Chayce Beckham; Photo Courtesy ABC
Chayce Beckham; Photo Courtesy ABC

Chayce Beckham Admits Jim Morrison, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings & More Influence His Songwriting

Chayce Beckham admitted that several iconic musicians influence his songwriting.

The 24-year-old Apple Valley, California native not only is an incredible vocalist but he also has quite the knack for songwriting. If you followed Beckham’s journey on American Idol this season, you would know this as he performed a couple of his self-penned tracks on the show, including “Mamma” and his debut single “23.”

Beckham credits his knack for songwriting to a star-studded list of artists that have influenced him throughout his career so far, including The Doors, Jim Morrison, Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams, Jr., Hank Williams, Sr.

“I’m a huge fan of The Doors. I like Jim Morrison, Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams, Jr., Hank Williams, Sr.,” Beckham told Music Mayhem in a recent interview. “I mean all sorts of stuff that influenced me as far as an artist. From reggae to blue grass to rock ‘n roll, classic rock, you name it. I don’t know. I think I’ve just always connected well with stuff that was emotional, so that’s kind of where I get my songwriting from, I guess.”

The former forklift operator also detailed how he got into songwriting. He started out in hip hop, so he said that it was easy for him as a lyricist within hip hop to then craft songs together with a few words that rhymed. He went on to write music for his band The Sinking Sailors when he was about 20-years-old.

“Well, I used to be really into hip hop and stuff like that, so it was easy for me to kind of, as a lyricist, I could go from writing a lot of stuff that rhymed to kind of just going back down to a few words that rhymed,” Beckham explained. “You know, I started my band, the Sinking Sailors, when I was 19 or 20 years old and we got together, and I just started writing the music for us. It was just kind of just the way that it went.”

Later adding, “I mean it never was anything that we planned. I wasn’t really trying to write like a great song or anything, I was just trying to play music with my buddies and that was pretty much it. And now, it just turned into like hey, that’s kind of a good song. You know, I just put more meaning into the lyrics and stuff and have fun with songwriting and not play regular music, so that was just a blast for us to put stuff together and have a little fun with that. I did that for years. So, I mean, it kind of was just a slow thing that evolved over time, and I was into country rock, too, so it was becoming like just a process of writing stuff for a long time. I was good in English. I failed all my other classes, but I was good in English, so I guess writing is just kind of something that I’m fond of.”

The Top 3 Idol finalist and fan-favorite contestant is set to take the stage on Sunday, May 23, during the three-hour Idol finale for several performances.

Beckham will perform six times during tonight’s Idol finale, including covers of Chris Stapleton’s “Fire Away,” The Beatles’ “Blackbird” and Ed Sheeran’s “Afterglow.” In addition to his solo performances, he will also perform duets alongside Luke Combs, Fall Out Boy and Macklemore. See the full song list for Idol’s finale HERE.

Tune into American Idol tonight on ABC at 8/7c.

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