francescamusic: @jeffpardo @MarisaVHP girl, I need your help!!!
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.
Have you ever been wrong about someone? I mean really wrong? Maybe you assume they act (or don't act) in a certain way because of deficiencies in their character, personality, etc. Maybe you treat them with contempt, internally judging them, externally putting them down. Gosh, I know I've done it. Time and again, I continue to scrutinize my brothers and sisters. Then there comes a moment like today, where the noise all around me suddenly disappeared, and I was left with the words someone told me hanging thick in the air like tree branches. I couldn't cut them down without watching them fall. The words I heard pierced my heart. Maybe it's happened to you. You learn something about someone that you never expected--something in their past that haunts them, a terrible ordeal they've been through, or some other kind of shocking revelation. It's then that compassion wells up in you, and God's conviction cuts like a knife, wounding and at the same time teaching your heart what love really is. Love is messy. It's uncomfortable. It takes the good with the bad, the ugly with the beautiful. It doesn't always come all cleaned up with roses at your doorstep. Often it's sloppy and painful, but it's altogether the truest, realest, most Christ-like thing on the earth. So try, try with all your might to take a step back from the assumptions and presuppositions you place on the people around you, and do your best to see them how God sees them. Make Brandon Heath's song, "Give Me Your Eyes" your prayer this month. Ask God to let you see through His eyes, to feel what He feels for His children, and just watch what you learn, and see how your life is transformed.
"Give me your eyes for just one second, give me your eyes so I can see everything that I've been missing, give me your love for humanity. Give me your arms for the broken hearted, the ones that are far beyond my reach. Give me your heart for the ones forgotten, give me your eyes so I can see."
- Brandon Heath
Fervent Records'/Reprise singer and songwriter Francesca Battistelli hasn't stopped since the release of her debut project, MY PAPER HEART, released July 22nd. With the success of her first radio single, the hit "I'm Letting Go," which nabbed the #3 spot on the radio charts, to numerous appearances and touring non-stop this past summer and fall, Battistelli is more than excited for what's ahead in 2009. Set to follow up with her next radio single "Free To Be Me" hitting the airwaves next month, Battistelli has joined the 35-date "Winter Jam" tour, performing in markets all over the country starting in January and going through March. She'll be sharing the stage with artists such as TobyMac, Brandon Heath, and Hawk Nelson, among many other special guests. For the most updated tour dates and information, please visit www.jamtour.com.
FRANCESCA TOPS AT iTUNES!
The music of Francesca Battistelli has been recognized by being named one of iTunes' best new artists of 2008 within the Christian/Gospel Category. In addition, she received accolades for "I'm Letting Go" as the #3 "Best iTunes Song" of the year, following Steven Curtis Chapman and Casting Crowns, respectively.
Garnering even more radio airplay, Battistelli's two newly recorded Christmas songs - "You're Here" (written by Battistelli) and "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" - are currently being played on stations nationwide. In fact, both songs are so popular that "You're Here" was the most added Christmas single for the first week of December, while "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" was the 4th highest add, according to Radio & Records (chart below). Not shy to radio charts, Battistelli's "You're Here" also debuted at #25 on AC Monitored and #27 at AC Indicator this week. Both Christmas singles are available exclusively on iTunes.
Did we mention that radio loves Francesca?
"I was blown away by Francesca's debut single "I'm Letting Go." Uptempo, fresh and fun - that actually describes her whole album My Paper Heart. And then, on top of that, she surprises us all with the touching (original) "You're Here" for Christmas. This girl is the real deal." - Sarah Taylor, Spirit 105.3 KCMS Seattle
"Francesca is one of those artists that you just kind 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, and I'm grateful to share her unique sound and perspective with our audience at WAY-FM Colorado." - Jeff Connell, WAY-FM Denver
"Bold. Fresh. Sincere. Compelling. Us." - Chris Lemke, WCSG-FM/Grand Rapids
"Francesca delivers a fresh, new sound to Christian music....it's a car windows down, hair blowing in the wind on a bright, warm sunny day style of music that definitely strikes a chord with listeners out there. " - Mike Prendergast, 94.9 KLTY Dallas
Congratulations to Francesca for being chosen for CCMagazine.com's Critics' Picks 2008!!! “Christian music’s answer to Sara Bareilles has arrived. Can you say ‘New Artist Of The Year?’” Go to http://www.ccmmagazine.com/news/stories/11596221/page2/ to view!
