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Chase Rice Talks Career-Changing Potential of New Single 'Eyes On You'

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Chase Rice co-wrote Florida Georgia Line's breakthrough hit "Cruise," so he knows a thing or two about career-changing songs. His new single "Eyes On You" just might be the tune that elevates him to the next level.

"The day we wrote it, it was like, this is special," Rice says. "[Co-writer] Chris DeStefano texted me, 'BRO CONGRATS MOST ADDED' in all caps. For Chris to get excited about stuff it's a big deal, because (he has) like a No. 1 a week."

The "added" Rice refers to is a reference to radio spins. In fact, the whole point of meeting with Rice at his label headquarters was to discuss the single heading to country radio. But that development almost feels like a footnote, especially when you consider what "Eyes On You" has already accomplished.

The fourth track on Chase Rice's new album Lambs & Lions, "Eyes On You" already has close to 50 million streams on Spotify alone. It's his third-most streamed song of all time, and is on track to become his most-streamed by the end of the year.

And that's all before promoting the track any of the traditional ways.

Rice's first major single "Ready Set Roll" also traveled a non-traditional path to success. It found some love at subscription-based Sirius XM satellite radio, eventually leading to tons of digital downloads. That's when the team eventually went to terrestrial radio and found love.

But that tune is also an utterly forgettable side effect of the bro country phenomenon that hit its peak between 2012 and 2015. "Eyes On You" is the type of song that could become a singalong staple of Rice's live show for decades.

"This is gonna sound simple, but I think people love love, you know?" Rice says. "I've sang about lust for so long, it's like, 'Oh my gosh, this guy can actually sing about love too?' When people hear real, they know."

Listen to the song in the music video below, which Rice filmed with friends in California (and during which he tore his pectoral muscle).

Intentionally Simple, Undeniably Hooky

The cornerstone of the song is its intentionally simple and undeniably hooky chorus. Rice quickly recites the lyrics out loud to make a point, noting how when it's easy to say, it's easy to sing.

There were also moments in creating the song where Rice and co-writers DeStefano and Ashley Gorley (who also has myriad hits) pared the song back. For instance, near the end of the song Rice changes the words to the chorus, singing, "Halfway around the world or the local corner booth," instead of "No matter where we go, no matter what we do."

That line was originally the beginning of the chorus until Rice made the point to simplify it. And when the trio went to record the song, Rice notes the production started getting out of hand.

"I was like, 'Y'all let's stop this,'" Rice says. "Let's get back to what made me fall in love with this thing." That's when he heard Gorley playing a piano lick in the other room that became the introduction and musical bed to the song.

Rice and company feel confident about the song heading to country radio because they already know it's a hit. For mainstream country artists who were born on country radio (which is still the majority of them), getting that radio validation is important. But "Eyes On You" already has the validation of the people that really matter: the fans.

"There's no, 'If this doesn't work,'" Rice points out. "At this point it can't 'fail' -- it's already succeeded."

Chase Rice's "Eyes On You" Lyrics:

We've been to both Carolinas
Seen a big Montana sky
Driven up and down the coast a few times
London, Paris, paradise
But I ain't got much memory of the scenes come to think
I miss them all every damn time
It's all your fault
No matter where we go
No matter what we do
If you're there girl, I've got my eyes on you
Don't matter where we've been
No there ain't no better view
Than you in my arms with my eyes on you
With my eyes on you
Speaking of the coast, remember Pfeiffer beach?
You and me, that sunset, cliffs by the sea
And the night rolled in
And you still talk about that moon that I can't recall
But God I saw
All I needed too
Might as well have stayed in the room
No matter where we go
No matter what we do
If you're there girl, I've got my eyes on you
Don't matter where we've been
No there ain't no better view
Than you in my arms with my eyes on you
With my eyes on you

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Chase Rice Talks Career-Changing Potential of New Single 'Eyes On You'