INTERVIEW: Chris Burkmenn Brings The Message “Believe In The Beauty Of Your Dreams”


Some of you may or may not have heard of The Chris Burkmenn Experience, a show created to provide the up and coming artists with the kind of opportunity to let their talent shine in a new scene that provides high quality in return. Recently, I was offered the opportunity to get to know a little more about Chris Burkmenn and hear about the vision he had about showcasing new artists and their talent by bringing them in to visit his show. Chris had a vision for this project because of a dream he always had as achild to be a host and since the moment he arrived in Nashville he knew he wanted to pursue this. So while the dream was still alive in his heart, he could not just sit back, relax, and wait for it to happen. Instead, he decided to do whatever anyone who is passionate about music, or anything for that matter would do: start somewhere! I think that definitely brings to light the whole idea of what Nashville is to many artists. I believe Chris’ passion for music and the dreams and vision behind his show will resonate well within the hearts of the artists who have also come to Nashville to pursue their own dreams. They all come here to do what’s in their heart, live the dream that resonates within, and they all have to make a start somewhere, just as Chris did.


The Chris Burkmenn Experience is unique because it allows creative control, and has also gained much interest from the artists already. The opportunity that is being created by the show is that the up and coming artists are being able to gain media attention that sometimes they wouldn’t get otherwise because they are so new.


Some of the successful artists that have visited the show are: Candi Carpenter, Jenn Bostic, Elizabeth Lyons, Joanna Mosca, Pearl Clarkin, and Deanna Loveland


I would like to add that because of the show exposure it also gives the artists an outlet to a world of promotion. If the artist visits the show they then have the opportunity to share the show with their fans to gain more views which could be a huge step in a further direction. Promotion is extremely important in music careers because it helps the artist gain more exposure, which always has a positive effect. After all, many artists have used the Internet/social media as a way to reach a higher fan base, and sometimes that’s all it takes. Word of mouth can really have a huge impact and be a positive light to an artist’s career, so I urge all of the artists who are on episodes to be sure to share the show on social networking-it just might be the break you need, at the right time!


I had the wonderful opportunity of interviewing Chris to shed more light on this project, and here is what he had to say:


GC: I see here that you started the show in September 2013 to showcase talent for a show on CMT. You mentioned you are an audience coordinator for Aud Co Nashville. Can you explain in a little detail what your job entails? 


CB: Well we were showcasing talent to drive audience members to the show. We wanted a larger a crowd and felt that the audience meeting musicians would peek interest in coming. My job for Aud Co Nashville is working with and for TV networks, Movies, and any crowd related event. Helping the project be filled with people so that it looks good on camera. For each project the job requirements change, but some have us rearrange audience to look better for camera. Others have us check in audience for the show and stay with them while in holding. I also handle social media aspects for the company as well. My boss/owner of Aud Co Nashville, Suzzane Skinner (Mama Sue) has worked in the town and industry for quite a period of time. She has been such a mentor in my life.


GC: You bring in artists to interview on your show, and the artists have become successful. What do you feel makes your show and experience different? In other words, what makes your product, quality?


CB: My show is different because it showcases the up and coming talent in the industry. It gives them a chance to really shine and be seen. Gives the fan a sense of where they came from and where they are going. I feel as though anyone can interview the big stars, but you won’t get the real answers from them. My show is laid back, and we have a good time. It’s not serious it’s what can we talk about to bring more attention to your talent and what your doing. We have had some amazing successes from Jenn Bostic, and Elizabeth Lyons. They are amazingly hard and dedicated artists. Their talent and hard work got them where they are. We are just the lucky ones to showcase their artistry. I believe we have quality because we are trying something different. We are saying this is the good music, this is what you are missing (major radio and tv networks.) It’s so much bigger than me, I have an incredible team that I work with and they make it look good.


GC: New episodes started shooting on January 11th, what artists can we expect to see in upcoming episodes, or is there a way for fans to submit ideas on upcoming artists they would love for you to get on your show? 


CB: The show is going so many new places, we have our first male artist (Tyler Matl) on. We have our first group (The Two Tones) on. We have our first blogger (The Single Woman), and human interest story (Ainsley Britain’s Unveiled Campaign) on the show. We also stay true to our Nashville roots and have the incredible Kamber Cain on the show. Other artists, Dylan Ander, Payton Taylor, and Spencer Kane have thrown their names into the hat. It’s going to be a great season and we are just getting started. Many more talented people will be visiting the show. We are always needing fans opions on the show, and there is a way that they can submit suggestions and questions. Our street team on Twitter ran by Anthony Pero.  I have some great talents I would love to get on the show. I am a big fan of Dakota Bradley and Kelsey Harmon I would love to get him on the show. Anyone who is hard working and has a story to tell really. I love having fun and we bring it on the show. I hope they see this and want to be on the show.


