Head over to CCMmagazine.com and vote for Francesca in the Readers’ Choice Awards!
You can vote until March 31 and the winners will be announced at CCMmagazine.com in May.
Thanks for voting!
I posted a new blog a couple of days ago. Just wanted to make sure you knew so you could check it out!
I love reading all of your comments!
My Paper Heart (Fervent/Reprise)
It's interesting how some who typically shun Christian pop have so readily embraced Francesca Battistelli for offering something "different" than the norm. Truth be told, she's not that radically different than your average twenty-something in Christian pop—some of the songs on her debut could have easily been delivered by BarlowGirl or ZOEgirl or some other girl. But that's more a matter of sound and arrangement for parts of Battistelli's debut. She clearly has the skills as a songwriter, pianist, guitarist, and singer, especially with that distinctively throaty and soulful alto. There are natural comparisons to Vanessa Carlton, Bethany Dillon, Kelly Clarkson, and most of all, Sarah Bareilles, making several of the songs on My Paper Heart sound timely compared to secular radio, particularly the bouncy piano pop of "I'm Letting Go," the R&B flavored "Blue Sky," and the funky title cut. The album dwells on themes of identity, accepting imperfections made perfect through Christ. That message comes through loud and clear with the hit single "Free to Be Me," which recently earned Battistelli the honor of being the most added new artist in the history of Christian radio. It's pretty obvious she's going to be around for a long time—and rightfully so.
Source: christianmusictoday.com by Russ Breimeier and Andy Argyrakis
By CURTIS ROSS
Nearly three decades into its career, one of NewSong's founders says the group still is on "a faith trip."
"He's providing and he's guiding and we're following," says Billy Goodwin. "God has shown favor on us."
In addition to a long string of contemporary Christian hit singles and albums, NewSong also founded the annual Winter Jam tour.
Now in its 14th year, the tour features NewSong sharing the bill with some of Christian music's biggest names as well as some up-and-coming talent.
This year's lineup features TobyMac, Hawk Nelson, Brandon Heath and Francesca Battistelli. Previous lineups have included MercyMe, Steven Curtis Chapman, Newsboys, Jeremy Camp, Audio Adrenaline, Relient K, Tait and Sonic Flood.
"We were trying to come up with creative ways to get people to come out to concerts in winter," Goodwin says. "It started as January Jam and eventually expanded to all the way through mid-March, almost to spring time.
"We've been able to get some of the biggest names in Christian music" for the tour, he says. "As it began to expand, we asked God to direct us. He put it together we've gone along for the ride."
Part of faith for Goodwin is trusting that he's not supposed to know the future.
"We didn't think it could have happened," Goodwin says of himself and his band mates, Eddie Carswell, Matt Butler and Nate Sallie.
"If we had looked down the road we'd have been too scared to continue," Goodwin says. "We had only enough faith to see a little ways up ahead."
That kind of faith is what Francesca Battistelli sings about in "The Letting Go," the first single from her first album, last year's "My Paper Heart."
"I think I a lot of what I've learned to let go of is timing," Battistelli, 23, says. "Nothing happens when I want it to happen but it's always perfect."
When she was a young girl, she was serious about dancing and considered ballet as her profession. She dreamed of going to New York and joining a company.
Problems with her back derailed that dream but the teenager soon discovered theater, a natural choice since her parents met when both were working on a production of "The King and I." Her mother starred in the female lead as Anna; her father was the assistant conductor.
But even that didn't turn out to be her destination.
When she finally started listening to music other than show tunes, she felt compelled to begin writing and performing her own songs.
"I didn't plan to have this desire to be a songwriter and artist," she says. "Now I can't imagine doing anything else."
She was part of the Orlando teen-pop group Bella before striking out on her own.
One of her first big breaks occurred on last year's Winter Jam. Some friends of hers were scheduled to perform on the Orlando date of the tour and had to cancel. At their suggestion, Battistelli was chosen to perform. This year, she's on for the entire tour.
"It's so cool to come full circle a year later," Battistelli says.
Still, she's a little disappointed the tour won't visit Orlando again this year.
It would have been a hometown visit. She attended the University of Central Florida before moving to Nashville.
Alas, last year's Orlando concert was plagued by technical difficulties.
"I want to redeem myself," she says with a laugh. "Maybe everyone who was there will come to the Tampa show."
They won't be deterred by the price, $10 at the door. The low admission price is one of the tour's trademarks.
"The bottom line is encouraging fans to bring friends and family that need to hear what we're saying, the truth of what we're sharing," Goodwin says.
It's a matter of trust for the band to go out with a big show and a small admission price, Goodwin says.
"It's been going 14 years now and we always pay the bills," he says. "It doesn't make any sense but somehow it always happens."
Francesca's second radio single, "Free To Be Me" has set an incredible record! It is being played on more radio stations than ANY other single from a new artist in Christian radio in all of history! 94 out of 118 stations are playing it! Thank you so much for helping to support this song and Francesca's album, My Paper Heart. Check out the news brief below to get the full scoop!
January 13, 2009 - (Nashville, TN) - Francesca Battistelli, the talented singer/songwriter who just released her debut project, My Paper Heart, with Fervent Records in July, has officially made radio history! According to R&R (Radio & Records), Battistelli is the most-added new artist in the history of Christian radio, thanks to her new single, "Free To Be Me."
