Chayce Beckham’s Recent Experience With Tragedy Led Him To Find New Meaning In His Song, ‘Till The Day I Die’
“I feel like every time we get to perform it, it makes him smile down on us a little bit,” Beckham says.
Chayce Beckham; Photo by Matthew Simmons
When Chayce Beckham first wrote his new song, “Till The Day I Die,” he had the intention of honoring one’s ability to love someone unconditionally for as long as they live. However, a few weeks later, the song took on a whole new meaning as Beckham experienced a great tragedy in his life.
The song pays homage to traditional country classics such as Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried,” and “Pancho and Lefty,” recorded by Haggard with Willie Nelson. It also includes references to icons of the genre like singer/songwriter, Blaze Foley. Within the soulful narrative, the American Idol alum encourages his listeners to pursue their passions in life, even if others don’t agree with or understand them. Instead of holding back in order to please others, Beckham speaks his mind on the importance of accepting yourself and “loving that little bit of rebel inside of you and never letting that light burn out.”
The singer/songwriter’s gritty vocals take the lead, showcasing his diverse range and highlighting the slow guitar strums that carefully overlay the soulful background vocals.
“Cause if whiskey’s only on this side of heaven / And they don’t play outlaw songs up in the sky / I’m gonna raise a glass to this cowboy life I’m livin’ / And I’m gonna keep on raisin’ hell till the day I die / Till the day I die, till the day I die / I’m gonna keep on raisin’ hell till the day I die,” Beckham sings in the powerful chorus that he penned with Andy Albert, Jordan Minton and Mark Trussell.
While the original meaning of the new song already held a huge weight for Beckham, his perspective was altered when a close friend actually experienced the journey of the song. Sitting down with Country Now, the California native opened up about the loss he recently endured, and explained how although it was an extremely difficult time, he found a spark of light at the end of the tunnel thanks to this song.
“Once we wrote the song, I loved it just ’cause I thought it was…It felt so good to sing. And then about a week after I wrote the song, one of my buddies passed away in a motorcycle accident in Texas,” Beckham began. “And he is one of my very best friends and he’s been on a motorcycle since he was, you know, could walk, and racing dirt bikes and riding motorcycles. He was always crazy good at it. So you never really would’ve thought that that would’ve been what would’ve got him.”
He continued, “When we got the news that he passed, it kind of, I think, took all of us off guard. We didn’t expect, I don’t think you ever expect to hear those kinds of things, to get those phone calls, but, it really took me off guard ’cause I’m only 26 and I’ve lost about four friends in the last two years in car wrecks and motorcycle accidents. So it was a really tough pill to swallow.”
Beckham took a few weeks off to focus on himself and celebrate his late friend with a celebration of life back in California. Once he returned to Nashville and got back to life on the road, Beckham got to play “Till The Day I Die” in front of a live audience for the first time.
“I went to do an acoustic performance in Maine, and whenever I went there, I hadn’t played this song before and I was like, ‘man, I’m gonna sing this song for these people, because I’ve been listening to it a lot.’ Especially, you know, the song’s called ‘Till The Day I Die’ and right after Lance passed away, I’d listened to the demo that we made, and it just kind of brought me closer to him. So I sang it for those people in Maine and they lost their minds,” he shared before adding. “They’d never heard the song, I didn’t tell ’em the story or nothing, and they just went crazy over the song.”
Seeing the way his fans reacted to the song and connected to it in their own ways brought up a whole new set of emotions for Beckham. After this show, he tried to convey what he was feeling through a new song, but it turns out that everything he needed and wanted to say had already been written in “Till The Day I Die.”
“I sat down and I tried and I couldn’t do it. It almost seemed like I wrote that song a week before he passed away, so I wouldn’t have to do it after. It was almost like he picked that song and was like, ‘that’s the one that I want associated with me,’” he explained. “So once we did it a few times and it became this big thing at our shows, I just dedicated the song every night to him and it just has become a super special moment in my show where, you know, I feel like everybody’s singing and I feel like he can hear that. So it gets me emotional every time and it just makes me super happy to have got that song done whenever I got it done. I feel like that’s his anthem now. And I don’t really care what happens. Maybe this sounds horrible to say, but I don’t really care what happens, if the song ever goes to the radio, if it goes number one. I’m just happy that it’s out there and that he’s got it. So, yeah, super important to me and I love it. I’m very happy with the way it came out and I know some people might not like the lyrics, but it’s meant to be that way.”
The catchy tune goes way beyond the surface as it reflects the idea that many people might not understand the true meaning behind the song in the same way that some people may never understand why someone does what they do.
