Country newcomer Chase Bryant has a lot to be excited about these days -- including his new cell phone. Though the RED BOW artist considers himself an old soul in his approach to listening to music, he loves the technological advancements that make his job a little easier, including using his phone to record song ideas and lyrics.
"I think technology has changed so much, especially when it comes to music and recording. I still write lyrics and notes on paper, but I think that with having a single out on the radio and on iTunes, you have to keep up with it. It's a great way to keep up with fans. It's something I'm still getting used to. I think it's been a saving grace for me going out and doing these tours. It's been a really quick and easy way to go to fans and connect with them on a quick basis. I can be in Madison, Wisconsin, and reach a hundred fans in five seconds on Twitter as opposed to how it was in the old days of sending a newsletter out to fans. It's one of those things that is so much quicker and easier."
Of course, what has Bryant the most excited as of late is the continued success of his debut single "Take It On Back," which is currently at No. 14 on the Country Airplay chart. The native of Orange Grove, Texas, is enjoying the attention, though he admits some aspects -- such as Kix Brooks announcing his favorite dish at a local restaurant -- take a little getting used to.
"I was listening to Kix last night on American Country Countdown, and he was talking about the 'Chase Plate,' my favorite Mexican order at the restaurant back home," he says with a smile. "I remember listening to Bob Kingsley and Lon Helton growing up, and now when you hear it, you ask yourself, 'Is the radio station playing this or am I listening to one of my mixes I've been working on?' To hear it on the airwaves is one of those feelings that you don't know whether to cry or what to do. It's just a great feeling."
Experiencing the rush of playing the song live -- and having a crowd sing the lyrics back to him -- also suits him just fine, he says. "We were in Cincinnati, and it was the first time I had ever heard the song sung back to me. It was in the mid-20s on the charts, and I announced it as my latest single, and the crowd just started screaming before we ever started playing the song. The place was sold-out, and I had never sold out a show in my life. It was just one of those things when you hear them sing it back, you just know the timing was right. It makes you go 100 percent harder. You don't want to get off stage when people are doing that."
Music is something that is a part of Bryant's pedigree: "My grandfather played with Roy Orbison until he got signed to Sun Records. He had to quit the band because his mother said that rock and roll music wasn't allowed in the house. He went to college and played with Waylon [Jennings] and Buddy Holly. My uncles were in Ricochet, so I definitely grew up in the days of 8-tracks and 12-song records," he recalls.
Still, Bryant says there was never any pressure about entering the music field. "I was never forced. Nobody ever said, 'You have to do this,' but there was always so much great music around. It was in my blood and in my genes. I just always felt like the only thing I was ever comfortable around was playing music. I always felt so determined, as if it was my pre-chosen destiny to go and play music."
He credits the fans and radio for his success so far, as well as everyone at RED BOW. "Benny Brown, Jon Loba, Carson James, Renee Leymon, Shelley Hargis and all those guys over there are so special. I love it when they come out to a show and being into what I do, and them giving me the leeway to do what I wanted to do with this record, that was the determining factor of where I wanted to go. They really gave me a reason to be who I am. I've always felt like it's important to just be who you are, and RED BOW gave me that place."
Bryant will tour clubs throughout the winter, then will embark on a stint with Lee Brice and The Cadillac Three in the spring. The singer will also be making his first trip to the land down under, performing at Hunter, Australia's CMC Rocks alongside Lady Antebellum, Big & Rich, Chris Young and Kacey Musgraves from March 13-15.
This summer, Bryant will be a featured act on Tim McGraw's Shotgun Rider Tour. Getting a chance to learn up close and personal from one of the format's most consistent entertainers is something he is pumped about. "It's another dream coming true. Going out under the wing of Tim McGraw this next year is a feeling I couldn't ever describe! Hope to see everyone out on the road this next year!"