Christine And The Queens are in a chart battle for this week’s No.1 album as their sophomore campaign gets off to a flyer.
Chris (Because) crept ahead of Suede’s The Blue Hour (Rhino) in yesterday’s sales flashes by 9,075 copies to 8,139, although the album also faces strong competition from Eminem’s stayer Kamikaze (Interscope) in the days ahead. Chris has sold 6,033 physical units, 2,514 downloads and has racked up 528 sales equivalent streams to date, according to the OCC.
It’s in stark contrast to the slowburn campaign for Christine And The Queens’ – aka singer-songwriter Héloise Letissier – debut album, Chaleur Humaine. That was released in the UK two years after it came out in France, eventually going on to sell 231,898 copies, according to the Official Charts Company.
So, as the battle for chart supremacy goes on, Music Week sat down with Because UK marketing manager Rhian Emanuel to find out more…
This campaign started back in May with the Biggest Weekend. Why did you target such a long lead time?
“She’s an artist that has always done very well in traditional areas of media. We wanted to accommodate that. Launching the campaign at Biggest Weekend felt like a very natural launch pad for us in the UK considering the support historically that [Radio 1] had given her as an artist. But also she’s got a lot of stuff to say and there’s a lot of people across the different areas of traditional media, non-traditional media and retail that we knew would want to speak to her and do stuff with her. She’s an artist with a huge amount to say and a huge amount to give so we wanted to create time and space for that.”
Does the interest make this very different to the last campaign?
“Yeah. The campaign is very different purely from a logistical standpoint. It was a staggered release on the first record, it came out in 2014 in France, 2015 in US and 2016 in the UK. In hindsight, we had complete carte blanche in terms of the UK campaign, because we could have access to her whenever we wanted. We’re doing a global release now so there’s a lot more to consider in terms of scheduling. But even though the first record eventually reached a pretty considerable success, she’s still essentially a developing artist, certainly in this country. It’s a significant evolution from the first record in a relatively short period of time and that’s got people really excited.”
The first album skewed heavily towards physical album sales. Will streaming be stronger this time?
“She definitely leans towards physical in terms of her fanbase and the people who consume it. But we’ve delivered and we continue to deliver a much stronger plot in terms of streaming this time around, which will stand us in good stead. We’ve worked very closely with Spotify, Apple Music and all of the DSPs in terms of building the strongest platform possible. In terms of visibility on those platforms, we’re going to have a much stronger look this time around because we’ve engaged with them from the very beginning. The first record did well so people were keen to come on board with the second.”
Are you looking for a big first week?
“I think so. We’re very ambitious with it. We’ve sold 230,000 records so, if we didn’t have ambitions, that would be an odd thing. We’re certainly looking for a very strong week one. But we’re also looking at a very, very long, strong and healthy campaign with this because there’s so much more to come. It doesn’t feel like it’s going to be week one and then disappear into obscurity. She’s got live shows coming up in November and it’s such an incredibly strong element to the campaign. Going into 2019 we’re looking at other exciting things as well.”
And how much would you like a No.1 album?
“Who wouldn’t? It’s potentially in our sights but with the charts being as they are, there are soundtracks that are hanging around that are still selling very, very strongly. We’ll see how it goes.”