“You might not always understand ‘em, but that doesn’t make you a bad person and it doesn’t make you an evil person. And he was one of the best people I ever met in my life, but he was gonna do what he was gonna do until the day he died. I feel like every time we get to perform it, it makes him smile down on us a little bit.”
Despite the fact that Beckham’s loss was extremely sudden, he’s come to accept that he wouldn’t have wanted his friends to die doing anything other than what he loved.
“Even though it broke all of our hearts in it, it also makes you smile a little bit just knowing that little rascal was doing what he wanted to do, you know? And that he was happy. That gives me a little bit of peace.”
Now Beckham is hoping that this song will give his listeners the same kind of peace that it’s given him and relieve some of the pain in the process.
Returns To American Idol
With the latest season of American Idol underway, Beckham, who was crowned the winner of the singing competition in 2021, was invited back to the stage to perform his latest release.
“That was awesome. That’s a special song to me so just getting to go share it and sing it on there live, I was so nervous, but, you know, I’m always nervous whenever there’s cameras around and stuff just because live TV always freaks me out, but it was so much fun just to get to be back up there,” he shared. “To get the perform it in front of all those people watching, I’m super appreciative of the Idol family, just for letting me come back and showcase my music and they still treat me like family, so that goes a long way.”
Watch His Performance
Following his performance, Beckham received an incredible surprise. The show’s host, Ryan Seacrest, invited Luke Bryan on stage to present the rising singer/songwriter with his very first gold-certified plaque for his season-winning, self-written, breakout single, “23.”
“It’s incredible. Honestly, I don’t still don’t have words for it. It’s sitting on the table right in front of me. I don’t have a spot to hang it up yet… we’re all, you know, we’re thrilled about it. And I mean, I did my best, I cry whenever that kind of stuff happens so I made sure I got off the camera, went backstage, had my little cry. And then, you know, it was an awesome thing just to get that and for Luke to give it to me on the show. That meant a whole lot. So it was a cool thing.”
This was a full circle moment for Chayce Beckham because not only did it take place on the stage that kickstarted his career, but he got to share the excitement with Bryan who has played a huge role in his country music journey.
“When they said that “23” was gold, I never, that wasn’t on my radar that the song was anywhere near gold or I don’t even know how you get a gold record these days. I was totally caught off guard. And yeah, it was definitely a super, super meaningful moment just to have Luke give it to me. He’s been a part of my career since I left the show, so it’s just cool memories and it just feels like a good accomplishment.”
Along with his latest release, the “Keeping Me Up All Night” singer teased that he has three more unreleased songs on the way as well as a possible acoustic project in the works.
Is An Album In The Works?
“There’s a lot of talk about a lot of different things. One of ’em is definitely an album,” he revealed. “There’s more than enough music, so that’s not a problem. I think there’s so many different ways that I can go right now, which is kind of weird because, you know, the Doin’ It Right EP, I love the songs on there, but I do think that was in a more of, almost like a pop-country kind of direction that I really am not trying to go down that road. I’m trying to get down a little bit more of the bluegrass and actual red dirt-style type stuff. But we have so much music that it’s kind of hard for us to figure out what to do with it.”
Beckham continued, “Since we’ve released ‘Till The Day I Die,’ we have three more unreleased songs that we haven’t shared yet that we’re gonna probably start releasing pretty soon here. Then I plan on going back in the studio and trying to record an acoustic project, which would be mostly just me and hopefully a whole assortment of songs that I’ve written. I think right now I’ve gotten about 25 in the chamber for that project, and we’ll see if they’ll let me do 16…I’m trying to do something acoustic for the fans just to really kind of pry open a window for them to see what’s actually going on inside my head in some of the more vulnerable songs.”
Additionally, he shared his hopes for releasing a massive full-production collection later this year or early next year.
“The trend right now I’m seeing everybody do is they’re all dropping 26 song albums, 40 song albums, so if I could get everybody on board with that…it is a big task, I feel it’s kind of cool though, because that’s how I would love to release music cause then I can move on completely and restart and create all new things. I think it’s awesome. I hope that becomes more of a staple in music where people are releasing bigger albums, double albums, and kind of really putting all their work out there to let fans listen through their heads. That’s my goal.”
In between working on all these new releases and various projects, Chayce Beckham will return to the road with Luke Bryan for a few dates of his Country On Tour. The summer trek kicks off June 15 in Syracuse, NY and will come to a close on October 28 in Charleston, SC.
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.