knew it took time to move up the charts...but to put it in perspective, Matthew West recently had a #1 with "You Are Everything" - it took 20 weeks to reach the top 5 and another 5-6 to reach #1.  It's number 8 this week and it's been on the chart for 36 freaking weeks!  The Robbie Seay Band has a song at #9 that's been on the chart for 42 weeks!  That's 81/2 to 10 months they've been working their way up the chart!  So, my measly 14 weeks on the chart is nothing.  Believe me when I say that the Christian chart is THE hardest to move up on.  It just takes time.  But "Arise" is the next single.

Also, this summer, we'll be taking a couple of songs to mainstream radio for testing.  The basic plan for the mainstream songs is to get a few stations to add the song, give the song a chance to get tested and if it comes back from testing as a hit, it gives us a chance to use that data to build a story in the mainstream market.  The plan for now is that starting in January we go for official adds en masse in the mainstream market, about the same time we take our third single to the Christian market.  We're not sure what the first mainstream single will be but it's between "Let You Know", "In a Moment" and "Cry Tonight"....I have a feeling "Let You Know" will win out, but you never know - if our mainstream radio guys really dig another song?  Well, we'll know more about that soon.

When we go mainstream, we are already working on relationships for tv stuff, for me to make appearances, etc.  Again, it has to work at mainstream radio first, but we have people interested in having me on tv shows, etc...we just have to have a hit.  That's the hard part.  I have no idea what works at mainstream radio...I mean I look at the charts and every week a new song jumps to the top 10 and it's something I had no idea would work at radio!  So, maybe we can get lucky and have a hit!

We've sold about 11,000 so far.  We sold 4,100 our first week and this last week we sold 1,500.  We're selling steadily, which is a great sign for our industry.  The more exposure "Empty Me" and "Arise" after it get, the sales will build.  The more I tour, the more sales will build.

Sales are obviously important because they are what keep me going as an artist...but the most important thing to me is the fact that people are being changed by the music.  I get testimonials almost daily from people who have been touched by a song or their lives reflect a song like "Empty Me" or "Potential".  So, no matter how many records are sold, I know that people are being touched...I hope a lot of people are touched, but whatever number it is...I'm totally okay with.

This blog is the perfect example of people's live being changed...friendships have been made in a virtual world that have transferred to real life, all because of some chubby kid who sings songs he wrote!  I don't understand it, but I love it!

So, that's the update!

Oh, yeah, I've written about a quarter of the script for the movie idea I was talking about last week.  It's a first draft, but I think it's pretty funny.  It'll only get funnier as I hone it, but I think the idea is good.

Thanks for being the best fans in the world!

Monday, June 16, 2008


Vacation was beautiful. 

It was probably a beautiful thing, but the internet went out 2 days into our trip so I just got home.

I would like to take a moment to say goodbye to Amanda.  She was beautiful, she was perky and I feel as though I am better for meeting her.  

I met her twice.  Once at a show when she was backstage to meet Chris Rich, her true fave.  She came and told me that she loved my singing and that she thought I was funny.  Then I noticed she was posting on my blog.

Back then a lot more people were posting and many times it was hard to keep up with who was who.  I didn't know that the "core group" (as they became known) would become the "core group" till about 3/4 of the way through the summer.   I mean, for goodness sake I though DJ was a guy!

Amanda had posted about her disease and the kindness on the blog touched me, as I'm sure it did her, too.  I came out of my hotel in Little Rock, AR to film an interview with Ash Grayson for his documentary Bleed Into One and there was a girl waiting in the middle of street who looked oddly familiar.  She had cut her hair since the first time I saw her, and she came running up - quite scarily, I might add - telling me I had to wait!  I had to wait!  Risa from the blog was coming!  

I signed a few autographs for her and we talked for about 5 minutes and she told me more about her condition.  I was amazed at the strength I saw in this little girl.  She was far stronger than I could imagine being under the same circumstances.  She smiled and had fun and actually tried to talk me into waiting around to meet Risa!  It was a joy.

