No matter how hard you look, youll never find a low fuel gauge when youre around this rowdy, Carolina-raised country singer. Its unbelievable how someone who recently decided to pursue his natural talents for the music arena already has a resume that reads like a rising country star. Hes balanced his academic endeavors alongside a successful career in college football, worked on the pit crew of a NASCAR points leader, experienced the sharp knife of mortality with the loss of his father and rose to the top on the harshest TV reality program Survivor.
"I guess you can say that I have competition in my blood," Chase Rice said. "My parents, my dad in particular, always pushed me and my brothers to never settle. I remember he promised us that the cancer he was battling would never take his life and he was right. I lost my shadow to stand in due to a heart attack, not his aggressive cancer."
Chase was first recognized on the national scene competing every week on the hit reality show Survivor: Nicaragua. He would endure the extreme environment up to the very last episode, but would come just one vote shy of the million dollar pay off.
"There are no tricks or staging on that show," Chase said "What you see truly happened. I am a healthy guy and I ended up losing nearly 30 pounds while I was there. I would have enjoyed the pay off, but it made for a great song. My songwriting friends and I compiled a list of the important things in life that have more value than money. Shows like that will definitely put your life in perspective and it ultimately got me to Nashville."
While Chase idolized singers like Garth Brooks from his childhood, he didnt fully embrace the idea of a performance career until college. Throughout his high school and college years, he was a true sports fanatic. He landed a spot on the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill football team as a linebacker and would excel at the sport until an injury took him out of commission.
"I remember how down I was when I couldnt play anymore," Chase said. "My dad, who wasnt a huge Gators fan, bought me tickets to a Florida Gators game. I still have a hat that he purchased on that trip. It reminds me of how much my parents sacrificed and pushed to keep their kids in a positive mind set."
This ultimate down home guy left the farm life in Asheville for the speed and adrenaline of the NASCAR circuit. Landing a spot on one of the most successful teams in the points race, Hendrick Motorsports, Chase would become the rear tire carrier for Ryan Newmans Nationwide series car.
"NASCAR and country music fans are often the same market so it was exciting when I got the first opportunity to step out from the pit crew and onto center stage," Chase said. "The roar of the crowd that day is what keeps me jumping behind that microphone."
Chases first engagement as a recording artist on the NASCAR circuit came on his home territory in Asheville. He shook the arena with a rocking version of a song that is on his debut EP titles Heathens in the Evenin. Seeing fans get up and have a good time to his music was the first benchmark on his path to country radio.
With his debut, Country As Me, Chase is delivering a sucker punch of endless energy and feel good times in package that continues to blur any lines between singer, songwriter and full blown entertainer. The lead single Buzz Back is a party hit destined for spring breaks and summer shenanigans.
"Music is about having a good time, letting your worries go and just taking in every bit of life you can at that momen," Chase said. "As my belt buckle beckons, Cowboy Up! and just enjoy the ride." The rest of the EP highlights the sacrifice of our military families on "Die Tryin" and the impressionable imprint that your parents leave on you in "My Old Man."
When Chase isnt opening for acts like Sara Evans, Uncle Kracker and Frankie Ballard, youll find him jamming on a guitar with his songwriting circle Jesse Rice, Brian Kelley, and Tyler Hubbard. "We write about our lives. When we hear a line that sparks our interests, youll see one of us typing it on our phones."
Aside from the music, Chase is an avid hunter, athlete and outdoorsman. Hell be stirrin up dirt on his four wheelers or layered in camo on deer, quail and pheasant hunting excursions. From the fields on his family farm to the fields of play at baseball and football arenas, Chase is a phene for Americas favorite past-times. He follows the Colorado Rockies and the Boston Red Sox in the spring and Florida Gators and Carolina Tarheels football in the fall. If anyone is prepared for the thick competition and tireless adventures of a rising country artist, it would be one that has endured the gut wrenching scene of Survivor. Hes set to hopefully fulfill the lines that are spoken near the end of his favorite movie, 8 Seconds: "And the dues he paid to get here are worth every sacrifice."