Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Interview: Chris Burkmenn

Happy Wednesday y'all! Today is a special treat with an interview with Chris Burkmenn. Chris is the founder and host of the Chris Burkmenn Experience. I connected with Chris earlier this year from twitter and I've had so much fun watching his endeavors over the past few months. Here's a little bit more information about the Chris Burkmenn Experience taken from his website and then make sure to get to know him a little better below.
 
The Chris Burkmenn Experience website features online webisodes, where the host, Chris Burkmenn, interviews musical artists. Along with the interviews, Chris adds inspirational messages to the website. The CBE is expanding online, and the brand is receiving national recognition and sponsorship. Taking it further into becoming a self-sustaining endeavor and business is the future hope of CBE.
 
The CBE mission is to treat others with the same level of respect and love that he or she would enjoy himself or herself. CBE aims to support talent that is often overlooked. The brand enjoys connecting with    passion-driven people and creating an encouraging environment. Our goal is to empower the artist.
 
 
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 1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born and raised in the metro area of St. Louis. I had a passion
for music and that influence came from my father. He would blare music
in the car when I was a child. We would play Jesse's Girl by Rick
Springfield over and over again. We also really liked the song
"Everybody Wants to be a Cat" from the Aristocrats, Favorite memory.
My father was a big fan of Hall and Oates, and passed on that love to
me. I can also when I was a kid I enjoyed doing things most people
wouldn't have been interested in. I would pretend I was Carson Daly
hosting TRL. I would tape every episode of that show when I was a teen
and watch it when I got home from school.


2. How did you end up in Nashville?
I actually ended up in Nashville as a back up plan to Los Angeles. As
a kid/teenager I thought the road was going to lead me to LA. I had
such a passion for acting and all things entertainment. I wanted to be
on Nickelodeon's Kenan and Kel as well as All That more than anything.
When I approached my parents with the reality of me wanting to move to
Nashville, they expressed concern for me being so far away. My friend
moved to Nashville in 2007, and I visited her several times and felt
called to this city. At the time I wasn't 100% of why I needed to be
here, but just really believing God was leading me here.

3. Who/what is your biggest inspiration in life?
My biggest inspirations would be Jesus first and foremost. Since
moving here the Lord and I have truly grown in so many ways. It has
been a constant process of strengthening my faith and learning. My
church has played such a big part in who I am today as well.

Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who
understands obtain guidance,
Proverbs 1:5

My Dad is also a huge inspiration he is one of the hardest working
people I have met in my life. He has taught me the true meaning in
diligence and never giving up, my father is a Warrior.

My boss in Aud CO Nashville, Suzzane Skinner(Mama Sue) is a mentor to
me. She has given me so much wisdom in the entertainment industry. I
have notebooks full of lessons she has taught me, and I believe that
is so important in growing and walking closer to your goals.

4. Where did you get the idea for the CBEX?
CBEX was actually my co workers idea at the Audience Company I work
for in Nashville. We worked for CMT Hot 20 Countdown at the time and
we casting audience, needing a higher attendance. We thought it would
be great to bring in a local performer to provide entertainment to the
audience during their lunch break on the show. We though about a
performance as well as an interview would be great. We tapped the
first 2 episodes with CMT Hot 20, and then continued without the show.

The show's direction changed and became more about empowering the
artist and giving them a format to showcase their talents as well as
learning about them. We had a completely new format and I felt there
was nothing like it on the web.

5. What is your favorite part of CBEX?
My favorite part of CBEX is learning about the artist just as much as
the viewers are. Since I have such a great interest in music I get
excited to learn about them. Learning about the process and the
challenges they are and still overcoming. I feel that many places
forget about the new artist and focus on these large artists, that
don't really need the exposure. We focus on empowering the new artist
and don't really look to the bigger artists, because they don't need
to be empowered (they already are.)

6. Who has been your favorite artist to interview and why?
This may sound like a very generic answer, but it is the truth. I have
enjoyed each artists in different ways. They are all my favorite
because I only interviews artists that I believe in. For me to
interview I am putting the stamp of approval over each of them. It
brings me such excitement when viewers connect with these artists for
the first time, and that's when I feel as though we are really doing
our job. Many of the artists on in the past and I have become good
friends, Jenn Bostic, Ainsley Britain, Evan Gibb, Carly Pearce,
Elizabeth Lyons, and Kamber Cain I talk to them very regularly.
 
Chris w/ Carly Pearce
 
Chris w/ 2Steel Girls

7. How do you get these artists on your show?
We actually use several venues, I have use PR firms, friends, and
artist requests. My favorite way has been social media, when fans tell
us who they want on the show. We have booked several of our new
episodes that way. It has been really cool to see our friends(viewers)
get more involved.

8. Does CBEX strictly focus on country artists or do you find up and coming
artists from all genres?
We actually interview all genres. I want to meet every artist that has
a message to share and has the talent to back it up. I have
interviewed a lot of Country artists because selfishly it is my
favorite genre, but we really do want EVERY genre to be on this show.
We are focused on being a mouthpiece for these artists.

9. What is one piece of advice you would give to young people who hope to
host their own show like CBEX one day?
My advice to someone wanting to start something new and possibly
uncharted waters, NEVER GIVE UP. Never allow anyone to tell you that
you are crazy because they are the crazy ones. It's tough and there
will be times that you want to quit, but never allow yourself to. One
of the quotes that I feel God gave me was:

"If you can remember why you started, then you will know why you must continue."

Also another thing I have learned is that as you moved forward with
you vision, things will change and even you will and that is ok. It's
a part of learning and growing.

10.  Do you have any secret talents?
Secret talents, well I'd say I am not the best at athletics, but my
secret talent is that I give my all in every sport and whatever I do.
My determination compensates what I lack in skill. I love being
active, and having a good time with my friends. I am active in serving
the youth at my church, and they keep me young.

11.  Where do you hope to see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years I hope that thecbex.com is a place where people go to find
out what is new and upcoming in music. Personally I hope to be a go to
host in Nashville in live events and other areas that I am passionate
about. I am a very goal oriented person and believe that doors will
continue to open for the team and I.

12. How are you able to continually provide quality episodes?
CBEX has such a great team in place they continually blow me away with
their amazing talents, Andy Burchett, Alison Goedde, Kourtney Roman,
Lauryn Blakkolb, and Diane Guy are very instrumental in what CBEX
does.
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Thank you SO much Chris for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with me for a bit!! And, make sure y'all are following him on twitter: @chrisburkmenn

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