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 up....so 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!


chamilton said...

I have been hearing Empty Me on KLOVE FINALLY and every time I hear it I am so excited for you!!!!
I heard it my way home from work yesterday and once this morning sitting here at my desk so i am having a pretty good day. Thanks for being you looking foward to Oklahoma City. Would you be interrested in pictures of you from Tulsa? Take care


Hischild said...

First, welcome home, Chris. I trust you were wise w/the sunscreen and you're not lobster-ish right now.

This is SUCH good news and this post a feast for my eyes!

I have been SO frustrated that I NEVER hear Empty Me on any Christian radio stations in Phoenix. I talk you up to all my friends and they are just clue-less to anything beyond Idol. (sigh)

I have given out copies of RBTY to those that I could and get really good comments back but, Sheesh!
So patience *is* the key, I guess.

And OF COURSE, your movie script is pretty funny. It's from you. Can't wait for your future to unfold. Thanks for letting me/us be a such a big part of it.


P.S. Congrats on best-selling new Christian artist (so far). I envision a Dove Award nomination in that category in a few more months.

rosalee said...

Hey Candy -
Like I said before - maybe our complaining at KLOVE helped.

Time go back over to www.yes.com and give a little push...

And don't forget to vote at that new site -

He's moving up in the rankings there, too.

chamilton said...

Hey Rosalee,
We would never complain, gentle suggestions (ha ha).You are right, I hope it helped. This morning John Rivers even said "Our buddy Chris Sligh."

Cathy Storms said...

Welcome home Chris..Hope you had a great vacation.
I love "Arise". I wake up to it every morning. I sing it to my husband on those mornings he won't get up.(ok, he throws things at me)lol..but at least he gets up.
I think "Let You Know" would be a great mainstream record.
How about videos?
I happen to know a little girl who still calls you her best friend who would love to be in a video with you..lol..
Yep, your music and your blog has brought some big changes to my life. I have met some amazing people and can't wait to meet them in person. My picnic girls have become some of my best friends even though we have never met. Except for Risa, I did get to meet her.
Who would of ever thought that I would fly 3000 miles to meet and hang out with other "Sligh" fans?
Oh yeah, and Deliah is coming with me to Nashville. You remember, your best friend. Or she thinks so anyway. She can't wait to see you. You made quite an inpression on that 5 year old..

Jason said...

Chris...I have a question...why is it that Empty Me is on every Chart in CAC but it is not making 20 The Coundown...just curious...

Anonymous said...

Hello Chris,
Curious if you had time to catch the Coldplay interview. ( CBC The Hour )

Interestingly,it's airing the full hour again tonite, but you can see it in The Hours's video collection. Don't miss the Track by Track segment, great fun.

Cheers, Shalom

EmilyBoo said...

Thanks for letting us all in on what the plans are! It's fascinating to get this inside look into the music business. I'm looking forward to hearing "Arise" on the radio, and can't wait to find out what becomes the first mainstream single. I would lean toward "In a Moment" just from personal preference, but I think that "Let You Know" already gained quite a fan base last year on youtube, so it may do better. Eh, what do I know...

DJ in AL said...

Dude, do you ever stop thinking? That mind of yours, spinning constantly. Loved this post, it really helps lay it all out for me (the novice where music is concerned). Now I know what to expect. I asked recently what and when the next single would come out and how it was determined and whaddaya know, now I know!

It sounds to me like everything is as it should be career-wise and well of course as a diehard Sligh fan that makes me very happy for you!

I hope you had a fabulous vacation and that you and Sarah had the chance to really reconnect!

Looking forward to seeing you July 5th!

Sending you love from DJ in AL!

rosalee said...

Jason -
This explanation is from the FAQ section of the site:

"How do you come up with the top 20 songs each week?

Our charts are compiled and published by Christian Radio Weekly, part of the Westar Media Group in Colorado Springs, Colorado. That much you've probably heard at the end of the program each week. Here's what that all means. Christian Radio Weekly (CRW) selects 50 Christian radio stations that play music in the Adult Contemporary genre. Each week, the stations submit to CRW a list of the songs they will play the following week in their current rotations, and how many times they will play each song ("spins") throughout the week. (Current rotations typically only include "brand new" songs, not classics, like "Shine" or "I Can Only Imagine" for example.) CRW then multiples the number of spins by the size of the station's audience, coming up with the total number of "impressions" for each song and each station. Finally, all of each song's impressions are summed and the songs are ranked. This gives us a chart based upon how many people hear each song in a given week."

So, I guess it must depend upon which 50 Christian radio stations are selected....

Carianne said...

Wow! Chris has written a quarter of the script? That's a lot! I had no idea he was so far along on that project! Some writers say they write a script with specific people in mind to play the roles... I wonder if Chris has anything like that going through his head..

And he's completely right: The most important thing in this industry (IMO) is to be able to sell steadily. This is truly just the beginning.

Carrie said...

Chris, thank you for being so open and keeping in contact with all of us. It's one of those things that's really helped us all connect to one another. I'm beginning to get super excited for the picnic now. I can't wait to meet everyone finally. You blog has changed me a lot. I have to admit that in the beginning, I was sort of a jerk. People can deny it, but I know that I was. I'm so different now it's crazy. I didn't think that I could find people I genuinely cared about on some little blog through some dude I watched on Idol but I have.

