Chayce Beckham Discusses The Making Of His Long-Awaited Debut Album, ‘Bad For Me’

“It’s a very real record that I put my everything into,” Beckham shares.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

April 5, 2024


9:54 am

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Chayce Beckham; Photo by Matthew Simmons

The release that both Chayce Beckham and his fans have been waiting for is finally here. Today, April 5, the American Idol champ unleashes his debut album, Bad For Me, a 13-song collection he poured his heart into.

The project produced by Bart Butler (apart from the track “23”) finds Beckham doing a bit of soul-searching as he navigates a series of topics that are, as the title suggests, bad for him. He covers themes of substance abuse, regret, rowdy anthems, heartbreak remedies, and more. Within each track comes a set of raw, heavy emotions that offer an authentic look into Beckham as a “good, bad, happy, sad, human being.”

Finding The Perfect Title For The Album

Chayce Beckham - Bad For Me; Photo by Robby Klein
Chayce Beckham – Bad For Me; Photo by Robby Klein

The title track, which Beckham reveals he instantly connected with, is an outside cut penned by Joe Fox, Randy Montana, and Tyler Chambers.

“I heard it and I was like, ‘this is great.’ I loved it. I believe that the demo was just a piano and a vocal and I was like, ‘Man, this is freaking amazing.’ I could hear it with all the stuff I wanted on it.”

Once the entire project was finished and the tracklist was lined up just the way Beckham wanted it to be, he realized that the message he delivered in “Bad For Me” was a recurring theme throughout the album. The Southern California native admits it “brought all the songs together and was almost kind of the cause and the end of all that stuff.”

“It ended up just being the coolest title I could come up with out of all the songs that were on there. I thought it covered everything pretty well,” he added. 

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Beckham Says These Songs Are “Very Real”

Beckham is no stranger to wearing his heart on his sleeve, and with this record, he dives even deeper into that aspect of his songwriting with incredibly personal stories. These songs are elevated by his signature rustic vocals paired with all the sounds he loves – fiddle, steel guitar, mandolins, acoustic guitars and scorching drumbeats. 

“I think that sonically, all the songs really paint a picture that I love and it’s an album that I enjoy listening to track by track. I just feel like we’ve captured everything that I’ve been trying to accomplish over the last few years on this record. It’s a very real record that I put my everything into and I’m really excited to see it come to life.”

The country star admits he was very hands-on with the process of narrowing down the list from around 40 songs to just the final 13. He made sure to listen to each track one by one and tried to imagine what they would sound like as a whole. His hard work results in a compilation of tunes that are the “most true” and “authentic” to his current chapter of life.

“A lot of the songs that we had to work with were just songs that I’ve written over the last few years and stuff that we’ve written recently that I was loving…I love all of them.”

Chayce Beckham; Photo by Matthew Simmons
Chayce Beckham; Photo by Matthew Simmons

Three Of The Tracks Were Solo Writes

Within the 13 tracks are three solo writes that were penned before is American Idol victory in 2021 – “Drink You Off My Mind,” “Mama,” and “23,” a solo-written, PLATINUM hit song that has officially become Beckham’s first-ever No. 1 on both Billboard Country Airplay and Mediabase Country charts.

“23” played a key role in Beckham’s career as it made him the first contestant to ever win the singing competition with an original tune. Plus, it recently earned him another first when he earned a nomination for Breakthrough Male Video of the Year at the 2024 CMT Music Awards.

The song “Mama” is an incredibly emotional tune that is also tied to his time on the show. He performed it on the stage and received a rave review from Idol judge Lionel Richie at the time. 

“That was one that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time,” Beckham admits. “When Lionel Richie tells you that you wrote a hit song and to go record it, I think that’s one of the first things you should go do. It took us a while to finally get the chance to go in the studio and recreate this one. It’s just a real sentimental song. One that means a lot to me and means a lot to my family. So, it’s cool to get it out there and I love the way that it turned out. I feel like it’s very, raw, very real and it makes me happy to see it finally getting on a project and getting out to the world.”

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“Waylon in ’75”

The former forklift driver also gave fans another sneak peek of the album when he dropped his rowdy anthem, “Waylon in ’75.” This track reveals a wilder aspect of Beckham as he portrays how heartbreak can leave him feeling reckless. The unrestrained lyrics paint him as a true Outlaw, reminiscent of Waylon Jennings.

“Waylon is definitely somebody that inspired me by the songs that he sings. I felt like he sang a lot of songs that were really neat because they were so honest and they were so different from what everybody else was doing…He’s one of those pillars for me, like Waylon Jennings, George Jones, Johnny Cash, all people who I feel like sang some of those songs that if they didn’t do that, then I don’t know how country music would have played out, but I’m grateful that they did.”

Chayce Beckham is celebrating the release of his debut album on his current headlining Bad For Me Tour. This summer, he will join Luke Bryan as an opener on his “Mind Of A Country Boy” Tour, and in the fall, Beckham will open for Parker McCollum on the just-announced extension of the Burn It Down Tour.

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Bad For Me Tracklisting

1. Devil I’ve Been (Chayce Beckham, John Pierce, Lindsay Rimes)

2. Addicted And Clean (Chayce Beckham, Emily Landis, Justin Morgan)

3. Waylon In ‘75 (Jon Randall, Brett James, Parker McCollum, Lee Thomas Miller)

4. Bad For Me (Joe Fox, Randy Montana, Tyler Chambers)

5. Drink You Off My Mind (Chayce Beckham)

6. ​​Everything I Need (Chayce Beckham, John Pierce, Lindsay Rimes)

7. Whiskey Country (Chayce Beckham, John Pierce, Lindsay Rimes)

8. Glitter (Joey Hendricks, Mark Trussell, Natalie Hemby)

9. Smokin’ Weed and Drinkin’ Whiskey (Chayce Beckham, Andy Albert, Mark Trussell)

10. Something Worth Holding On To (John Pierce, Brandon Kinney, Micah Wilshire)

11. Mama (Chayce Beckham)

12. If I Had A Week (Chayce Beckham, Scooter Carusoe)

13. 23 (Chayce Beckham)*

Produced by Bart Butler

*Produced by Ross Copperman

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.