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!


Spencer said...

Good luck. Your album's pretty good, I think it might be nice for the general public to hear it. I mean, check out Switchfoot and Relient K.

Glynnis Whitwer said...

Hi Chris,

I just heard your song Empty Me and thought it was amazing. Thank you for being honest about the lure of the spotlight. I'm on staff with Proverbs 31 Ministries in Charlotte and we help equip women in their calling to write and speak for God. This song would minister POWERFULLY to the women who attend our annual conference called She Speaks. It's a uniquely humble person who doesn't struggle with pride when he or she is on stage as the messenger.

I loved you on American Idol, by the way, and look forward to watching what God is going to do in your life!

Glynnis Whitwer

chamilton said...

everything you do I think, is just wonderful. My Christmas will be merrier with some "Sligh" bells ringing(Get it? like Sleigh bells). Sorry lack of sleep feeling a little goofy. Good luck and I willbe watching and waiting for it.


Carrie said...

YAAAY! So eventually you'll end up near or in Buffalo because you can't tour without going near here. It's always on tour list for bigger tours. :D

Also for the Christmas album can I suggest "O Holy Night?" asnjkdf That's my favorite Holiday song EVER and it's beautiful.

Chris Surratt said...

Dude, the other song on the Christmas EP has to be "Do You Hear What I Hear?"! :)

HstryQT said...

dont have much time but wanted to just say im super excited!!! :)

HstryQT said...

ok sleeping baby is no longer on my lap anymore...

my vote for your christmas song is
1)have yourself a merry little christmas
2)the christmas song (chestnuts roasting)

i would love you forever if you chose one of those. :) im just super excited we're getting a couple sligh christmas songs. and thats also really neat that some of the mainstream radio people are coming after you - you're just rockin' it! its so much fun watching your continued success!

ps carrie: i already said thanks, but thanks again for the awesome Flair! im obsessed with flair now, but i never have enough time to make my own. your Peace Love Fro one is awesome :)

HstryQT said...

testing to see if my new fav Teddy pic shows up...

ok shutting up now. :)

wait except i have to say - FIVE MORE DAYS TIL THE PICNIC WOOO HOOO! see ya'll there!

risalea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
risalea said...

The mainstream news sounds very exciting and I'm anxious to see what we as supporters can do for you to help promote you in that arena (and CCM for that matter.)
Have to agree with Carrie on "Oh Holy Night"...also "Mary, Did You Know?"

I do not know why I am stopping by this computer, cause my "to do" list doth overfloweth, so I better get to it.

I love a party! : )

(One more time--if anyone who registered for the picnic didn't get the general info email a couple of days ago...holler now or forever hold your peace.)

Later guys!

Cathy Storms said...

What exciting news for you. I hope there is a So. California date on that tour somewhere. Some Christmas music. WhooHoo!! I love Christmas music. O Holy Night is one of my favorites also.
I don't know why I'm on the computer either Risa. I'm leaving in less than 24 hours for Nashville. Yikes!! I have stuff everywhere to pack.
Getting busy now..See everyone soon!
Nashville, here we come!!!

robyn said...

how about "Don't Save It All For Christmas Day" for the Christmas album? I've always loved that, and it's different, not the usual same ole, same ole. Very touching too.


robyn said...

Empty Me is #11 on Hot Christian Singles today on Billboard !!!

Carrie said...

Aw if I had time I'd have made something with that picture on it. I posted it on the official forums not long ago but I made it out of fun and it's awesome. The Flair app is fun, too! That and Parking Wars are what waste a lot of my time on Facebook haha.


chamilton said...

Hey Guys,
Don't forget to get that window chalk for a little free promoting. I put the Running back to OK on one window and on the the other and alot of people commented and talked to me about it. I still have it on and I am too busy to wash it off today so looks like I will be in downtown Wichita tomorrow and so will be my painted windows. Oh well. You guys that are fixin to hit the road be safe and for those of us who can't go hpoe you will give the full report when you can.


Steve Ray said...

Great to see you in Houston Chris! Thanks for the picture with my boys ( They're lovin' the CD.

Anonymous said...

Sounds so good, Chris. I will do my part as your fan to get things going as much as I can.

Deb in TN said...

That is exciting news, Chris! God and Country tour...maybe with Phil Stacy? Very excited about some of the mainstream guys giving you a spin to see how people respond...I agree the trick is going to be in deciding which single you want to make your mark, your first impression, especially on those who do not watch AI and have never heard of you.....Believe it or not, that is exactly how I learned about MercyMe--a station in Memphis played "Imagine" one morning while I was getting ready for work and I enjoyed hearing this "different", I own just about all of their albums; all because of one song played on my rock and pop station....

There is a new station in Memphis that touts being the first to play songs you've never heard (98.9KIM)....I wish you a lot of luck with launching that endeavor and, as I've said before, please let me/us know what we should be doing to help you outside of buying the CD and spreading the word....

