Chayse Abrams: A Kentucky veteran turned country singer


Chayse Abrams performs on July 15, 2022, at Stagger Inn in Lexington, Kentucky.

Lindsey Davis, Staff Reporter

Chayse Abrams, 24, is a local Lexington musician who was born in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, and raised on Garth Brooks. Music and family have always been a constant in his life. Now, he’s living out his dream of being a country singer, thanks to their support.

Abrams’s family has lived in Harrodsburg since the 50s. He said they’ve always been “the farmer, ‘go-get-it,’ type,” and that his father is a “hard-working family man.”

“Family was where I learned what hard work is. My mom always taught me to, you know, to do what I want and not worry about money or anything like that,” he said. “I owe her everything. Everything I’ve done is because of her and my dad.”

Abrams said he had the best childhood thanks to his parents.

“It was always just love and compassion in my family. I’m really blessed when it comes to that aspect of my life,” he said.

Love and compassion weren’t the only things his parents showed him. They also introduced him to country music.

His mother used to turn on Country Music Television to entertain him and his brother.
“I remember, it’s like a vivid memory with my little brother,” Abrams said. “I was seven or eight, and we were in our old house that we used to live in in the middle of nowhere. There was a fire going too, and my mom had CMT on. We were watching all the country music videos and singing along, and that’s where it kind of all started.”

His parents went to a Garth Brooks concert while his mother was pregnant with him, and he joked that it was his first concert. However, the first country song he remembers hearing was “It’s a Great Day to be Alive” by Travis Tritt.

The first time he got a guitar, he was nine years old.

“I remember sitting down and trying to play it and I just couldn’t. I started to cry. I was mad at myself that I couldn’t play,” he said. “I was always kind of afraid that would happen if I played in front of people.”

While country music has a special place in his heart, it’s not the only genre he enjoys .

“I wasn’t a rebellious child, but I think the first genre of music that I fell in love with was classic rock like AC/DC, Metallica and Van Halen,” he said. “I just love the electric sounds they make. It was when I got to middle school that the genre kind of changed.”

Unfortunately, school wasn’t something he was too fond of.

“It got to the point where I had to switch schools because I was bullied,” Abrams said. “I don’t put anybody down for that, you know, it was middle school. I just wasn’t going to take it.”

He asked his mom if he could move schools going into high school, and she immediately started searching until they decided on a Christian academy in Lawrenceburg.

Around this time, he started listening to more hip-hop, rap and R&B.

“I loved, like, those 2000s bangers,” he said. “I knew every word to every song, but country music, that’s where my roots were.”

He started helping his aunt and uncle on their farm when he was in high school. That’s where he got his first taste of hard, physical labor, but he always had music playing as the soundtrack to his day.

When Abrams first started to sing, he wouldn’t do it in front of anyone, not even his parents.

“I was afraid that I wasn’t good enough. I was worried that people would think of me some type of way, but I was always singing whether I was locked in my room or driving to school or practice or whatever,” he said.

One day, he was driving home from school with a friend and started singing, forgetting he wasn’t alone in the car. To his surprise, his friend complimented his voice.

“I didn’t think much of it though. I just kind of played it off,” he said.

He was nervous about singing in front of people, especially when it came to country music, and he explained this is because the genre tends to get a lot of backlash from society.

“But to me, it’s like, that’s life. A country song can really captivate your feelings or whatever you’re going through. People can really connect with those songs,” he said.

In 2016, Abrams joined the United States Air Force and served four years. That’s when he started to wonder if he could do music for a living.

“I was like, ‘I don’t care where it takes me, but I know there’s gonna come a day when I put everything I’ve got into it,’ and that’s where I’m at now,” he said.

He reached out to his mother and asked her to get him a guitar, and she agreed. He said he never asks his mom for anything, but that this was an exception since his birthday was coming up.

He eventually taught himself how to play the guitar over the course of a few months.

“I spent sleepless nights learning how to play. A few months went by, and I wanted to come home. I missed my family,” he said.

He returned home and continued to play and sing. He started putting videos of himself online, and people reacted well to them. He got in contact with a woman through Facebook and started playing shows for a weekly music bash that she throws. Again, the crowds were giving great feedback on his performances.

“People just kept asking me to play songs, and everybody loved it. That’s when I fell in love with performing,” he said.

One of his friends asked him if he could throw his birthday party at his farm and Abrams agreed. Then, his friend asked if there would be live music. At that point, Abrams didn’t have a band, so he turned to a Facebook group for musicians and made it happen.

“It all happened in, like, five days. I put it out there that I needed a band and I got one. It was insane. It was kind of redneck style, but it worked,” he said.

When he got off the stage, several people approached him asking why he didn’t pursue a career in music.

“I was serious before, but then I knew I had to make it an everyday thing,” Abrams said. “I told myself I was going to get in contact with people and learn new songs ,and I just haven’t stopped since.”

Abrams currently has one single out, “Hooked,” which is available on all platforms. A second song titled “When She” is set to come out on Dec. 16. He performs frequently at local Lexington bars such as Stagger Inn and Two Keys Tavern. All of his show dates are on the Requestor App.