Season 19 winner of American Idol, Chayce Beckham, stopped by The Bobby Bones Show to share how he had to learn to be a singer, answer uncomfortable listener questions and perform his song “23.”
Before American Idol, Beckham would sing at backyard parties and in dive-bars, playing covers and party music. He was three when his grandmother gave him his first guitar after she noticed his interest in playing the old guitars she had laying around her house. She bought him a small classical guitar that he still has, and it was the first instrument he learned to play. From there, it sparked his love for music as a career choice for him. He wasn’t good at sports or school, so he tried his luck at singing and songwriting. But in the beginning, he wasn’t so good at singing. In fact, he said it was bad for a while. He wasn’t a naturally gifted singer, and tried for a long time to sing in ways that worked for him and would be surprised when people thought he sounded good. His advice is if you practice long enough and work with vocal coaches, anything is possible.
Beckham’s song “23” has slowly started to blow up on streaming services. When he first moved to Nashville, the song wasn’t performing so well that it’d become a radio single. But as time went on and he released more music and toured, the song started stacking up streams. It’s now the song he is bringing to the radio after his audience said it’s the one they want to hear.
Now 26 years old, he recalled writing the song on his couch when he was 23. The creation of the song was very unorthodox. It took him only 15 to 20 minutes to write and he admits he didn’t put a lot of effort into it, but sometimes that’s when the best music is born. It is when you just grab something and run with it. “23” is a song about his personal experiences of a time he was struggling. He put a lot of self-awareness in the lyrics. He had made a ton of mistakes and burnt a lot of bridges at that period of his life, and was headed down a horrible path of life. He lived with his girlfriend of 7 years at the time, and she was breaking up with him. She stayed with her parents for a few days and then came back to grab her things and left. In those days she was away, he was sitting on the couch hungover and started to write the song “23.” He didn’t try to make it a traditional song, he just wrote down some thoughts and had a guitar riff he’d been playing that he really liked. He just put down the story of his reflectiveness at that time of when the dust settled and everyone was gone and realized he screwed up and how to try and fix it. The song didn’t fix anything though, he tried with her and she didn’t care. He feels vulnerable performing the song, but that’s what he’s always tried to do with music. With all his music, he tries to write about stuff that makes you feel so the listener can identify themselves in the song.
He answered some uncomfortable questions from listeners. Like why name is spelled differently. He said his mom found it in a baby naming book and liked it. His original name was going to be Mickey. His last job before winning American Idol was working at United Rentals, he’d deliver equipment for construction sites. He’s fished with Luke Bryan a few times. How much money did he get from winning American Idol? It’s not much, he admits. You get all the money doing other stuff. Then, finally, what is his story with John Stamos? When he met him, he was super cool and gave him a bracelet that he still wears today.
Chayce Beckham performed his single “23.”