Full of style and swagger, with a real deep level of songwriting combined with a musical sound laced with pop, rock and hip-hop, Chase McDaniel is definitely a name you need to keep your eye on as his initial releases have already started to reflect. The self-aware track “Project” landed the No.1 spot on the Billboard Digital Sales and iTunes Country single charts and the heartbreaking track written about his sister “Your Daughter” reached No. 3 (all genre), an unprecedented feat for the 28-year-old talent, who was recently signed to Big Machine Records/Big Machine Label Group.
Earlier this month he found himself in London for the first time as he performed at C2C: Country to Country and shortly before his label’s annual industry showcase to start the festival, we hung out with Chase to talk about his first time overseas and what the future has instore for the Greensburg, Kentucky native.
Well for starters Chase, welcome to our wonderful little island on the other side of the pond where we drive on the correct side of the road, don’t remove the letter “u” from words and drink tea & coffee hot as it should be ha ha. Apart from that what are your first impressions on what you have seen so far being over here for the first time? “Well, you said it. The tea is hot and it’s the wrong side of the road. My tea has always been cold and sweet, and I always drive on the right side of the road ha ha but it’s amazing here, the people are so incredibly friendly. I have met strangers who have come up to talk to us and that makes me feel incredibly welcome.”
That’s awesome to hear but for me living in London, really weird to hear because we have the reputation down here of avoiding eye contact and going out of our way to not talk to people that we don’t know. The northerners are typically more friendly but down here everyone is in a rush, so it’s great to know there actually friendly people in London. “We were having full on conversations on the tube last night, we were talking football and even American football.”
Who are your NFL team? “I grew up an Atlanta Falcons fan.”
Ah ok, I wouldn’t have guessed because you don’t have a team in Kentucky where your neck of the woods is. But yeah, Falcons ok. The NFC South sucks right now but everyone is as bad as each other now that Brady has retired. The Cowboys are my team and if we don’t stop here, I can talk pro and college football in the States all day long given the chance, but we all love the other football over here. Outside of talking sport and playing music, are you definitely hoping to make the most out of this trip to the UK just as a tourist? “Definitely, we passed by a few things that I want to try out, I need to take a picture in one of those red telephone booths as they are so cool, and it probably sounds cheesy, but I want to get on a bus and say that we’re heading to Platform nine and three quarters. Probably nobody will laugh, and they will think I’m weird.”
Well, you need to head to Kings Cross then, because at the wall between platforms nine and ten there’s a luggage cart half into the wall. “Wow, so it’s actually there?”
Oh yeah, there is a Harry Potter store at the station and there is probably a big line for it but there is a cart half into the wall between the platforms. “So, it’s a big picture thing. That’s incredible, it was my whole childhood and getting in trouble reading the books with the flashlight under my bed.”
Sadly, muggles can’t pass through the wall and it’s only for wizards than can get through. “Ha, they must be here somewhere so I’m going to try and spot one.”
Obviously, the main reason that you are here is to play this wonderful festival so we should probably talk about that a little bit. You’ve got slots in the Town Square and on The Big Entrance stage which is the first thing that people see when they arrive, and you are going to get to play to a new audience. We had five tracks that you put out last year and I think you have a really cool sound, that I would hear elements of your label mate Thomas Rhett and a lot of Sam Hunt as similarities to give people a starting point but how would you describe your own sound and what you do musically? “My sound is pop, rock, country. I grew up listening to Josh Turner, AC/DC and Eminem so imagine the carbonatization of those three together with my Kentucky accent. I can’t keep my Kentucky tucked in, if that any makes sense. I can’t do the rock game, can’t do the hip-hop game so I’m stuck in country no matter what. If I could give you my best Justin Bieber impersonation it would still sound like I came from the back woods. I like pop tracks, I like the heavy guitars and I love country music because it’s in my blood.” Like I said before, from what I have heard, I think you do have a really cool sound and one of those tracks has a different feel to the others which does stand out. I can definitely pick up a lot of depth in “Your Daughter” and a lot of meaning to you as I’ve seen and read the story behind that but just tell us from your perspective a little bit more about that one.
