Chase Martin Releases Girl-Empowered Debut Single “Levi Denim”

In a world looking for a reason to smile, look no further than the spirited and sincere Chase Martin. A Charleston, South Carolina native living in Nashville after graduating from high school a year early with a 5.0 GPA, the accomplished singer/songwriter has been compared to artists like Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift, thanks to a powerhouse pop and blues tinged country voice, humble attitude and an innate ability to connect her music and lyrics with a younger generation thirsty for a new country superstar.

Fourth grade. Sing a song, play the guitar, for a school talent show. What song did you choose for your debut musical performance?

“Our Song” by Taylor Swift. I just loved her. I wanted to BE Taylor Swift. I mean, didn’t every 8-year-old girl?

Charleston County School of the Arts. Full scholarship to Vanderbilt University. How did you reach the decision to defer the scholarship to pursue a career in country music?

It’s funny, because my mom probably didn’t know this (sorry mom), but I’m pretty sure that I knew from the very first time I ever stepped on a stage to perform that the shot of me going to college was pretty much out the window. Oops!

You finished high school in three years with a 5.0GPA and a perfect score on the ACT. How can artists help students follow their musical passions while schools continue to be impacted by the pandemic?

I mean, I went to an art school. I would love to tell you that my art major was playing the guitar, singing and writing music, but I played the flute and piccolo in the band. In fact, I auditioned for vocal and they turned me down. Ha! For me, I didn’t let that discourage me. I’d just go home in the afternoons and weekends and play my guitar and sing and watch “Papastache” (shout out to him!) YouTube videos (lol) and learn chords and progressions on the guitar. As fortunate as I feel to have had the opportunity to go to a music school, my real drive and determination came from within me. With the Internet the way it is today, there are so many free opportunities to learn just about anything you really put your mind to. Hit up Papastache… He’s a total baller. Lol. I just hope that I can personally encourage at least one young person to “chase” their dreams no matter what the obstacles are.

First show in Nashville was at the Basement East. The venue was severely damaged by a tornado this past March. Favorite memory from your Music City debut? What made the venue so special?

Actually, yes, the Basement East was my first “real” show in Nashville. I was so sad to see the tornado damage to such an iconic spot. It was so sad to me. But actually, my real first performance in Nashville was at Bluebird Cafe. I waited in the line at Bluebird for the opportunity to play their open mic night. It’s funny, because that’s probably my most vivid memory. The anxiety that I had trying to get to the front of that line to get my golden ticket into Nashville… Lol. You’re not allowed to park in the parking lot at Bluebird due to such a few spaces available and you can’t start to line-up in the line until, I think, it was 5pm. At 5pm and 3 seconds, the line is out to the road. Ha! I literally bought something at the consignment shop next door just so I could park in the parking lot and run to the line as soon as 5:00 hit. Lol. I just knew I was going to be spotted right there on the spot. It’s so funny to look back at that now. I love that story.

The pandemic has made many things scarce — especially those Clorox wipes. How are your ‘stock piles’ faring?

My mom tells me something’s wrong with me. My sense of humor is a little bizarre. Lol. If you’re referring to my incident with Home Depot, I mean, they’re still out, I think. And, if we’re referring to my stockpile song… I do still have plenty of Charmin, Great Value, Scott and Mucinex to share. Hit a girl up.

Turning to social media to do ‘Slumber Party Sunday’ and other live shows to connect to fans at the start of the quarantine. Your mom’s words, “The strongest mind, body and soul will always win”, resonated and you returned home to Charleston, South Carolina, to be with family. How have fans helped you through the tough times?

It’s so funny; I have actually gotten to know these people on my FB and Instagram really well. They’re a hoot. I literally feel like I know them and they’re my friends. They share their personal life with me and I share mine with them. When the pandemic started, it was such a scary feeling. I felt pretty lost and scared. I think we all did. I got so many messages telling me that my videos helped them through that difficult time. They told me that they would watch me and laugh and my videos helped them get through the day. You know how amazing that felt to me? That alone kept me going. The fact that I could even make one person laugh or comfort them in such a difficult time was enough to keep me going. I mean there’s nothing I love more than entertaining people. That was the ultimate compliment.

