Editor’s Note: Responses have been edited for length and clarity.
What started as a segment in her school’s talent show at age eight has now turned into a career for rising country singer/songwriter Chase Martin. The real story began when Martin abandoned plans of attending college to move to Nashville, TN and pursue music. The 20-year-old began by performing at the Bluebird Cafe and The Listening Room, gradually discovering her own signature style of country and soul.
After going viral with several covers on social media, in February, Martin released her debut single, “Love Without You.” The song is now Top 30 on Radio Disney Country and is a preview of what fans can expect from her debut EP, out summer 2019. I sat down with the young and ambitious artist to learn more about “Love Without You” and her decision to pursue music.
Ariel Zedric: Tell me about the inspiration behind your debut single, “Love Without You.”
Chase Martin: I think that the idea going into this was to, of course, write about something everyone could relate to. I think that so many people have probably had that one love that they may never completely get over. You go on with your life, but somehow seeing them out and about somewhere can make some of those old feelings come rushing back in. I mean, if you really ever loved someone, doesn’t that happen?
Your debut EP has plans to be released this summer! How excited are you? What can fans expect? Will your style be similar to “Love Without You?”
Oh my gosh, I am beyond excited, honestly. I believe that everyone can expect something different in every song. You can expect them all to be pretty cohesive with “Love Without You,” but they all have their own life. I threw in a little country/R&B, a little country/rock and a little country me.
How did you find your passion for music? Talk a little bit about the role music played, not only from a career standpoint but how it’s influenced you as a person.
My passion for music came at a pretty young age and completely out of the blue. I had a talent show coming up at my elementary school when I was 8. I really didn’t have a known talent, but somewhere inside of me, I was always that person that loved to entertain people. I came home from school one day and told my mom that I signed up for it. It was funny because I can remember my mom very vividly looking at me and saying, “that’s awesome, but what’s your talent?” I’m pretty sure she was thinking I was going to say something like “I’m going to do cartwheels or tell my buffalo jokes.”
Instead, I can remember looking at her and saying, “I’m going to sing and play guitar.” Of course, she came back with, “…but you don’t sing and you don’t play the guitar, Chase.” I’m sure you can guess that my response was a classic with “well, I’m going to need a guitar then!” I think the rest was history for me, after, of course, I cried and cried to not go up on that stage on the day of the talent show as they were calling my name. My mom probably had to bribe me with ice cream or something to get me out there.
However – I can remember after they finally got me up on stage, they literally had to drag me off. That was such a pivotal point in my life. I knew even at 8 years old that at that moment, I loved to entertain people and be on stage. Music has influenced every move that I have made in life. It’s my feel good. It’s where I go when I’m happy, when I’m sad or just when I feel like being creative. It’s been such a gift for me.
Talk a little about your choice to shift your career path from medicine to music! Have you ever doubted your decision to pursue music? If so, what inspired you to keep going?
I can honestly say that I have never regretted my decision to pursue music instead of a medical career. Not only do I love playing music, but I also love being creative and more importantly, I love entertaining people. I believe we were all put on this earth to “chase” a dream. I just decided that my dream was to “chase” a music career. Never look back. Never have regrets.
What was it like moving to Nashville, TN at such a young age? Would you consider Nashville home now?
I love Nashville!!! Nashville is my home. I can remember my mom driving me into Nashville and looking into the city from the interstate thinking, “Whoa! This is where dreams are made!”
Explain the personal and professional struggles you’ve encountered in the music industry thus far. How have they molded you?
The most difficult struggle for me was getting in front of the right people to help get my music out there. You have no idea how many emails, text, phones calls and knocking on doors on a daily basis that I have done. There were a lot of days that I thought “Wow, this is impossible!” But somehow I would always pick myself up and dust myself off and head into a new day of knocking on doors, sending texts and emails and just pushing through until someone would listen.
What’s it like being a female in the music industry?
I think that the female struggle is exactly the same as the male struggle to break into the music industry. I personally believe that it is very competitive for both male and female artists. I can honestly say that I don’t believe my struggles have been any more difficult than it is for any male artist to break into the business. There’s a lot of incredible talent out there. It’s funny – when I moved to Nashville, I was pretty impatient. The music industry has taught me patience, work ethic, drive and hard work, but it has also taught me how to develop a small business and how to market that business. I’ve grown so much as a young business professional, as well as an artist.
On the other hand, what moment in your career so far has left you the most satisfied or proud?
That’s an easy one for me. It’s been the fact that so many people have been so positive and so responsive to my music. I have met so many incredibly sweet and kind people that have inspired me to keep pushing. If not for all of my sweet friends that I have met at shows, on social media and just out on the street that continue to support and follow me, I’m pretty sure I would not have come this far. Scratch that, I know I wouldn’t have. I’m so grateful for everyone that has loved me and supported me and my music. It’s way more than satisfying. I am proud beyond words.
Who is your biggest inspiration? Why?
Most of the people that follow me and my music know that Whitney Houston is my all-time greatest inspiration. She was a star. She was never afraid to be herself and if she was, she never showed it. She was such an incredible singer and entertainer and always showed such incredible grace.
Are you working on any other exciting, forthcoming projects that you want people to know about?
If you know me, you know that I’m always working on something. But for now, my lips are sealed. Stay tuned!
Do you have any advice for young aspiring artists?
Again, if you know me, you know I’m not afraid to be me. Always be yourself, as cliché as it sounds. Be creative, be real… But, most importantly, work hard and be you!
Feature image photo credit Julia Cox, courtesy of Chase Martin