And Candy--you are too loved the little sleigh bell reference. :)

Carianne said...

wow, going to main stream radio seems challenging... but if anyone can do it, Sligh can! =D

Amy's Purple Poodles said...

This is such exciting news! I hope going to mainstream radio works out great for you. I also think "O Holy Night" or "Silent Night" would be great Christmas songs. When are we going to know which cities you are going to tour in? I hope you think about Denver, Co. Springs, or Austin (I have a friend who just moved back to Austin so I could mooch a place off her to stay!)
To those of you going to the picnic and haven't left for Nashville yet-if you get to meet Chris Please, Please, PLEASE! tell him Amy's Purple Poodles says "HI!" and give him a hug for me! I hope they have another picnic next year so maybe I can come.
If your're driving, have a safe trip on the read and if you're flying I pray that your plane's on time, and gets you safely there and back.

risalea said...

OK, so I had this amusing phone conversation tonight with a friend I used to teach with. We don't talk real often, and this was the first time I had told her about the picnic and my Chris Sligh thing. So she confesses she is a word nerd for David Cook, posts on his board, is the designated gift basket giver when he comes to Bossier City (no AI concert here this year), etc. (she thought should would have to find a florist who delivers...I told her to find Kathy, the security guard if she's still with the tour--I was thinking for a second, Amanda would know where to find her...she was a little P. I.) Anyway, we had a good visit and I invited her to the picnic, but she's already got plans. She remembered Chris and liked him, and I am going to get a copy of the CD to her. (my stash is going down, I better slow down!) Off to to get the laundry done tomorrow...the Rotel is packed, but not my clothes! LOL Risa

Carrie said...

I'm leaving Thursday morning. I'm so scared though because it's my first time on a plane. I still have to go out and get toothpaste and all of that to bring with me. And don't worry, Risa. I haven't packed yet, either. I'm going to be going crazy tomorrow and Wednesday.

Badpacifist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Badpacifist said...

I would love to hear you sing "Mary Did You Know" We are getting ready to leave for the picnic today. My grand daughter is sooo excited. I told her there is no way you are ever going to sing Hannah Montana's Best of Both worlds. Although the passing thought of you in a blonde fro did make me giggle.

Cathy Storms said...

I'm leaving today for Nashville. Yikes!! I'm flying from California with my daughter and 3 small grandkids. This should be an adventure. Can't wait to meet everyone who is coming.
Amy's purple poodle, I would love to give Chris a big hug for you. I am always looking for a reason to give Chris a big hug. I have one from Niques Nana also. Yeah..lots of hugs.
So Nashville, here we come.

EmilyBoo said...

I hope you can tour in the Detroit area soon, whether CCM or mainstream. I talked to hubby about trying to make it up to Traverse City this weekend since we can't make it to Nashville, but it looks like we're finally going to have some clear weather this weekend after seemingly months of rain, and we've been waiting for some nice weather so we can stain our deck, which is badly needed. Anyway, if all else fails (regarding trying to see you in concert,) there's always the second annual picnic!

I can't wait to start hearing Arise on the radio, and I'm very excited about the Christmas songs. I'd love to hear you do "Do You Hear What I Hear." (And YAY, I see I'm not the first to suggest it!) That, depending on the artist, is one of my favorite Christmas songs. (I like Martina McBride's or Bing Crosby's, NOT Whitney Houston's version... that one really annoys me for some reason.) Of course, any well known Christmas carol has been covered by hundreds of artists, so I'm sure it will be tough to choose. Have fun!

GirlyGirl45 said...

Hey, Chris, your resident heathen is very happy with your news about exploring mainstream; I'd thought that was a long way off, with your contract, so I'm tickled to hear this. Although I haven't read the lyrics lately, Arise is so catchy, I could see it doing well in either market. It will surely be a smash in CCM. You've got the pipes and the musical chops to make mainstream work for you; just need to get away from "the cross" and other explicitly christian phrasing and imagery.

Candy, i loved your account of your roadtrip and concert experience in the previous thread.

I can feel the excitement building for the picnic---happy trails, everyone. And remember: It's not good barbecue unless you drip a little on your shirt. Bring Chris some napkins. He'll need them if he's going to do autographs for you.

xmas: In the Bleak Midwinter, Go Tell It on the Mountain

Nique's Nana said...

I'm excited about the 3-song Christmas EP, and the release date for "Arise" is my birthday, so I know it's going to be a big hit.

Exciting news Chris, thanks for sharing.

here i go with all my thoughts said...

This is all very exciting news. You have great fans that will always support you and your decisions. Arise is a great song and one of my favorites, so I'm glad that's the second single.

Looking forward to more information about your tour. Detroit? :)

Have fun in Nashville this weekend, everyone!

<3 Megan

rosalee said...


Music to my ears.... (LOL)