GC: Could you explain in depth about the experience you are creating for up and coming artists and the media attention and exposure they will gain by coming on your show? 


CB: Our mission at the Chris Burkmenn Experience follows The Golden Rule. We treat others how we would we want to be treated and emphasize the importance of our dedication to helping talent be promoted with only the highest quality we can offer. We support the underdog, we want them to succeed, and we want to create a network of fans and dedicated support for them so they can have continued future success. We are creating a community and it’s growing by the day. With support of the media, we can help get these artists to reach new levels they haven’t before. We don’t represent them in anyway, we support them, foster their growth, while also building the CBE brand. We want people to know that there is someone out there who is vying for the underdog, and wanting to see them succeed. With the industry changing so much, the typical label format is on the way out. It is moving towards an online platform. People don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to record anymore, they can record right from their bedroom, and upload to iTunes within seconds. We see the change in the industry, and instead of waiting, took that opportunity, found the artists, and continue to work with them even after we interviewed them. We love the labels too, we love the music industry, we just want to help everyone else see the talents out there that maybe wouldn’t have prior to the show.


GC: How can an artist go about getting on your show if it sparks their interest? 


CB: I have gone through so many different channels in getting artist. Friends, PR firms, Word of mouth, Fans of the show, and my street team. I love using the street team because it’s completely fan driven and they tell us who they want to see so if the artist got their fans to contact my street team they would be strongly considered to be on the show.


GC: What would you love to see happen with the show over the next year to continue to make it successful? 


CB: Growing support, we are working towards getting subscribers on youtube. Getting a good street team together, and going further than ever thought possible. This show has so many possibilities and we are not putting ourselves in a box. The team keeps me reaching for more. Brandon Alexander is my Creative Director, Anthony Pero is my Promotions and Street Team Coordinator, and Andy Burchett is my Video Director and Editor.


GC: You mention promotion as being the hardest thing, how could this improve or change in the future. In other words, what could turn this hard aspect into something more successful, what would make it go more smooth?


CB: What we have done is created an interesting channel. This channel links fans of all artists together. Jenn Bostic Fans, TylerMatl fans, Ainsley Britain fans and more have followed us, and supported us. They help us grow because it is a unique network others haven’t thought of. We help them get closer to their artists and communicate with them directly. They are always in the know of what is coming. We have a great communication channel established. Within the last three days our Pinterest following has increased to over 60 followers, Twitter by over 300, Facebook with the official CB page has increased over 200 likes, street team is close to 200, and there is activity with the fans on each one. They help us create our brand, and we are eternally grateful for them by giving them prizes, and shout outs in videos.


GC: What do you believe has made you most successful thus far? Is there anyone in particular that has had a huge impact on you and what kind of advice can you give others interested in getting into the business?


CB: The people around have helped me the most, because I surround myself with people who are smarter I am. I have been blessed with a truly amazing team. I am always learning and adapting in every situation. So I could never consider it my success, but the success of the people who believe and support the vision of CBE. Advice for others would be never give up on your dreams. Even when you feel as though they are not in reach. I believe if you the endurance push through the difficulty then you will shallsee a harvest. I have had so many dreams in my life and I have seen many come true, and others haven’t. But that’s okay because I would trade this life for anything. My biggest advice is never ever give up!


GC: Are there any particular artists showcased on your show that you believe are going to go far in 2014?


CB: The Two Tones I believe will be the most buzzworthy band from Nashville in 2014. I believe their music has the potential to reshape a genre. They are bringing back a musical style from the past. I love their sound and they actually perform their current single on the show, “The Girl I Love.” I do however believe in all of the talent that is on my show. I believe we still haveso much to hear from Elizabeth Lyons and her recent success on Sirius XM’s The Highway. As well as Jenn Bostic and the future of her sound. I believe that 2014 will showcase a lot of the talent that have been on CBE.


GC: What is your ultimate dream for the show, what is on your heart, what is the vision God placed on your heart for this show?


CB: My ultimate dream for the show is to eventually have it on a network. I feel that there is just such a place for it. I know that it will evolve overtime, but I am so thankful to have full creative control of the show. It’s something that hasn’t been done before and I believe that the world needs to see it. I truly believe that God placed this vision on my heart and I am walking towards my purpose. It will take time, but I just truly enjoying the ride. I believe that Life is not about the destination, but the Journey. I have so many dreams and this show is one of them. So excited to see what the future holds as I walk forward. I believe in 2014 you will hear a lot more from CBE.


I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to hear more about the dream and vision that Chris had to do this. To be able to interview the man behind it all was nothing but inspiring to me. The thing that inspired me the most was the encouragement gained from the words Chris shared, it was a reminder to me to never give up on my dreams. Just as Chris reminds himself at the end of every episode, he has also reminded me to “Believe in the beauty of your dreams.”


You can check out The Chris Burkmenn Experience HERE via YouTube, HERE via Twitter, and HERE via his website.


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