Those few minutes left an indelible mark on me.  She would stop by the blog and I think became accepted as part of the Fro Patro'.  You guys treated her so well, and my heart was overjoyed to see that.  

I didn't get to see Amanda again.  I had hoped to make it down to St. Jude's while she was there, but stupid things got in the way.  I wish I was not so caught up in my own world...I wanted to see her and Sarah and I even talked about going to see her several times over a weekend, but a show would come up here and a dinner would come up here, and poof! time slipped by too quickly.

So, regrets will be regrets and life if full of "what ifs" and "if I's".  What I do know, beyond a shadow of a doubt is that Amanda is far, far away from this life of pain!  She is able to breathe freely!  She is able to run!  She is able to bask in the glow of our Savior!  She is where I long to be!  She is worshipping as pure a worship as there is!  Simply worshipping our Savior for eternity is beyond my belief and is completely my expectation.  In a way, I'm jealous.

But still my heart yearns for the family.  Gladness is found in mourning, but the loss of someone so young...I don't understand it, and never will.   I hope and pray that Amanda's family will know that she was loved - beyond a doubt, she was loved!! 

Here is a song:

I'm Ready

I'm halfway to nothing,
Walking this road, making my way
So tired of the running
Why is every day as long as today
Should I long for all I long for out loud?
Today I'm praying todays the day
You come split open the clouds!

I'm ready to walk, I'm ready to run
I'm ready to find my way to the Son... walk beside that glassy Sea
Hands lifted up for eternity
I'm ready

It's not that I'm unhappy
But nothing could ever compare to You
Forever stands waiting
A life stands beyond the one we dance through
Call me crazy, say my thoughts are strange
But I am dying, I am crying
For something to change!


All eternity spent in worship alone
I can only imagine my eternal home


Sunday, June 08, 2008

New Song Lyrics

ETA:  Poorly Written Love Song is up on's the 2nd song.  It's a rough demo that was recorded live in the studio with no editing yet, so know that going in...I was sick so my vocal's not great.  But I'm really excited about this song and I think you'll get the idea!  Hope you enjoy.

Poorly Written Love Song

Words and music by Chris Sligh

Everything I say
ends up sounding so cliche’

It’s all been said way too many times
Everything I write
ends up sounding far too trite

Love can’t be conveyed with word and rhyme

But I guarantee I’ll try

I - I love you

I - I love you

It’s just three words

But it’s the best thing I’ve ever heard

So I’m giving it to you

I’m screaming it to you now

I love you

You’re worthy of
the best things I could say of love

But everything I say you’ve heard before

As phrasing fails,
I hope your heart’s not underwhelmed

‘Cause words are just a part of something more

So, here goes my best tries:


I’m trying for metaphors

But my best tries still leave you bored

And I’m out of similes

So, I guess you’ll have settle for this, baby:


You Are the One

Words and music by Chris Sligh

All I need is to believe we can be free,

But life is moving on too fast 

Love won’t change anything but who we are

And who we want to be

Why do we pretend we’re doing better than we are?

I guess the act we put on makes us feel

Good or bad, the feelings make us know that we’re alive

Even if it isn’t real

All I need is to try and see on through

But the pain we feel’s not passing

We try to change everything but all we really do

Is try to change our futures

Every move of queen and pawn 

A desperate chance to find 

A way out of the maze
we call a feeling 

But feelings make us feel 

Like life is coursing through our veins

Yet leave us reeling from all the life they’re stealing

You are the one

You are the one

You are the one

That changes everything

Change my everything


All I need is to see the way we were

But life flies by with every blink I’m taking….

Comatose, I’m sleeping through
the best years that I’ll get

And every smile from you that I keep missing

I’m waking up, I’m coming back to life
here in your arms 
There’s something shifting

Something’s shifting in my heart, baby…


New Songs

Hey guys...writing from Cancun!

Wanted to let you guys know that last week on Thursday, the band and I went into the studio and recorded 5 new songs! We got a really good deal on a studio/engineer, so Jason Walker took a day and I took a day. Jason did 4 songs on Tuesday and I did 5 on Thursday. Jon on drums, Walt on bass, Clint on guitar and Jason piano. I played acoustic on a couple of songs.

