Chris Cauley has been hard at work since joining Team Adam in season two of NBC's The Voice, and now he's close to a brand-new EP. With just days to go on a Kickstarter campaign, Chris joined BFTV to tell us what we can expect from his new music and how he's been since we saw him in the Voice battle rounds.
"This EP has really consumed everything. We've been working kind of on and off since November to be honest," he explained of the five-song project. "Basically what we did, we kind of went back to Michael Jackson, the King of Pop and who I'm just the biggest fan of. The whole theme when recording was 'What would Michael do?' It's a very, very musical EP, but a five-year-old could sing along to it because it has the hooks that pop music does. It's kind of got a Michael Jackson meets Maroon 5 meets The Jackson 5 sound."
The Georgia-based singer made a big move when he signed with Red Light Management, which also represents heavyweight artists like Alicia Keys, Dave Matthews Band, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and Luke Bryan. "They're one of the biggest management companies in the world," Chris said. "We went all or nothing in this. We've got a full string section orchestra, live horn. Having Red Light on my side and having people waiting on it, we were like 'We gotta go big for this.'"
Voice fans remember Chris for the different arrangement of Bruno Mars' "Grenade" that landed him on Adam Levine's team, as well as the battle round where he sang U2's "Beautiful Day" with eventual Team Adam finalist Tony Lucca. What you might not be as aware of is that he's been a touring musician for a decade.
"What I want people to know I was on The Voice, but long before that I was grinding it out for 10 years," he continued. "All the years of grinding and having nothing to show for it is kind of coming down to this. It's been 10 years in the making." To that end, Chris wants fans to see each Kickstarter pledge as not just a one-off donation to the new record, but "more of an investment into a career."
With two seasons having happened since Chris was a part of NBC's hit show, it's no longer a huge part of his life. "I embrace it when it comes up, but it's been awhile since I've used it to my advantage," he explained. "Even during the show - I know producers hated hearing this - I was just being honest [and saying] 'This isn't life or death for me. This is just a fun, incredible experience. I'm content.' Even my exit interview, I said 'Tony deserved it.'
"Tony and I got to be really good friends. We weren't out for blood like they want you to be on TV," he continued. The two still keep in touch, and Chris also opened for Tony on one night during his "Chapter Two" tour last year. He's highly complimentary of his former teammate. "Without me even asking, Tony's been typing about my Kickstarter," Chris told us. "Someone asked a question, and obviously Tony has so many likes on Facebook, [but] I noticed he responded. He went way out of his way to get that one person to pledge, which was cool. I'm so happy for him."
Chris also took the stage with another Team Adam alumnus, season one winner Javier Colon, recently in San Diego. The two share a mutual close friend, keyboardist Matt Cusson, and had met before but were surprised to find they were sharing the stage. "We didn't even know each other was [scheduled for] the show," Chris told us with a laugh. "It was booked through our separate college agencies. Javier didn't even know I was going to be there. I didn't even know I was opening for him. He's doing really well."
Now he's hoping that he can enjoy some of the same success his colleagues have. "It's been awesome," he told us of the ongoing process to get his EP to the finish line. "I'd love for it to be a warm and fuzzy success story."
You can pledge to Chris's Kickstarter effort by clicking here, keep up with him on Twitter (@ChrisCauley), and check out him performing "Ordinary People" with fellow Voice alum Mathai below.