Chayce Beckham Sends ’23’ To Country Radio: ‘It’s Now Or Never’
“I couldn’t think of a better song to come out to radio with,” Beckham says of the self-penned tune.
Chayce Beckham; Photo Provided
Chayce Beckham is looking forward to giving his self-written song, “23,” a second life as it hits the airwaves on Monday (Jan. 23).
“If there is a time to do it, it’s now or never. And I’m really excited because, you know, it’s a song that if people don’t know me yet, then I think it’s a great introduction to me and my music and who I am as an artist. So I couldn’t think of a better song to come out to radio with,” Beckham told Country Now.
This song played a key role in Beckham’s career as it made him the first contestant to ever win American Idol with an original tune. When challenged with the task of performing an original song for the Top 4 round of the 2021 competition, the rising country star went with his gut and chose “23” out of his catalog.
He had written the autobiographical song just a year before, and at the time, he never imagined that it would reach the success it’s had or even see the light of day.
“It’s kind of just something that I wrote for myself and what I had written it for wasn’t to get famous or to share it with all these people. I just wrote it. It made me feel better, but I didn’t ever really anticipate it to be my staple song, in that sense, for the launch of my career.”
He continued, “But it’s a huge blessing because I wrote that song on my couch when I was 23, almost 24 years old. It’s just something that comes straight from my heart. There wasn’t anybody telling me how to do it or what to say. I just said what I wanted to.”
The vulnerability of his choice proved to be rewarding because days after releasing “23” as his first single via BMG, Beckham debuted it live on Idol. After winning over fans and viewers with his impressive vocals and humble demeanor, Beckham walked away the winner of Season 19.
The song quickly shot to the top of numerous charts and has since racked up more than 122 million on-demand streams (and counting). Although the Idol alum is no longer the same age as he was when he first wrote “23,” the stories he delivers throughout the authentic lyrics still ring true to his journey and abilities as an artist.
“Now I’m 23 and there ain’t nobody who can drink like me / Soon I’ll be 24 and the Lord knows that I can’t drink no more / I know I shoulda taken it slow / It’s not the way that my life goes / Now I know / When you’re passed out on the floor / You’re sober by 24,” he sings in the chorus.
As further proof of its success, “23” earned Beckham his first-ever platinum plaque. He shared that receiving this accolade as a result of all the listeners who have supported him along the way was an emotional and joyful experience, to say the least.
“I just broke down in tears years. It was very, very emotional for me. You know, I’ve worked really hard last year and I think there’s this bias too like coming off of TV shows where people kind of just expect you to disappear,” he explained honestly. “I’ve been working so hard and I’m like, no, I’m here. I’m staying and I’m not going anywhere and I’m putting music out and I’m touring and I’m playing hundreds of shows a year and doing everything I can to make this dream work.”
Having his song on the airwaves will hopefully be the chance he’s been hoping for to re-introduce himself to a wider audience that may not have gotten to know him and his music on the show.
“For somebody to write that song on the couch, to put it out to people and for them to accept it and to relate to it, I don’t think that anybody could understand what that really feels like for a singer-songwriter until you’re in that position. It’s an amazing feeling. So, like I said, I’m blessed to have that song.”
This song follows the release of “Tell Me Twice,” and the singer’s critically acclaimed debut EP, Doin It Right, which earned the top spot on iTunes All Genre and Country charts. Last year, Beckham also dropped his latest hit, “Keeping Me Up All Night.”
Chayce Beckham spent 2022 touring in support of country superstars Jimmie Allen and Luke Combs. Although he has yet to announce his next round of touring plans, he does have a number of dates on the books already, which will feature performances from his growing stack of music.
Starting off strong, Beckham appeared at Luke Bryan’s Crash My playa 2023 festival in Riviera Maya, Mexico on January 19-22. His next performance is slated for February 17 in Flint, MI.
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.