So thank you.

HstryQT said...

What a fun update - exciting that your sales and airplay are holding steady and rising (respectively) and really cool that Arise might be coming out soon as the second single! And finally some for real talk about trying out mainstream radio! .. I love that you're in CCM, but Ive been curious to see how your HPF classics will do on mainstream - can't wait! Im in shock that the picnic is so close. Itll be great to see you again after so long and so much success and I of course cant wait to finally meet my Fro Patro friends. Amanda, of course, will be sorely missed. Hugs to Risa as she attends the first day of Amandas memorial services.

DJ in AL said...

Ah Carrie, you are growing up girl! Hard to believe we are just a little over 2 weeks away from the picnic!

Risa sending you love and strength as you represent us and try to comfort Amanda's family! We love you girlfriend!


Carmen said...

I hope you & Sarah had a great time on your vacation. Glad that you two are home safe & sound.

Thanks so much for the update on what's happening with you & the album. Just the other day, I received a call from a lady who I had given a copy of RBTY. She couldn't thank me enough for such a fantastic CD. She told me it was her new favorite. She was so impressed that you had written or co-written all the songs on the album. Now this is a woman who is serious about Christian music. It is all she listens to and she knows her Christian artists. She thought you were the best new Christian artist that she had heard in a long time. I think she finally understood why I have been such a big supporter of you & your talent.
Anyway, keep plugging away. You are winning hearts on a daily basis. I have always been a firm believer that all that is needed is for folks to just hear you. The rest is history,

I am not surprised that you & this blog have brought so many folks together. Like I was telling the picnic girls today, I am a Chris Sligh fan for so many reasons and one of the biggest reasons is because you have "heart". And that heart shows in everything that you do and in the contact and interaction that you have with all of us. Chris you are the best!

risalea said...

It's late and my brain is not functioning well enough to comment here yet, but it all sounds supercool!

I just posted on the previous blog about Amanda's visitation. It was a testimony to what kind of person she was.

Love you guys, Risa

robyn said...

When I first listened to RBTY I thought that "Arise" would be a great next release... I LOVE it!!!

I happen to think that "Loaded Gun" would be great for maintstream, but that's just me... I absolutely love the strings, I can listen to that one over and over...I know that you want a more rockin' sound to come out first though.
You just rock so much anyway!!! I can't wait to hear you on July 5th!! My tix are buring a hole in my wallet!!!


lea ann said...

woah. was just reading this blog entry and heard the next song start on klove (am listening online this afternoon) and Empty Me came on. *insert twilight zone music*

I heard KLOVE this morning play your live studio version of Empty Me then a few hours later, the single was played. I love Empty Me. Beautiful and your voice is gorgeous. You have such control of your voice and quite the range.

Anonymous said...

I hear "Empty Me" at least once a day on our Christian station up hear in Wisconsin. I also hear it on MusicChoice on cable. I also saw you on "Hour of Power" the other day. It's always great to see and hear you. I had the emails out to everyone I know across the the country to watch you. Glad you had a good vacation.

Kara said...

Chris - I recently bought your album. It is FANTASTIC! I love every song on it. You have quite a talent as a songwriter - not just a singer. It is so good to be able to listen to you whenever I want! I can't wait until I start hearing your music on KTIS in Mpls/StPaul.

risalea said...

Chris said, "This blog is the perfect example of people's lives 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!"

With all that has gone on this week, I really missed this paragraph. We have created relationships that for many of us, go far beyond our common love for Chris. The picnic girls and I have joked that even if Chris had to cancel, we'd still be at the picnic 'cause we really are coming to see each other! (Now Chris, DO NOT use that as an excuse to not show up! LOL) I saw the same kind of bonding this past week with the ladies from the Richness and E-Train who came to honor Amanda. It's really quite an amazing thing, and as I've said before, we're doing what we told our kids to never do...make friends on the internet! : )

Thank you, Chris, for taking the time to talk with us on a regular basis and for setting up a forum that allowed all this to happen. I don't want to get too dramatic, but no one could ever convince me that God didn't have a hand in all of it. This is the end of a very sad week, but I rejoice in what we were able to do because of this blog...meet a young lady named Amanda Rhea Jones (some in person, some through her writing), who taught us about faith, courage, determination, and plain old stubborness, and I'd like to think we were able to give her something back in return--love, support, and hope.


Ganns said...

Just for the record, I think the most brilliant song - both for lyrics and arrangement - on the album is "Loaded Gun." Not a chance in heck that "Loaded Gun" will become a single, oh well.

I'd support "Cry Tonight."

godschild811 said...

I am so excited to find this website! Chris, I voted for you on idol and was so escited when I heard you on KLove. I love your comment on "about me" I too am first a christian but I love my rock & roll! Love the Led Zep shirt! (my fave band of all time!) I'm also a HUGE David Cook fan. Keep up the great job Chris! I'd love for you to visit my son's website www.michael-coon.memory-of.com Much Love!