We were mostly recording to pitch to tv/film stuff, but we got a couple of songs that may be on the next album...they ended up sounding so great. I'll try and throw a couple of songs up over at the production myspace. Right now, they're still rough, but I think they're gonna polish up nicely.

As a side note, I knew my band was great live, but they rock in the studio, too. Skaggs came up with some incredible drum stuff and Walt and Clint rocked their respective guitars. The surprise of the day was Jason Walker, though. I knew he was good, but he blew my socks off! He was channeling Ben Folds and Freddie Mercury in one song and then playing some tasteful licks in some other stuff...really blew me away.

I can't wait for you guys to hear this stuff.

Monday, June 02, 2008


I'm kind of anal. Sorry. I'm rewriting this now that I am finally at home.

In May I literally had 1 day off. 1 day in 31 that I didn't have something to go to, somewhere to be, a show to play, a signing to do or anything. 1 day off. It was a great freaking month. But I am wasted. Beyond belief.

So, June 3-27, with the exception of 1 day, is my first extended vacation since Idol started in January of '07. Man, a year and a half has flown by. Sarah and I had about 10 days off last May after the finale (we went to Cancun, if you remember), but since then, I have either been on tour, writing, recording demos, recording the album or doing promo dates every week since then. So, for June, I asked to have a few weeks off to recoup, figure out what's next and get ready for a bunch of stuff coming up.

We should be announcing the final dates for the Back to School tour for August and September. It looks like we'll be doing about 45 dates over the 2 months and it will be our first official "real" tour! We'll have an opener and an RV and a big ol' trailer! And we'll rock the U.S.A.!!! Most of the shows are being promoted by the local radio stations all across the U.S. so look to start hearing more about that. And yes, it looks like we'll be getting to Little Rock, Risa (and Birmingham, D.J.).

We also just started working on a big tour for the beginning of 2009 that would be with a great friend of mine who's a country artist. It'd go out as the "God and Country" tour. We're also looking at an Idol from Season 7 to go out as the opening act! It could be an exciting tour, if it works out. I think the tour will definitely work out...just how big, etc. it will be will take time to figure out.

A song that Clint Lagerberg and I wrote, called "Here Comes Goodbye", has been put on hold by one of the biggest country groups and a secondary hold has been put on the song by one of the top female country singers. The song is also garnering some interest on the pop side from a pretty big act. It's one of those special songs that people seem to be freaking out for. I think it's definitely up there with some of the best songs I've ever written. You can hear it on my producer page: It should be the first song that comes up.

Film and tv stuff is still being worked on. I've met some key tv people that interested in hearing more about a tv show I've developed and written the pilot for. Obviously it doesn't mean anything really, but at least there's interest. A couple of people have read the script and think it's hilarious and commercially viable. I also have an idea for a film vehicle that, if it turns out like I'm hoping, could be a huge break for me as an actor and writer. Obviously, I have to deliver a great film, but I have presented the idea to a couple of key people and they're excited about it, and that's huge. I just have to go write a great script and then let a pro finish it and make it even better. But it's a film that we will be presenting as a vehicle for me. So, that could be huge, too. Again, this is stuff just in the works. I'm so busy with music right now that it's tough to find tons of time for the other stuff, but part of vacation will be spent on the first draft of the script. Idol doesn't get you gigs, but it sure opens up doors. You'd be surprised at the producer who wants to take a meeting with me because he and his family loved me on the show. Hopefully, the next time I'm in L.A. I'll be able to set up a meeting with him and pitch the idea for this'd be right down his alley, I think. we've found out with a lot of this stuff, it comes and goes and stuff doesn't work out...but know that I am working hard to do stuff outside of just music.

June will be a time of vacation. A few meetings. A few little writing sessions. A nice 10 day vacation out of the country. And sleep, sleep, sleep. And maybe some XBox. I got that Assassins: Creed game that I've been itching to mess around with. So, I may not write a ton, but know that I'm just recharging to rock socks off!