Interview: Chase Bryant Talks ‘Little Bit of You’, Classic Influences and New Tunes
It's easy to draw parallels between Chase Bryant's current single, "Little Bit of You," and any number of Keith Urban's songs. The upbeat, guitar-heavy love song -- written by Bryant, Derek George and Ashley Gorley -- has a distinctly Urban vibe to it, but while the singer-songwriter is flattered by the comparison, it wasn't intentional.
Bryant tells The Boot that when he wrote "Little Bit of You," the tune was "a lot more stripped down and not necessarily so energetic;" it was in the studio that the track -- in the Top 5 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart as of the rankings dated April 9, 2016 -- became more upbeat.
"I've never tried to copy Keith or ... really, really chase that or put it on my record," Bryant adds, though the country star is definitely one of his influences. "I've always tried to do my own thing, but sometimes those things happen by who you're influenced by ... but to hear people say that it's kind of got a Keith Urban ring to it, I'm very happy about that."
A native of Orange Grove, Texas, Bryant has country music in his blood: His grandfather played with Roy Orbison and Waylon Jennings, and his uncles co-founded Ricochet. Although "Little Bit of You" and his debut single, the Top 10 hit "Take It on Back," both fit right in at modern country radio, Bryant hasn't forgotten those old-school country roots.
"I always say, if you strip the tracks down from all the processed and all the programmed and all that stuff -- if you strip it down to acoustic [guitar], electric bass and drums, you can hear those [classic influences]," he explains. "Sometimes in the track, it doesn't sound like it, because you're getting a lot of the mainstream, Top 40 sounds, but strip it down, and you really hear a lot of those early influences that I had."
So far, Bryant has only released an EP -- 2014's Chase Bryant, on Red Bow Records -- but he's got a full-length project in the works. He hasn't released it yet, he notes, because the success of "Little Bit of You," as well as his time on the road, has changed its direction, so he's been writing more and will soon head back into the studio to cut some new tracks.
"Being out on the road, you morph into who you think you are as an artist," Bryant says. "I just think the direction changed a whole lot."
As for his next single, Bryant shares that both a song from his EP and something brand-new are in contention; the final decision is "kind of up in the air right now."
Bryant doesn't have a full-blown summer tour planned, but he will be hitting up numerous festivals, including Country Jam in Grand Junction, Colo., in June. Now that he's got two hit songs under his belt, "it allows us to have a little more runway with the shows now ... people are starting to react to our music," and he's been able to play more of his own material while also sprinkling in a few covers. Those new songs he's working on will also find their way into his sets soon.
"[At festivals,] the crowds are a lot different ... they go out a lot earlier, start drinking a lot earlier. Things are a lot crazier a whole lot earlier, so you've kind of got to keep it uptempo and up-pace more than being in an arena and being able to play those ballads and being able to do that stuff. You've got to find a way to craft it more as a party or make them believe that those ballads are worth listening to in a festival scene," Bryant muses. "But for me, it doesn't really change much ... you've gotta stick to who are and stick to what your craft is, and hopefully people will understand. It's just, sometimes you've got to work a little harder."
A list of all of Bryant's upcoming tour dates is available on his website.