Obtaining the most adds within the first week at radio's AC and CHR formats, "Free To Be Me" has achieved top airplay on 94 out of 118 reporting radio stations. This puts Battistelli in the elite company of Chris Tomlin's "Jesus Messiah", Casting Crown's "East to West", and "Spoken For" from MercyMe.
"Free To Be Me" is the second single released from My Paper Heart. Battistelli's debut radio single, "I'm Letting Go," reached #3 on the radio charts, thus capturing immediate attention and accolades from radio and the media:
"Francesca is one of those artists that you just kind of marvel at...she can live life, write an amazing song, and connect with our audience every single time. I have no doubt she'll be around for years to come". ~ Jeff Connell, KXWA Denver, CO
"I was blown away by Francesca...Up-tempo, fresh and fun - that actually describes her whole album. This girl is the real deal!" ~ Sarah Taylor, KCMS Seattle, WA
"In 2008 Christian music has been fortunate to have a lot of really talented new artists, but one that stands out from the others is Francesca Battistelli. Her amazing talent and infectious, upbeat attitude are impossible to ignore." ~ Jeff Cruz, WPOZ Orlando, FL
"Christian music's answer to Sara Bareilles...Can you say "New Artist of the Year"? ~ CCMMagazine.com
"One of the strongest pop debuts this year...she's a new talent to watch for years to come." ~ ChristianityToday.com
"Keep your eyes and ears on this young lady, because she is definitely here to stay!" ~ jesusfreakhideout.com
Francesca Battistelli is currently on the 35-date WinterJam tour, performing in markets all over the country and sharing the stage with talented artists such as TobyMac, Hawk Nelson, Brandon Heath, and much more. For the most updated tour dates and information, please visit www.jamtour.com .
Battistelli was also named one of iTunes' best new artists of 2008 within the Christian/Gospel Category. She received accolades for the single "I'm Letting Go" as the #3 "Best iTunes Song" of the year.
Battistelli is managed by Proper Management and booked by Third Coast Artist Agency (www.tcaa.biz ), both based in Nashville, TN. For more information, please visit francescamusic.com.
Friday, January 09, 2009
The annual Winter Jam show seems to be one concert that promises the best of Christian music without damaging our cash flow.
The tour has been going strong since 1995 and continues to offer the highest caliber of artists. With tonight's concert in Chattanooga, the Christmas spirit just keeps on flowing.
With increasing costs everywhere, it seems that if any bands tour at all, they are booking smaller, more intimate venues to keep their risk and ticket prices low. The Winter Jam tour manages to offer big names for a small price.
The group Newsong, known for hits like "The Christmas Shoes" and "You Can't Keep a Good Man Down," leads the Winter Jam, sharing the stage with stars that include Steven Curtis Chapman, Jeremy Camp, Skillet and a returning fave, tobyMac.
Even though the tour doesn't make a stop in Huntsville, there are three chances to catch the show this year not too far away. The show hits Chattanooga this weekend and will swing back through Nashville and Birmingham before heading to the Midwest.
Along with Newsong, one of the tour's pioneers, and Toby's return, the Disney-like pop of Pure NRG is coming back.
As always there are new artists to check out each year. One of the up-and-comers is Stephanie Smith. Smith follows in the footsteps of Avril Lavigne and Krystal Meyers with a blend of pop and rock jams. Songs like "Superstar" and "Renew Me" will be among the fun stage anthems she'll perform.
On the smooth, soulful side is new artist Francesca Battistelli. Battistelli's hit from 2008, "I'm Letting Go" has a great pop piano vibe. She's been compared to Sara Bareilles but will own the stage as she performs more tunes from her debut CD, "My Paper Heart." Battistelli is a woman of many talents, and the tour offers the opportunity to hear her as she belts out perfect pitch ranging from jazz and gospel to rock and R&B.
Winter Jam will be in Chattanooga tonight at the UTC McKenzie Center. The show starts at 7 p.m., and it's just 10 bucks to get in, with no advance ticket sales. You can find out more online at http://www.hearitfirst.com/jamtour.
Click on Francesca's tour tab to find out when she'll be in a city near you! Winter Jam is ONLY $10 at the door and no ticket is required. You'll not only get the chance to hear Francesca, but other favorites like pureNRG, Hawk Nelson, Brandon Heath and tobyMac!
Do you want to see Francesca, Brandon Heath, TobyMac and others for free?! Enter the GodTube jamcam contest for a chance to win 2 early admission passes to the Winter Jam 2009 Tour at a city near you! All you have to do is make and submit a creative video introducing your favorite artist (Francesca of course!) to be eligible to win. Check out http://info.godtube.com/jamcamcontest for more info!
Brandon Heath interviews new Fervent recording artist Francesca Battistelli in the second installment of his "New Artist Spotlight."
The first time I heard Francesca’s song “I’m Letting Go” on the radio, I wondered, “Who is this, and where do I find her record?” It’s cool to see Christian radio embracing a new female artist. I thought it would be fun to get to know her better, so I gave her a call. –B.H.