Last year, the Texas FFA was introduced to former member and aspiring musician Chase Yaklin, who performed for a packed crowd at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, opening for Wade Bowen. This year, he has returned as Chase Bryant to reprise his role as opening act for the Turnpike Troubadours. Although his name has changed, Bryant’s Nashville-style country sound has not.
Bryant describes his name change as an improvement he saw necessary for people to more easily recall his name when listening to his music. “Yaklin was always kind of a hard name to say, and it was always kind of hard to grasp hold of,” Bryant said. “I wanted to find something that people could better relate to and find me easier, especially through social media.”
The name Bryant comes from his family, which has contained several musical figures in the past. “I wanted to keep it in the family and keep it real so it isn’t just some made up name,” he explained. Bryant assured that the only change the new name may have brought is that the band may now play “a little bit harder and a little bit louder.”
Currently based in Nashville, Tenn., Bryant signed a publishing deal under BMG Chrysalis and is currently closing on a record deal. Bryant said he is “very close to recording the first record.”
Bryant hails from Orange Grove, Texas, and is a former member of the Orange Grove FFA Chapter and the Area X Association. Bryant competed in the FFA Talent Competition as a sophomore in high school and won second in state at the convention held in Dallas in 2009.
Bryant describes his style of music as a variation of mainstream Nashville country with mixed influences. These range from a diverse group of musicians, from Jerry Lee Lewis to Hank Williams, Jr. and Ray Charles. “I’ve always tried to keep the best of both worlds with the music that I listen to,” Bryant said.
Bryant says that, while performing for the Texas FFA was a dream come true for him, it took faith and perseverance to get to this point in his life.
“It’s been a journey, and it’s really all about having dreams and high hopes and never giving up on those. It’s also about finding out who you are as a person from day one, sticking to who you are and being happy with who you are,” Bryant explained.
Bryant describes the FFA as one of the major benefactors in helping him achieve his dream of becoming a recording musician and still supporting him to this day.
Bryant said he enjoys returning to the Texas FFA and is happy to be the opening act once again at the 85th annual Texas FFA State Convention. “It’s a great atmosphere, and it’s a great feeling to be back,” Bryant said.