10 Questions with ... Chris Chicago
January 3, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
MD/Afternoons for KLYT (M88.3), Programming/Mornings at Hook FM in Georgia before they sold to EMF, had a blast on-air at Top 40 WRVW (The River)/Nashville and enjoyed my time doing syndicated weekends on CHRSN/WAY-FM Nashville, hosted syndicated Rock/Pop/Hip-Hop show "Sound of Light" heard in 250+ markets around the globe.
1. What was your first job in the industry?
Weekend air talent at KLYT/Albuquerque in 1997
2. If you were just starting in the radio/music business today, and you knew what you know now, would you continue forward? Why?
Oh, heck yeah. It's an interesting time in the music business with so many things changing. And I consider myself a forward thinking guy, which makes me excited about what my expertise will lend to the industry. I would like to imagine myself being a part of it becoming bigger and better than ever. But it's all about staying on the front side of change and keeping up with trends. Technology and media is changing and getting better so fast that it's important to learn those mediums and use them for the greater good of our industry. I believe I can do it.
3. What is your favorite part of your job?
To borrow a line from someone who I consider to be among the best in our business and someone who is friend and mentor to me, Chris Hauser: "I enjoy waking up every morning and talking to my friends about the music that I love."
4. And your least favorite part?
Working with Chris Laney. Kidding, I only say that cuz he's sitting next to me. Actually, it would be the way I feel when I know I have a hit song that will impact lives and I know it'll do well on the radio but I can't, for whatever reason, convince the gatekeepers to take a chance on a particular song. I hate to fail.
5. Shamrock Media has expanded this year. Of what are you most proud as you've watched your company grow?
I'm excited that we've been able to expand into other formats in Christian music and that we were able to expand into other digital fronts in music. I'm beyond stoked about what Chris Laney has been able to bring to the team and I'm excited about who Shamrock adds to the team in 2011.
6. What does Christian radio need to do to break through to a mass audience on a more consistent basis?
Some stations are doing a great job at staying in front of the ever-changing media and digital world. Some stations are kickin' it "old school" and trying to survive on the old way of doing things. In order for radio to impact and reach more listeners, you've got to stay on top of the trends and understand how consumers are listening and getting their music.
7. What are some of the projects that you're working on right now?
Shamrock is excited to release Beckah Shae's new single "Forgiveness." Kimber Rising's song "Soon" is a mega hit that every station should be on. To be honest, I'm very passionate and excited about every song that I take to radio; however, I would lying if I didn't say that I'm MOST excited about the debut single going to Christian Rock from Red's third studio album.
I also really enjoy hosting the #1 syndicated Christian hip-hop on the globe, "Hype Radio with Chris Chicago," and producing slamming imagining packages for radio stations across the country.
8. If you could have any other job outside radio or the music industry, what would it be?
I would be the WWE world champion and be the greatest wrestler that stepped in the squared circle. I would also like to be a commentator for football, baseball or wrestling.
9. Who inspires you personally, professionally and/or spiritually?
I was at a Michael W. Smith concert the other night and he said that he's only as good as the people he surrounds himself with. I've been blessed by great friends in this industry that motivate me and inspire me, and I try to surround myself with these types of people. I'm also encouraged and inspired, both spiritually and in leadership, by my incredible pastor, Rick White, head pastor at the People's Church in Franklin.
10. Do you make New Year's Resolutions? Making any this year?
I do make New Year's Resolutions. I have struggled in the past at keeping them. I'm happy to say that I started this year's resolution a month ago, and I'm very motivated at dropping some pounds in 2011. Also, I want to catch up on a show called "Dexter," which apparently is really good, according to good friends Jackie Chapman and Shannon Steele.
1. Do you read everything or nothing? Do you have any favorite magazines, books, or newspapers?
I love to read. I'm currently reading 15 different books and it'd be a miracle if I could finish even one of them. Maybe if I had an iPad that would help. [Hint, hint]
2. Cat or dog person?
I'm actually both. I have two amazing cats: Smeagol and Precious. I also had the most wonderful golden retriever in the world named Dolby Digital who now lives with the amazing marketing genius Brian Dishon.
3. Describe your favorite meal.
A well-marbled, bone-in rib-eye steak cooked medium with mashed potatoes and asparagus.
4. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want to have with you and why?
My Bible, my wife and my son (thank God I've seen enough episodes of "Man Vs. Wild" to survive)