CMA Fest 2024: Chat With Chase McDaniel

1) You kicked off the year with the big announcement that you signed with Big Machine Records. Take us into that signing and why you feel like this is the right label home for you and your music?

It was at a time when there was a lot of TikTok and social media stuff going on, and so people would take meetings with you and say, “you know you’ve got a lot of fans. We like that.”  We met with all of them, but Scott Borchetta was the only guy who said, “Hey, I love your music. I think it’s really important. I love what you have to say. I love your story. I want to work with you.”

To me that spoke wonders that I talked to the man himself and I played a song for him, just something I had gone through in my life, and he was very intentional in telling me how important it was.

2) That wasn’t the only thing to start off your year!  You also announced your latest EP on the same day, Blame It All On Country Music. What do those 6 songs mean to you? How do they really show people who you are most?

It’s such a diverse range. I grew up loving country music, both the barnburner songs and the songs that really cut to the throat with deeper stories. There’s a song like “Blame It On Country Music” that talks about going out and having a good time, but then a song like “Your Daughter,” which is about a girl growing up with an addicted father. That one is about my sister and my life growing up.

Then there’s “Someone Like Me,” which is about my struggle with mental health….so it’s a little something for everybody.

“Project” is a song about not being perfect. People have seemed to connect with that, and they line dance to it so that’s pretty cool too.

3) You had wild success with a few of the songs you mentioned from the EP prior to its release, “Your Daughter” and “Project” in particular. What do you feel it was about those two songs that really resonated with the listeners so much?

With both, I would like to think that it was just the subject matter of the music. I’m so passionate about writing about things that are real.

Even though “Project” is a fast, upbeat song, it talks about something in the lyrics that is super relatable to a lot of people. I went through a time in my life, and it wasn’t because I was a bad dude but that I was going through a lot of S**T, so I didn’t have the emotional space to be in a nice relationship. So, it’s just this honest track about how I really am instead of singing about the same old things. I wanted something there with a little more depth to it.

4) Rumor has it that there will be some more new music on the way from you soon. Can you provide any updates on that? Will it be more singles, an EP, an album?

There’s going to be singles. “Heart Still Works” is coming out on July 19th (2024) and I’m so fired up for that. I’ve been writing songs for so long, 150 last year and another 50-75 this year so far, and just picking the songs that mean the most to me. “Heart Still Works” is about going through some stuff and deciding to just go through life being numb, but then one day you deal with your own bulls**t, and it sucks and even though you know you’re in a lot of pain you find that your ticker is still ticking.

5) CMA Fest is such a wonderful time of year for the artist and fans to come together as one big thank you note to each other. We’re on the last day now. What was the most exciting part of it this year for you?

My favorite part of the weekend was during  a writer’s round yesterday, and halfway through the set, I realized that Scott Borchetta was in the second row and in like a hat and big sunglasses, so he wasn’t as recognizable cause he didn’t want to make me nervous. So, once I finally recognized that it was him, I was like “Oh my God, he’s here!” It’s such a nice moment whenever your team shows up to support you like that.

Another is that I had fans drive 15 hours just to see me from Pennsylvania, and they’re going back home today. WOW!

6) Besides your music, you have such an incredible outlook on life, a glowing positivity! Although that doesn’t mean life hasn’t come without its hardships. Talk about that…How you’ve preserved through those tough times to become the encourager that you are now through not only what you’re doing musically, but even so how you’re choosing to live your everyday life.

Positiveness exists but it’s not always there and I think that’s important to say, too. I try to be positive every day but some days it’s just not there, you know? And you can’t lie to yourself in those moments either. But I’ve been to the lowest of the lows, my brain’s been as sick as a brain can get. I was at that place where I didn’t think anybody else in the world had ever felt this bad before and that’s a really lonely place to be. As I’ve dealt with my stuff and made it out of that place…You know, I’ve already been through the darkest of the dark. I lost people I loved to something horrible like suicide and have dealt with my own suicidal depression and addiction. I wouldn’t wish those things on my worst enemy. Now that I’m on the other side of it, though, I want to go back into the shadow to promise those people that there’s a whole other world out here. Take it from me. Let me be proof. I think that’s one of the coolest things we can do as humans. You go through something that you never thought you’d have to go through, and then get to go back and help somebody else. To be able to do that makes me grateful that I had to go through it. To anyone dealing with something, I always tell them to stick it through and don’t give up.

7) With such an incredible backstory like that, we have to ask since we have so many aspiring songwriters and artists that read our website…what is the best piece of advice you can offer?

These days, be exactly who you are. There’s so many things happening right now and everyone wants to chase what’s working but be who you are and say what you want to say. Something is only hot for a half a second a lot of the time and if you aren’t being true to who you are, then you’re going to write a hit song and hate yourself cause it’s not even what you want to say.

(Interview by: Jeffrey KurtisPhoto c/o Big Machine Records)


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