"Melikalikimaka is the thing to say on a bright Hawaiian Christmas day. That's the island greeting that we send to you from the land where palm trees sway."
I cried when I left Hawaii. Honestly. All flights into Honolulu should be one-way, because by the time you get there you don¹t want to leave--not ever. Speaking of not leaving, our server, Courtney, at one of the restaurants in Waikiki beach came to Hawaii on vacation a few years ago from the mainland and NEVER LEFT! Can you imagine? Smart girl...
Seriously, though, I had a fantastic time in Honolulu last week. The Christian station there hosted a big outdoor concert at the Waikiki shell
with Third Day, Brandon Heath, Building 429, Meredith Andrews, and me. Needless to say, we had a blast! It was a little rainy, but the crowd was amazing; they were such troopers for sticking it out! Meredith and I had some fun backstage, and all of us got to sing Christmas carols together at the end of the night. Brandon and I sang "Angels We Have Heard on High." Check out the videos and pictures to see for yourself! Melikalikimaka is still stuck in my head.
Hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving and are gearing up for an even better Christmas. Have you heard "You're Here" yet? It¹s the Christmas song I wrote with my buddy, Ben Glover. Check it out on iTunes. I think you'll like it!
Go to iTunes to download Francesca's BRAND NEW Christmas songs, "You're Here" and "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas"!
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most
frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
What is it about jet lag that ignites a flood of tears in me at the silliest things? Seriously! I was a bucket of tears a few nights ago watching “Akeelah and the Bee.” Don’t laugh. It’s a great movie, all about triumph and believing in yourself, and there’s a father/daughter connection that put me over the edge. (This is from the person who has watched “Father of the Bride” fifteen-thousand times and STILL cries no matter what.) Part of me being so teary might have had something to do with the fact that I traveled 4,000 miles in less than 36 hours. If that wasn’t enough, I watched a bit of the Revolve tour reality show on the Gospel Music Channel after the movie was over, and Group 1 Crew’s new single “Keys to the Kingdom” was featured on the show, as were their sweet faces. They are dear friends of mine, so of course seeing them made me cry (don’t laugh, Blanca, if you’re reading this!) because I hardly see them now that we’re all on the road so much and not living near each other.
Then I started reading Natalie Grant’s blog for inspiration, and I came across this incredibly moving video that started another sobfest. Click here to watch it. I soon realized that for many people, blogs don’t have to be paragraphs and paragraphs dissecting the nature of life and all the things that make them cry. Natalie is an amazing artist with a knack for writing shorter, meaningful blogs. Why am I so longwinded? I think Akeelah would call it being “loquacious.”
Friends, I hope I don’t sound like a broken record, but Sara Groves’ music has been speaking to me lately. “Hope has a way of turning it’s face to you just when you least expect it. You walk in a room, you look out a window, and something there leaves you breathless. You say to yourself, it’s been a while since I’ve felt this, but it feels like it might be hope.” - Sara Groves, “It Might Be Hope.” I feel hope in the air lately. I don’t what it looks like for you. I don’t know where you’re at. Sister, are you feeling unseen? Brother, do you need someone simply to smile at you, hug you, and tell you you are loved? Well, let me be that someone today, even if just through the words on this screen. You are not forgotten. You are loved. You are loved. You are loved. Be altogether you. No one can be a better you than you.
And never be afraid to cry. It liberates the soul...
Francesca has recorded two Christmas singles, one cover and one ORIGINAL recording, that will be available on iTunes on December 2. Mark your calendars for the release of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" and "You're Here" so you can be sure to check them out!
I never would have thought a year ago in January when I filled in for a WinterJam date in Orlando that in 2009 I'd be an actual part of the tour! God is so cool when He surprises us like that. Needless to say, I'm thrilled to be part of such an incredible tour with artists of this caliber. TobyMac? Hawk Nelson? Brandon Heath? Seriously!! And of course who could forget my old buddies from NewSong, newcomer Stephanie Smith, and my pals pureNRG! This tour is going to be a
blast, and I hope to see ALL of you there! Unless you live in Hawaii or Alaska, I'm not seeing an excuse in your horizon. We're coming to a city near you...I just know it. So get ready friends, it's going to be a fantastic winter!