Multi Talented singer, songwriter, composer and band/label head Christopher Sluka releases his latest album entitled “Saving It All.” This will be Sluka’s 14th album and while taking cues from David Bowie, it takes a unique perspective of looking down at Earth from Space. Now under his own record label, Sluka hopes the album resonates with people in the idea of celebrating life and not taking things for granted. The first single is titled “Saving It All.” The artist spoke with us about music, running his own record label and flying planes.
This will be your 14th album, am I correct? How does this one, titled “Cautionary Yell,” differ from the others?
Yes, it is the 14th studio album of original songs. I find that difficult to process because each one from the very first I thought would be the last. That everything that needed to be expressed was done to the best of my ability and there was nothing more… But of course, life happens… no matter what we do.
This album is under your own label entitled Steel Flower Music. Do you feel more control with your own label? And was this important to you to create your own label?
Yes, for the first three albums I was signed to a major label. And while I was grateful to the label for “breaking Sluka” to a wider audience, and allowing me complete artistic freedom in the studio, after fulfilling my contract, my lawyer astutely advised that I start my own label so that instead of receiving a 1% royalty, I have ever since received 100% royalties for songwriting and recording. That allows me the freedom to continue to record and release the albums that pop in my head. And with the higher royalty rate the pressure is exponentially lowered to release music just in order to pay the bills.
I read that the new release has a motto of “Revel in your time with the horrors of your wonderful life.” Can you expand on this for us?
Life is short, full of horrors. And while we should recognize the horrors and not put our head in the sand, it’s also important not to dwell on them so much so that we don’t celebrate the wonderful unique abilities and talents that each of us humans have and the potential to express creative pursuits that benefit everyone.
Not only are you a singer/songwriter, you’re also a pilot, you own two coffee shops, you have your own music label. Is there anything you don’t do? What else is on your bucket list? What keeps you motivated to keep creating and expanding?
Like most people, my attention can shift over time. But the arts & sciences, and music & flight in particular, have been a constant presence in my life. I remember as young child tinkering with an old electric shaver and being fascinated by the machinery. I was mystified by how it functioned and wanted to know how this “magic” worked. I got that tingling sensation down my spine that we sometimes get during those special life-changing moments. The same thing occurred when I first heard the song “Help” by The Beatles. I didn’t know who they were or anything about their music. But it was also “magical” and I needed to learn more about this magic.
What do you hope to do with your music career? What do you hope listeners take away from your music?
I just keep recording the albums with songs that I think might relate to people the way various music has affected my life, perhaps giving them sustenance in a way that allows them to reflect on their own life experiences.
What’s a bigger challenge? Creating music? Running your own music label? Or landing a plane?
Well, not landing a plane correctly can have much more dire consequences… but once you get it… it’s similar to when we first tried to ride a bike as a child. Adults kept talking to us about using training wheels and working on “balance.” But “balance” to a child is just a word without practical meaning… until the “light goes on” and we “get it.” And that’s life isn’t it? We’re all kind of waiting for the “light to on” with regard to various aspects of our life’s desires, dreams, and aspirations. So we keep trying with hope that the “light will go on.”
What’s your biggest hope with this latest album?
If it helps even just one person reflect on their own life in a meaningful way, then it is a success. I feel grateful that it came to me, and with the help of so many people, far more talented than myself, we were able to make it fly.
Official Website: www.sluka.com
Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/SlukaMusic