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Chance McKinney Gets Real About the Blood and Sweat of the Music Industry (Exclusive)

The singer also dropped the music video for his new single “Backyard” this week.

Chance McKinney just dropped the music video for his new song “Backyard!”

Just in time for summer, the fun visual shows a couple out on what seems like the perfect date and a group of friends at an epic house party, and all while McKinney sits by the fire with guitar in hand singing along to the catchy tune.

Working on new music that will hopefully be released later this year, Celeb Secrets Country caught up with McKinney to chat about what inspires his work, what he’s learned from taking home the W for CMT’s Music City Madness Competition, and what’s next on the horizon.

Celeb Secrets Country: What inspires your songwriting? 

Chase McKinney: “My songwriting comes from everyday interactions.  I’ll run across some comment or situation that seems ‘unique’ and then build it into something relatable to everyone. ‘Be Real’ came to me in the back of a van on the way home from a track meet in California. ‘Down to Get Up’ hit me during a basketball scrimmage. ‘Why’ came from watching a movie. Usually, the topic hits me and then I just sit down and create a context where everyone can picture themselves in that situation.”

CSC: What was the best thing you’ve learned from competing on CMT’s Music City Madness?

CM: “My biggest takeaway from winning CMT’s Music City Madness was… nobody’s gonna hand you anything on a silver platter.  Yeah, I know… not what you were expecting. But, even though the competition opened doors for me, it came to me very quickly that I still had to walk through them and then work to open more doors.  Nobody carried me on a bed of pillows and fed me grapes along the way. Every time opportunity knocked, it looked like more hard work standing there to greet me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super-proud and Uber-grateful for the win.  I just happen to know now that the prize wasn’t fame and fortune… it was blood and sweat, and mostly my own.”

 CSC: What are you most proud of from making your EP?

CM: “I guess my first point of pride off the I-squared EP was the fact that I’d never before put out 2 projects in a single year.  Launching I and I^2 in a single year and “almost” getting to a 3rd EP in 2018 was huge for me and the production team. But, that’s not even what I’m most proud of… I’d say the production of BACKYARD and the re-visit of WHY probably tie for me.  BACKYARD was magical as soon as it rolled off the press. We started playing it at “live” shows and at radio stations, in listener parties, across the country. There was just something about it that made people feel good regardless of the situation.  And WHY… well, that’s a special song to me and to go back and fix some of the things we’d skipped over on the 2016 (Down to Get Up) production. It made me feel like “this” is what I was trying to get across to the listener the first time.”

CSC: Anything new in the works that you can tell us about?

CM: “Wow.  Where to start?  We’ve already started on the 3rd, 4th and 5th EPs we’ll hopefully still be able to launch this year (2019).  BACKYARD landed at national radio on May 6th and it’s almost charting after only 3 weeks. BACKYARD (the video) just launched this past Monday (May 20th) and it looks like a couple major media companies are going to pick it up.  We’ve got dates on the books all over the country starting June 2019. Just stuff… you know? Momentum is a crazy wave and when you’ve put in the work, sometimes you just have to ride it for a while.”

CSC: For Celeb Secrets, what’s one secret about you that fans wouldn’t know?

CM: “Sometimes it feels like you’re living in a glass house when so much of your life is on display for the public, but let me think of a ‘secret’ about me folks might not know…  It’s fairly well publicized that I was an All-American javelin thrower in college, but few people ask me what my favorite sport was. Basketball. I lived for basketball. If I could’ve, I’d have gone to college to play hoops, but apparently being 6’6″ in a sport where those guys are a dime a dozen doesn’t give you the edge.  So I put all my eggs in the track n’ field basket. It paid for my school, which I’m grateful for to this day. But it just goes to show you that what you think you want to do might not always be your chosen path.”

Make sure to keep up with Chance and be on the lookout for upcoming tour dates by following him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even his website at

Written by Mariah Crom

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