When Chase Martin walked into her writing session with Phil Barton and Joe Cox, she felt burned out. The Charleston, South Carolina native had been in Nashville since her high school graduation, honing her writing craft in hopes of landing her breakthrough hit. Martin, now 22, had just received word that her older sister was engaged when she sat down for her co-write. Feeling a bit homesick, she told Barton and Cox she wanted to write a song for her sister.
“They were supportive, and asked me what I wanted to say. I’ve never been a love song writer, and usually have my idea hashed out walking in,” Martin tells American Songwriter over the phone. “So I just started talking about her, and how it’s cool she’ll always have a forever plus one because I have social anxiety and always wonder who I’m going to bring so I don’t stand alone in the corner.”
A highly-driven songwriter on the path to artistry, Martin has played alongside the likes of Kelsea Ballerini and Jimmie Allen, sang on the stages of venues such as The Bluebird Café and The Listening Room and written with songwriting giants Jimmy Robbins, Rebecca Lynn Howard, Rascal Flatts’ Joe Don Rooney and more. And in 2019, Martin joined the Wide Open Music family, home to country music hitmakers Matt Stell, Jimmie Allen, and Chris Bandi.
The song’s inception was what Martin describes as an “eye-opening moment.” When the artist finally surrendered to her emotions, she was able to shape the song that would kickstart her career. Beyond its streaming success, Martin performed the deeply personal track at her sister and brother-in-law’s wedding, during their first dance.
“Since then, I’ve been writing everything from the heart,” says Martin. “And my songs are just leaps and bounds better.”
After signing her first record deal on DocuSign at the height of a global pandemic, alone in her apartment, “Forever + 1” follows her first release “Levi Denim” (2020)—her debut song on RECORDS Nashville label, an imprint of Sony Music. “Levi Denim,” a cheeky girl power anthem penned by Abby Anderson, Matt Stell, and Allison Veltz-Cruz, was a well-suited first step into her solo artistry.
“I would certainly never record a song that I didn’t write if it wasn’t me,” says Martin. It was one of those that I heard and thought, ‘How did I not think of that?’ It was a no brainer for the record.”
When Martin moved to Nashville at age 17, she was deep in her self-discovery journey. Admittedly, her initial intimidation of the big-name writers in her room, she often agreed to lyric ideas or melody that didn’t match what she had in mind. Now, rising through the ranks, Martin bears witness to the power of authenticity with her brazen vocals and vulnerable lyrical delivery.
“I still love those early singles, but I’m not sure they reflect who I am and what I wanted to say,” she says. “What I’m writing now is authentically Chase Martin.”
Watch Chase Martin’s new music video for “Forever + 1” below.
Photo by Julia Cox