'American Idol' Winner Chayce Beckham Talks Debut EP 'Doin' It Right' Ahead of Show Return (Exclusive)

After sharing details of his debut record last year to much fan excitement and joy, reigning American Idol winner Chayce Beckham's debut EP has finally been released! With a career that has only begun to skyrocket since taking home top honors during the 19th season of the groundbreaking reality series, Beckham has since been noted as one of the best new country artists to watch for in 2022. Featuring a distinctively pristine bluesy-rock voice and a penchant for sincerely heartfelt songwriting, the 26-year-old worked hard amid the pandemic to perfect his foray into the country music world with the six-track EP Doin' It Right, now available to download and stream.

In an exclusive with PopCulture.com ahead of his return to the American Idol stage on Sunday, April 17, Beckham sat down to chat about the premiere release and why he believes the six-track EP is perfect listening for this summer. "It's such a good feeling to finally put music out. I've been waiting for so long," he told PopCulture. "I've been writing. I've been working very, very, very hard, and I think that it's a rewarding feeling to finally have some of your work out there and for people to listen to it."

(Photo: David McClister)

Admitting it was "really hard" to pick just six songs out of all the songs he had been working on, Beckham admits the rush of getting it all completed is him just "getting started" in the industry. "I'm super thrilled to start with this one and then get back in and record another one and keep on putting music out for people to listen to. My favorite part of the job was getting to share this stuff," he said.

With an album filled with summery tracks, Beckham says the fun and easygoing country feel to the music was one of his biggest goals in making "something that people could listen to this summer," while also creating tracks that everyone could relate to. "I think that there's a lot of common ground talked about on the EP and stuff that just everyday people can listen to and just say, 'Hey, that's me.' So for me, that was kind of it. I just wanted everybody to be able to enjoy the listening experience and really tune into the songs and put them where they apply in their life," he said, adding how it was "really hard" to nail. "We had so many songs and there's some that I'm like, 'Man, I wish that it made it on there,' but it didn't, but we're still playing them live."

Currently touring with country artist and former American Idol contestant Jimmie Allen (and Luke Combs this fall), Beckham reveals how he loves to perform "Where the River Goes" from his debut EP, sharing how it's also the track he opens up his set with. "It's just such a good energy song and it's just so much fun to play and sing and that's probably one of my favorite ones that we got to get on there." Beckham also adds how "Talk to Me" is one of his favorite songs on the EP and the chance to play it live is everything he imagined and more. "I love getting to do that one live too," he said. "We played it live for about — I don't know how long — maybe seven months before we ever recorded the song. So we tested that one a lot, and the audience usually liked that song, so we decided that we were going to record it." 

While Beckham will no doubt be busy this spring and summer touring across the U.S. and sharing his music with fans, he will be heading back to the American Idol stage on Sunday night, saying it will be an "incredible" moment to return. "I literally love everybody on that show, everybody who's involved, from the COVID officers to the PAs, to the security guards, to the guys who build the stage, everybody, the executive producers, the judges," he smiled. "Going back there and getting to see everybody and hug them all and squeeze them, it's one of the best things in the world. So I'm looking forward to going back."

(Photo: Getty Images / Fremantle)

As the moment will mark a "fun experience" for the California native, Beckham says returning to Idol is like "seeing your family again," especially after all the time they spent together. "It's awesome to get to go back, see them all in person and know that everybody's happy and healthy and doing well and that makes me super happy. I always look forward to getting to go back and share some time with them." This season for the show's milestone 20th anniversary, Beckham popped in to mentor the contestants, an occasion he said was a "cool thing" to do. "To kind of just share — whatever I've learned on that journey, get to directly, share it with them — because of COVID last year, we didn't really get that too much, so I thought it was really cool this year, how they brought all the people back to come and visit and talk to them and I think that is going to really help out some of the experiences of the contestants this year."

Praising Idol for doing a "really awesome job" of helping promote their talent and getting their respective careers off the ground, Beckham is humbled by not just the aid but fan response and patience. "I'm very grateful for them. They've done nothing but helped me with my career and keep it going too. They've let me come back and sing "23" and like you said, Sunday, I'll be promoting Doin' It Right on the show and it's like what more support could I ask for?"

For more on Chayce Beckham, head to his official websiteDoin' It Right is now available at all digital retailers and streaming services like Amazon, Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify and more. Watch American Idol on Sunday, April 17 to catch Chayce's performance of "Doin' It Right" at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.