Breaking & Entering: A look at acts breaking at radio and retail and entering Billboard charts. This week: Krystal Meyers.

Profiling acts breaking at radio and/or retail and entering Billboard's charts.

Sixteen-year-old Krystal Meyers is often compared to Avril Lavigne. She has a similar pop-punk style and sound, but there's one big difference -- Meyers' lyrics focus on her love for God. That faith-based message mixed with youthful spunk and gritty guitar riffs have positioned her as a new, alternative role model for teens.

Meyers' self-titled debut album, released by Essential Records, last week entered Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart at No. 45 and the Top Christian Albums list at No. 25.

The Franklin, Tenn.-based artist, whose influences include Christian rock bands Blindside, Mae and Dashboard Confessional, stumbled upon her career path at a very young age. By ninth grade she co-wrote a song called "Anticonformity" and later recorded it for a benefit CD for her youth camp.

The song laid the groundwork for her image, and became the first of 10 tracks she wrote or co-wrote for the album.

"Anticonformity is the underlying theme throughout the album," she says. "I want to talk to people about becoming the person God wants you to be, and refusing to become the person the world wants you to be. This has been my passion since I was little. I would tell everybody that I wanted to be a singing ballerina for Jesus."

Once she started high school, though, she found yet another reason to follow her dream.

"It was really crazy 'cause I saw a lot of my friends turn to the whole party scene," she says. "I knew as a Christian that God didn't want me to be part of that. I wanted to love my friends, not hit them over the head with the Bible. I cared about them and their well being, so I said something [through music]. They really took it to heart and respected me for not going along with them."

As for the comparisons to Lavigne, Meyers -- who, in fact, even worked with the production team Wizardz of Oz, whose credits include Lavigne -- takes them all in stride.

"At first it really annoyed me," she says, "but then I realized that there are always gonna be comparisons [between] artists. Now it doesn't really bother me. I've learned to accept it, especially since there aren't many girl rock artists. Avril's done a great job, and she's been really successful, so it's kind of a compliment. But me and Avril are so apart, and we have different lifestyles and morals."

If the opportunity arises, though, Meyers may very well embrace being known as the "Christian Avril" by a mainstream audience.

"A lot of the friends I was influencing [with music] weren't Christian, but it really got them searching, which is awesome," she notes. "As Christians, we need to launch out into the deep and talk about God with the lost. Personally I would love to cross over and talk about that kind of stuff. But I'm waiting on God to see what His plan is, and if He wants me to [cross over] then that's awesome and I'll do it full force."

Meyers will be on tour this summer with Day of Fire and Seventh Day Slumber.

Links:
Artist site: www.krystalmeyers.com
Label site: www.essentialrecords.com

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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