Less than a year after winning American Idol, things are continuing to look up for Chayce Beckham! The 26-year-old released his debut EP, Doin’ It Right, on April 15. He also got the chance to return to American Idol during season 20, both as a mentor and performer. The opportunity gave him the chance to reunite with Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, who were judges on his season, too.
“Off camera, all of the judges are the nicest people, honestly,” Chayce told YoungGazzate EXCLUSIVELY. “When I saw Lionel the other day, he was so happy to see me. They get so much joy out of watching us do good and us having success outside the show. I think it’s just cool for them to see one of us out there doing it.”
Actually, Chayce has spent quite a bit of time with Luke since the show ended, to the point where they’ve become very close. “He’s been really good to me,” Chayce admitted “I appreciate him so much. It’s an open door, pretty much. Anything I need, I can call him. If I need advice or help with something or I just wanna go fish, I can call him up.”
Luke and Chayce have bonded over their love of fishing and country music, to the point where Chayce has an open invite to Luke’s house to fish. “I couldn’t even tell you how many times I’ve been there,” he admitted. “How many people can say they get to do that kind of stuff? I was a blue collar worker, a normal dude down the street, and now I get to fish in Luke Bryan’s private spot when I want to. It’s a huge blessing.”
Chayce said that Luke has “taken care” of him since he’s been in Nashville pursuing his country music career, too. “Him and his family and everyone who works for him have been good to me and made me feel like family,” the 26-year-old said. “It’s been great and I’m lucky to have that relationship.” Check out more from our interview with Chayce below!
What advice did you get on ‘American Idol’ that you’ve taken with you in your career? I did a song [on the show] with Brandon Boyd, the lead singer of Incubus, and he’s one of the coolest dudes on the planet. He told me, ‘Chayce, if you can get to the point where it’s just me and you up here and you’re not thinking about all these other people and cameras, if you can shut that off, that’s the biggest super power in the world as an artist.’ Ever since then I’ve tried to figure out how to turn everything off around me and that helps me out a lot when I get nervous or overwhelmed with something. I just block everything else out and focus on what I’m doing. It was cool to watch him do that and try to implement that in my career.
Most ‘Idol’ winners don’t get the ball rolling on their career as quickly as you did – how were you able to do manage that? I thought I had all the music I needed and as we listened we realized we needed some different songs. I got in the studio and writing rooms and just started working my butt off, just writing some songs. I told my management team and label, ‘I don’t want to mess around. I really want to take this momentum and do something with it.’ I still would’ve liked to get stuff out even faster, but I think we did a good job putting out something that’s good quality. I’m really proud of it. I really do love every song on the EP and that’s a good feeling.
How did you narrow down the songs that would go on the EP and why did you choose those six? The six we got on the EP, it was really hard to pick those, and I think that’s an awesome thing because I still have a lot of gas left in the tank for a follow-up and songs I’m really eager to still get out. These six just told a good storyline of stuff going on in people’s lives. Anybody can figure out a way to plug one of these songs into their lives, and to me, that was the most important thing — that these songs were relatable for every day people. I have more songs that showcase my artistry a little differently, but like Luke told me, ‘You gotta stop singing all those sad songs, Chayce. You gotta sing some happy stuff!’ So I wanted to go in and write music that was real music but still able to uplift people and touch all those bases.
On collaborating with Lindsay Ell on ‘Can’t Do Without Me’: She came over and we worked on it and we got to a point where we fell in love with it and sent it in as a demo, and a few weeks later, we were in the studio recording that song with a live band. It as a really cool setting to work with her and do my first experience as a duet and music video and all that for the first time. We’ve played it in some cool places, football stadiums and stuff like that, so it’s kind of taken me all over the country. It’s been a lot of fun and I had a great time doing it.
Chayce is currently on tour and will soon be hitting the road with Jimmie Allen. In the fall, he’ll also be opening for Luke Combs on several dates in Canada. Chayce’s EP Doin’ It Right is available now.