Chayce Beckham's career has only just begun to skyrocket following his win on American Idol last month. After wooing audiences week after week with sincere performances nothing short of perfection, the former forklift driver with a raspy, bluesy-rock voice knows he has his work cut out for him now that he's out of the Idol bubble. With his debut single "23" already topping charts, the 24-year-old tells us he has a lot in store for fans as he continues his trek into a full-fledged musical career.
In an exclusive with PopCulture ahead of his move to Nashville this week to "figure all that" album and single stuff out, the Season 19 winner reveals his upcoming debut record will represent the "same thing" he's been trying to portray during his time on the show. "Just real music, real guitars, and real instrumentation, and talking about life as Americans," Beckham said of the sound his record will highlight. "The life that we live, and the struggles that we face, and things that we go through, not only as individuals but as a community."
Beckham admits it's something he "really can't wait" to be able to communicate with his fans about as he's not really in a "box" when it comes to his sound and genre. "Some of the things that I've been through music and my whole plan is just to give my all, to everybody, through music, for the rest of my life. And so, I think that everybody can just expect 100 percent of me," he said. "I'm country music and I'm doing country, and I love country music, and I have that opportunity to be able to play music that's not 100 percent country, or that's not 100 percent rock."
The Apple Valley, California native adds how artists he looks up to artists like Chris Stapleton who have "tons of tunes that are just kind of off the wall" but never defined in one box either. "I think that you can expect to hear similar to what you've been hearing [on the show], but it's going to be my own," he said. "I think that it makes it all the more better. I think that that was really where I shined in the competition is I got to sing original songs, as opposed to singing covers and stuff. So, I got to share a little bit of myself with you guys through songs like 'Mama' and songs like '23.' I guess that's just a taste of what we're going to be getting into."
With "23" giving fans an early sneak peek into what they can expect following its May 14 release, the track has since climbed the charts to No. 1 and has shown its staying power with listeners, itching for more. "I can't believe [it]. I never thought, whenever I wrote that song, that it would get released and do the way that it's doing right now. More than an Apple Valley boy could ever ask for," he laughed in astonishment. "I'm definitely feeling shocked and I'm just blown away by the amount of support that I'm getting from my fans, and from people across the country, and people across the world. It's honestly, a real, beautiful thing to experience."
Revealing he'll share teasers for fans of his album's progress and "let everyone know" what he's doing, Beckham states it's all just "pretty surreal" at the moment. "For me to kind of go through all of it and have fans and stuff. I remember before all this, I was like, 'Man, it'd be so cool if I got 15,000 fans or something like that.' And then, a monumental job that I was able to make. It's just so crazy," he said. "I'm excited to be able to share this with everybody, who's kind of helped me stay on this process and stay on this path. Everybody will be in the know. Right now is kind of just my week — not off — but a breath of fresh air, before I hit the ground running. And yeah, we're right back to it, so I'll definitely keep everybody filled in."
Beckham adds that his "biggest thing" is staying "relevant" in music and staying on top of it all as he uses this momentum to catapult himself into a world beyond American Idol. "Using this wind in my sails, to just keep going and not let it die out at all — it should be a quick process. Fans don't have to wait all year to hear an album from me, we'll have something out by the summer."