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EXCLUSIVE: Behind the Music: Chayce Beckham's Journey to Crafting 'Bad For Me'"

The American Idol alum proves he is more than just a reality show winner with his dynamic debut album.

Photo Credit: Matthew Simmons

Let's get one thing straight, Chayce Beckham is so much more than his American Idol roots. Fresh off his first career number one with "23", the bonified country superstar dives deep into his own personal stories in his dynamic debut album, Bad For Me. Sitting down with All Country News, the California native opened up about the album's ethos and why this debut project is so special to him.

Years in the making, the thirteen track project is a collection of songs that Chayce has been holding onto for some time. As you can imagine, landing on only thirteen songs was a labor of love. "It was more a process of sorting through all these songs that we had already written and finding stuff that we felt like really painted the picture of a good album," Beckham told All Country News. "When you write them, you love them all."

One of those songs that Chayce fought for was the tender "If I Had A Week." Finding home in the number twelve slot on the album, the song penned by Chayce and Scooter Carusoe, the fiddle driven track narrates the story of a troubled soul on the run. Daydreaming of what he would do if he had some time to slow down, Beckham reflects on all the memories he would make. The last minute addition to the project offers depth and thoughtfulness to Chayce's already impressive discography.

Staying true to his outlaw ethos, the previously released burner "Waylon In '75" also finds a welcomed home on the album. Showcasing Chayce's intoxicating whiskey soaked gravel, the song that was penned by fellow superstar Parker McCollum is right in Beckham's wheelhouse. " After my A&R sent it to me, I listened to it a few time, I knew it was a smash of a song. I really loved the way it came out."

With its wailing pedal steel, the heartbreaking "Glitter," is perhaps the most intriguing song on the album. Penned by Joey Hendricks, Mark Trussell, Natalie Hemby, the song of a love that is falling apart quickly caught the attention of the Idol alum. While Chayce admits he wasn't sure if they should change the name of the song, it ended up becoming one of his favorites on the album. " I felt like it struck a lot of the chords for me that make me love country music and like the melodies on it and the steel guitar. When we cut it, it was definitely one of my favorite songs to sing." Oozing with country traditionalism, Beckham injects his own flair into, making it one of our favorites on the project as well.

A clever tune smith, Chayce also solo, wrote three of the thirteen tracks. Alongside his number one hit "23," his other two solo writes showcase a vulnerable side to the superstar. The honky-tonk anthem "Drink You Off My Mind," and the tender "Mama," displays the star's intoxicating versatility. 

Serving as a thank you to Chayce's own mother, "Mama," is an acoustic love letter, is a tear-jerker. "I was in Hollywood staying in a hotel," Beckham shared. "I was filming American Idol at the time. It was a song similar to the process with 23, it was something to make me feel better about some of the stuff that I was thinking about. It is a ballad to my mom, and she's always been the most important person in my life." The painfully relatable track opens up a new side to Beckham and invites fans to reflect on the important people in their lives.

In contrast, the honky-tonk heater "Drink You Off My Mind," is a clever take on a timeless trope in the genre. A vivid tune smith, Chayce whips fans into the story of a heartbroken fool trying to recover. Brought to life by Beckham's vivid POV, he pleads with the whiskey to make someone miss him. "I wrote this song before Idol," Beckham reflects. "It is a song about my life. And I feel like that's kind of the theme that I've tried to play throughout most of the record."

One listen to the album, and you will know it is country music gold. Bad For Me is a thoughtful journey of the ups and downs of every day lives narrated by one of the most flavorful new artists in the genre. Through poignant stories, Beckham bravely opens up his own story to his fans, proving he is an elite leader in this next gen of country superstars. Spearheaded by a worldly artist with a pulse on stories that are timely and important, Bad For Me is an album of the year contenderThe project may be called Bad For Me, but is good for country music.


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