Chase Rice has found a new freedom in his songwriting that he hasn’t known before and it has the North Carolina native making some of the best music of his career.
“Losing your dad at 22, you lose who you are,” Chase tells One Country. “I know who I am now as opposed to, I didn’t before. And that’s a part of growing up.”
Knowing who he is allows the “Ready, Set, Roll” singer” to speak his own truth. Taking a page from his own life, Chase’s second single, “Eyes on You,” from his third studio album Lambs & Lions, has him singing about a love so true, that no matter what you encounter in the world, you can only see the person you’re with.
“I just wanted to write a song where it happens to a lot of people, where you travel the world together and your favorite part of traveling that world isn’t even what you’re seeing, it’s being with that person,” Chase reveals. “That’s kind of what the song is about for me. It’s a special song.”
With millions of streams before the song was even released, Chase knew that he had something special on his hands when he wrote the tune with hit songwriters Ashley Gorley and Chris DeStefano.
“It’s already probably the biggest song of my career, and it hadn’t even started in country radio yet. So that’s special, it’s a special one,” Chase admits. “There’s very few songs that I can say that about in my career—’Cruise’ being one of them, ‘Ready Set Roll’ being the second, and this will be third. The day you write it you know you’re onto something that’s going to change your career.”
And he was right. “Eyes on You” has been a hit with fans, as they sing the words back to him at concerts—a song that many fans find themselves relating to.
“We live in a world where we just want to feel good and this song has so much cool melody in it, that you can just sing right along to it without even knowing the words. Then all of a sudden you throw the words in there and it’s like, ‘oh man, it’s a love song.’ People love love, whether they want to admit it or not.
“If you want a relationship, and you want love, more important than what you’re doing, is who you’re doing it with. That to me is what love is all about and that’s what life is about. You can have the whole world, but if you’re doing it by yourself you’re going to be pretty lonely. If you find that one, it’s a pretty good idea to hold onto them.”
Is there that “one” in Chase’s life that he’d like to hold on to? “I’m working through it,” he tells One Country. And while Chase may be keeping his private life to himself for the moment, the video for “Eyes on You” did feature his girlfriend at the time, now ex-girlfriend, who is enjoying her time in the spotlight.
“We’re having fun with it,” adds Chase. “She’s in med school and that’s not what she does for a living. She’s not a model or anything like that. We still stay in contact about it. It’s just a fun thing, you know, especially for her. She’s never done anything like this and probably never will again. So she’s enjoying it. She’s got a positive attitude about everything.”
However, it wasn’t all fun and games on the video set. Chase wound up having to go to the hospital as a result of snowboarding accident during shooting, that ripped his pectoral muscle.
“I was snowboarding and kind of leaned back a little too far on my board. I just put my hand down, it wasn’t anything crazy, and just right when my hand hit the snow, my pec just tore real quick,” Chase explained. “It made a cool story though. I’m rehabbing now. I even have a trainer on the road now to help me get it right. I’d like to get back to 100%, and it’s getting there. It’s probably around 70% right now.”
Chase’s 70% is most people’s 150%. While football, snowboarding, fly fishing and NASCAR help keep Chase in peak physical shape, he finds songwriting and music are good for his mental fortitude.
“I get bored pretty easily. I just got to go find stuff where I can just clear my head, where I’m just focused on the task or not thinking about a bunch of other stuff. To where I can just be in that moment,” Chase reveals. “Songwriting allows me to clear my head to where when I do write those songs, it’s like I’m in a good headspace, and I’m positive, and wanting to work. Otherwise, you burn yourself out—you don’t even care.
“The thing I miss about sports is if you’re the best, there’s typically not as much politics in it. It’s me versus you, if I’m better, I’m going to play. It’s me versus you, if I’m better, I’m going to win. Simple as that. In music, there’s a little more politics and a little more bulls**t you have to go through.”
“Eye’s On You” is Chase’s follow-up single to “Three Chords & the Truth,” featured on his third studio album Lambs & Lions, his first offering from his new record label Broken Bow Records. While you may think that new music has revealed a new side to the country singer, think again. It’s just Chase being Chase.
“It’s definitely not a new anything, because to me, I wasn’t trying to do anything. For me, I just write whatever’s going on in my life. I write where I am. I don’t try to do anything,” Chase says. “I think if you’re trying to do anything, that you’re not being the artist that you are. Everything I do in life is where I am right now. This record just reflects that—reflects where I am. There’s a little more love, a little less lust. That to me is what every artist should do. You just pour your heart out in everything you do and people are going to be able to relate to that.
“I’m finally at a place in my writing where I’m like, ‘This is me. This is who I am. This is what I want to do.’ And love it or hate it, that’s what you’re going to get,” Chase adds. “There’s no other artist in this world that can do what I do. There’s no other artist that can do what Sam Hunt does. There’s no other artist that can do what Thomas Rhett does. Florida Georgia Line. Eminem. It doesn’t matter who the artist is, there’s only one person that can do what they do—the best that they can do it. For me, the freedom of knowing that, allowed me to write this record. I wasn’t trying to be anybody else. This is me and you hear that in songs like ‘Lions.’ I’m f**king here. And you’re going to have to deal with it. I don’t say that in a cocky way. I say that in a way of, ‘man, that’s freedom right there.’ And hopefully, the coolest part is that it’s not dealing with it, it’s ‘Man, we really love this.'”