“Yeah, for people that haven’t followed me or heard me before, that song was actually inspired by my little sister. That song is about loving someone through growing up with a father who was an addict or an alcoholic and that was our dad growing up. I just wanted to be there for her in ways that we didn’t have so we developed a special bond. She is seventeen now, got her driver’s licence, she’s up and just going in the world and talking about going to school#. I wrote that song for her and she loved it, in her own way though too. She wasn’t super emotional about it, she said yeah, it’s great but she did give me a big hug and I know it meant a lot to her.” The going forward with music, we’ve had this chain of singles to get your name out there but I’m guessing you’ve been writing a bunch so are we hoping something extended on the horizon to bring the first real introduction for everybody? “I sure hope so. I wish I knew the whole plan, but I can tell you that I have been writing a tonne, I think I wrote over thirty songs in January so, the next step I think is to pick them, record them and figure out which ones stick their hand up a little bit more than the other others.” For you, what makes songs stand out more? Not just trying to fit into a mould or into a certain box but do certain things make you connect more to some things that you have written than others? “Absolutely, that’s a great question. I think they all have their own thing. Most of my songs up to this point, I’ve been so true to myself, what is real to me and what is personal to me. That is all the way from “Relapse” to “Project” and “Your Daughter” as all of these songs have been what has happened in my personal life or people that I have been around, but it has to be fun too. “Drop Your Tailgate” has that edge to it and is something that has not been said before so it’s something that is unique, something that is authentic and just feels right. I can’t really explain it.”
I’m guessing things are going to start picking up when you get back to the States, with CRS and then the festival season will be around before we know it so what’s 2023 looking like at the moment in the Chase McDaniel diary? “Well, I know that we’re doing a few dates with Nelly in July which is really cool.”
Woah! That’s awesome and definitely not the name I was expecting you to drop! “Yeah, usually you would be waiting to hear a country artist, but I think I have four dates with Nelly in July which I’m so excited for and when I saw that I nearly spat out my coffee.”
How are finding the coffee over here? Does it taste a little different to you? “Well, I’m drinking more of it, I don’t know if there’s a reason behind it but I’ve already had like three cups today which is way more than I would normally have.”
When did you get into town? Yesterday? “Yeah, I got in yesterday at around nine AM which I think was like three in the morning for us so, I’m still getting used to the time and everything.”
You won’t be the only person feeling that, coming this way is a killer. Going back home is a lot easier for you but hopefully when you get through the jetlag, you won’t have snow for the entire trip. “It’s OK, I don’t think I’ve seen snow this year so, I’m happy to experience it here.”
I’m pretty sure it’s the first time that we’ve had it this year, but I hope you have so much fun playing here for the first time. I genuinely think people here will really enjoy what you do. “Man, thank you. I’m so grateful to be in London and so grateful to be playing C2C. It happened really fast in a really great way for me, and I think it is because of amazing fans who have found me on social media and great people who are wanting to help me. I’m just so thankful and so grateful to be here. You really have a great country here and I hope to come back.”
That’s always the thing. It is a lot of effort coming here the first time, but people see why there is the attraction straight away and before they have done anything already want to make plans to head back. Hopefully It lives up to your expectations and is what you want it to be. I appreciate you dude, this has been fun. “I appreciate you too man, thanks for the conversation, this has been great.”
The latest track “Drop Your Tailgate” from Chase McDaniel is out now and available to listen to HERE and you can check out what he is up to socially on INSTAGRAMTIKTOK & FACEBOOK. C2C: Country to Country will return to the O2 Arena in London and OVO Hydro in Glasgow on 8th to 10th March 2024 where the festival will also head to Belfast at the SSE Arena for the first time. Early Bird tickets were released on Friday March 17th where full ticket information is available on the WEBSITE and socials (INSTAGRAM / TWITTER / FACEBOOK)
True country music is honesty, sincerity, and real life to the hilt. Garth Brooks