Chord Overstreet was born into music, not only because his father is country singer and chart-topping artist Paul Overstreet, but also due to his musically inspired name. And while music has always shaped his past, the artist has recently started taking hold of what that means for his future. From touring with Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas to releasing his debut single as a signed artist, it only seems to be getting better.
Chord tells Billboard his name stems from the fact there are three notes to a chord and he was the third born in his family. And while he never felt pressure to be involved with music — “we had the freedom to figure everything out on our own,” — music is what ultimately struck a “chord.”
He says watching his father work in the studio largely inspired him to follow a similar path, as watching the process of writing songs and seeing them come to fruition made it seem like anything was possible.
“Being around music so much really helps nudge that desire,” he adds.
Now, Chord’s desire is finally being realized in the form of his new single “Homeland.” He says the track made for a good debut because it quite literally hits home, considering it was inspired by his own homesickness and the ache to reconnect with the one place that never changes — a relatable sensation felt by many.
“It’s an an open message where people can substitute themselves in the story,” Chord says. “It’s not really about a love story as much as it is about your home and the place that shapes you into who you are, so I feel like that would be a good place to kick off and introduce myself and where I come from.”
Many may feel as though they already know Chord, due to his long-standing role as Sam Evans on Glee, but the artist says he is essentially introducing himself — “who I actually am” — for the first time.
“Instead of me being a character, [this is] who I actually am and the type of person that I am in real life,” he says. “The character I was playing on a TV show is completely scripted … but to be able to expose who you are to people is a powerful gift and I feel like sharing who you are is the most intimate thing.”
As for who he is — and wants to be — as an artist, Chord cites iconic songwriters and storytellers such as James Taylor, Carole King, Bob Dylan and John Lennon as inspirations. He also says his father clearly influenced his own storytelling sensibilities since he grew up with him writing country music.
In terms of more current artists who he is inspired by, Chord says Lovato and Jonas — whose co-owned label he is signed to, and both of whom he has toured with — are positive influences on his budding career.
“It’s just great to have people on your side that believe in you and that really love music, and that really love being a part of music not in the sense of performing/writing/creating it themselves, but in developing new music and being a part of that,” Chord says.
Looking ahead, the release of “Homeland” marks much more new music to come from the artist. He says he’s been writing everyday for the last two years and would like to have an album out at the beginning of 2017. He admits he first must finish all the records, though assures “the songs are there.”
“The more I write, the more songs I have to choose from,” he adds. “So it gets tougher and tougher, but I feel like I have a bunch of songs and stories that I could put out there into the universe.”
Until Chord shares his next anticipated track, be sure to give “Homeland” a listen below.