The power of music — supporting Children’s Hospital, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and many other essential workers. What songs are on your #Gratitunes playlist?

Oh my gosh, you have no idea how much I love Children’s Miracle Network. Those little people are my heroes. I could only hope that I could be half as brave as they are in such a difficult time. They’re amazing little people and when I see them, they take a piece of my heart with them. I’m always so happy when they ask me to participate in anything Children’s Miracle Network. “Hero” by Mariah Carey is probably my most favorite #Gratitune, or of course, “Halo” by Beyoncé is a forever classic. If you want to throw it back to the Classic Rock days, you can always throw in a little “We Are The Champions” by Queen. ’Cause Freddy Mercury though. Woah.

Starting a YouTube weekly series, “Chillin’ With Chase”, in July to share bedroom jam sessions with fans. Announcing your first record deal with Records NASHVILLE, an imprint of Sony Music, and your first single, “Levi Denim”, on a TikTok exclusive, four years after moving to Nashville. How do you see social media evolving for artists post pandemic?

Woah, that’s a good question. I’ve read that there are going to be significant changes to the policies of FB and Instagram. That was scary to me when I first read it, because I’m just not sure what I would have done without being able to promote myself, my music and my livestreams on all of the social media platforms. It’s how I got myself out there. It’s such a great tool for up-and-coming artists. Man, I know a lot of up-and-coming artists are a little concerned about that. But for me, there is still TikTok and YouTube. They are also great platforms to help to grow your fan base. I think it’s going to be a little tougher, but with determination I know we can keep pushing through. TikTok is the big craze now. So, I think that being that there aren’t that many live shows right now, I think these social media platforms will continue to help us all get our music out there post pandemic.

Your single will be the first for the Records NASHVILLE label. It was co-written by Matt Stell, Allison Veltz Cruz, and Abby Anderson, and produced by Ash Bowers. What drew you to the song on first listen?

Ash (Bowers) sent me the song and I fell in love with it right away. It is one of the most fun songs I have ever heard. It’s so girl-empowered and sassy and fun. I just couldn’t pass it up. It was so my personality. Being that I am a songwriter it was, of course, my dream to record one that I had written myself to be my debut single, but when I heard “Levi Denim”, I just thought that this song was so me. I love it. So, it was a no brainer for me. But there are songs that I have written that are coming your way soon too.

Photo Credit: Jason Myers

Playing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” on the flute … so, did anyone need a flautist? Which instruments do you want to learn?

HAHA! Believe it or not, no one took me up on the offer. Lol. I actually had not even picked up the flute in over 5 years until the day that I recorded that video. My last day at School of The Arts was literally the last time anyone could call me a band nerd. My true passion has always been playing the guitar and singing, but recently I got a keyboard because I wanted to learn to play. I’ve actually gotten pretty good considering I never have the time to practice. I guess going to a music school helped after all. But believe it or not, I’d love to learn to play the bagpipes. It’s the band nerd in me… maybe it’s just the cool outfit you get to wear when you play them.

Singing Michael Jackson songs. Which is your favorite to cover and why?

I love Michael. Talk about an amazing talent. Woah. I think my two favorites are “I Want You Back” and “PYT”. My mom’s favorite to hear me sing, hands down, is “ABC”. She said that’s one of her favorites.

Cooking and baking for friends. Preparing vegan dishes. Any recipes to share for home cooks looking for new ideas?

Of course, I love all cooking. My favorites are Vegan dishes. A really simple recipe that I do is a Chocolate Avocado Tart. Being that I’m raw vegan, it’s the perfect dessert for me. The crust is just walnuts, almonds and dates in the food processor until it’s sticky enough to form a crust and then just press that out into a pie dish. For the filling, it’s just 3 avocados, 5–6 dates and 2 tablespoons of cacao powder. Blend that until it’s smooth and creamy. Pour it into your crust and refrigerate overnight. It’s my fav raw vegan dessert. You’re welcome.






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