Over the last decade – scrolling, liking, sharing, and following have become valuable tools for musicians to help build a reliable network. With just a simple click of a button, artists have the opportunity to distribute fresh content that could potentially reach a new audience. While social media has become a powerful instrument for many, several others fall into the toxic trap.
Multi-platinum artist Chase Rice has experienced first-hand the negative repercussions that come along with social media usage. Therefore, it was a cold December evening when the hitmaker decided to place down his phone, pick up his acoustic guitar, and be present.
“I just got fed up with socials. I got fed up with living on there all the time – even if it’s not negativity, you’re still just wasting time,” Rice told Country Now in an exclusive interview. “That night, I told my manager and content guys to take it over. I said, ‘I’ll send you stuff if I want to post it, but you guys need to be the ones hitting send. I don’t want the passwords, I don’t even want to be able to go looking through that stuff.’ So, that night, I was bored out of my mind, and I was just sitting there watching Letter To You, which was Springsteen’s documentary about his new album that he put out last year, and that gave me the idea to write a song.”
Unplugging from the rest of society unlocked a fresh creative mindset and encouraged the “Ready Set Roll” singer to internalize his purpose in life, reflect on the ones who inspire him to strive for greatest, and nudged him to ponder the life he wants to build.
“I wanted to pull from all the stuff that has been a huge influence in my life. From Dale Earnhardt to my military buddy who was on the Bin Laden raid, to Johnny Cash, to Jesus, to my grandpa, and then especially the one that got away,” Rice adds about the inspiration behind the moving lyrics.
After countless hours reminiscing and fiddling guitar strings, his feel-good anthem “If I Were Rock & Roll” was crafted and ready for the eyes of Nashville’s most pristine producer, Jay Joyce. The recently released ballad follows his smash hit “Drinkin ‘ beer. Talking ‘ God. Amen” with award-winning duo Florida Georgia Line. While riding the high of the No.1 single – he knew that his next chapter had to represent his growth as a vocalist.
Therefore, Rice took a risk and penned “If I Were Rock & Roll” entirely alone, a first for the budding superstar. “I love being able to say what I want to say. You can get other writers in the room, and most of the time, that does make for a much better song because they are giving their best ideas. But, this one…I did. I wasn’t hindered by other things going on,” Rice told Country Now reporter Tiffany Goldstein. “There was nobody else who was going to write the song cause I was the only one sitting in that room. So, it’s harder in a lot of ways, but if you do it right…you can land on something pretty special.”
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He continued to insist that his removal from social media gave him the time to explore a new side of his artistry. “I’ve written three songs by myself now since I have gotten off socials, and I have written a huge handful of other songs with other writers. So, you’re not distracted. You’re dialed into what you got to do.” The toe-tapping melody proves that he is a storyteller at his very core and serves as a preview to his next album.
“It’s going to be something you have never heard from me,” says Rice, full of excitement. “If I Were Rock & Roll” is just the tip of the spear. It’s going to be me and my producer, Jay Joyce. The songs are going to be there because I am writing them with an acoustic guitar, piano, which forces you to focus on lyrics and make sure that’s right. Then, you take them to Jay and let him produce these songs that are better than anything I have ever written before. He brings it to a whole other level of life. So, it’s going to be my best record by far that I have ever put out,” he exclusively shared about his forthcoming record.
Rice admitted that he is five percent of the way done with the production of the highly anticipated LP and 95 percent completed with its writing. The singer shared that he needs to give Joyce two or three weeks to bang out the project. “I want to record as soon as we can. I will be on tour in January and February, so I might be able to give him all of March. So, It will come out next spring,” he reveals about the release.
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He prepares fans to expect a clean collection, as it is going to be a very raw production compared to anything he has ever released in the past. Rice mentioned that his 15-track project The Album was “all over the place with so many different sounds,” but the record he is carefully crafting at the moment will sound altogether. “There’s a song called ‘Always Tomorrow,’ which will probably be one of the best songs I will ever put out, ‘Cheers To That,’ which is a drinking song, ‘Way Down Yonder’s,’ is kind of a moonshining song. I’m from North Carolina, so I wanted to tip back the old moonshiners. ‘Drinkin’ Boots,’ another drinking song, and “Key West In Colorado” is about a guy just finding himself, and that’s just the epitome of this album.”
Rice will not be inviting any of his famous friends to join him on his transformative record, as he is looking to challenge himself to write and sing alone. “I kind of just think this one needs to be me,” he shared. “I finally figured out really what I love to do and what I’m really want to do. So, I kind of want this one just to be me.”
While the megastar might not be getting into the studio with anyone anytime soon, he is currently trying to convince Brantley Gilbert to hit the road. After Rice posted to social media saying, “this tour needs to happen,” Rice reached out to the rowdy artist. “I actually texted Brantley, and he saw the caption, and he said ‘hell yeah, buddy! We need to do it.’ So, we will get to work on that…I would love for it to happen.”
While fans listen to his positive anthem “If I Were Rock & Roll” and wait for his most vulnerable collection to date– they could purchase tickets to Kane Brown’s Blessed & Free Tour, as he will be joining the breakthrough star and Restless Road in 2022.