The saddle bronc rider turned musician talks about his latest single, “The World Needs More Cowboys.”
From the saddle to the stage, Chancey Williams has been developing a rapidly growing fan base. Following in the footsteps of another legendary cowboy singer-songwriter, Chris LeDoux, Williams has both performed and competed at rodeos around the country.
Recently, we talked with Williams about his latest single, “The World Needs More Cowboys.”
Cowboys & Indians: What’s the story behind the song “The World Needs More Cowboys”?
Chancey Williams: Well, we all went to the University of Wyoming and they came out with a new ad campaign this year called “The World Needs More Cowboys.” We thought it was such a good slogan for cowboys and the University of Wyoming. I just thought it needed an anthem to it, a song, [and] like we needed to write that song. The slogan, when it came out, got a little bit of controversy because I think there was a couple professors at the university that didn’t love it, just because it said cowboys and didn’t bring up anything about cowgirls. That’s not really what it meant, so we just thought that with all the attention that the slogan was getting, we would write a song for it.
C&I: In the song’s music video, you have different shots of rodeos. What was that filming process like?
Williams: We had a lot of footage of us playing different rodeos and us going up and down the road, but we kind of put that thing all together. I really like the video. I wish I had time to do more cowboy shots out at the ranch, and that type of stuff, but we went the direction of the live-concert feel for this video and just the traveling aspect of it.
C&I: Who shot and directed the video?
Williams: Sometimes we brought a film person out on the road just to shoot a bunch of B roll and all types of different things we could possibly use later down the road. Our friend Brian came out and shot a lot of that stuff, but then HomeSlice Group, our office, that team is the one that put it all together. So it’s kind of a combination of people.
C&I: I know you’re a saddle-bronc rider turned singer-songwriter, and you debuted your single at National Finals Rodeo. What was the crowd response to that?
Williams: The crowd really liked that song, which we were happy about. Playing at the NFR is great. It’s like the coolest thing, ever, for an ex rodeo cowboy — you get to be right down in the dirt. So it was really neat debuting that song there because it’s in front of 18,000 people, and they pipe that feed around Vegas. So all over town gets to see it.
C&I: Out of all the footage in your music video, which one of those rodeos resonates with you the most?
Williams: I would definitely say Cheyenne Frontier Days. That rodeo and that place just have a special place in my heart. It’s the biggest stage and rodeo in Wyoming.
C&I: And you’re also the only artist, besides Chris LeDoux, to both perform and compete in Cheyenne Frontier Days. What’s it like getting to be in the arena riding saddle bronc and then hitting the stage with your band?
Williams: It’s really neat. Growing up rodeoing, I always assumed or figured I would ride at Cheyenne, just because it’s a great rodeo in Wyoming, so I never doubted myself that I’d be able to ride there. But I never dreamed I’d ever play there on the main stage. People ask me that all the time: “What’s more of a rush?” Like, “Was it better walking out on stage, or was it more of a rush riding?” It’s kind of the same, you know. I love riding bucking horses and especially riding at Cheyenne, and it was also one of the coolest moments of my life stepping out on the main stage opening for Merle Haggard. It was just really neat.
C&I: What other rodeos were you performing at for the video?
Williams: We shot some footage in San Luis Obispo, at Cal Poly, for their rodeo. We actually just got done playing that one again this year. It’s always got a really good crowd and they’re really wild and into it, so we shot a lot of that footage there in San Luis Obispo.
C&I: What can we expect next?
Williams: We’re working on our new album. We’ve got it halfway done; we’re just kind of working on the back half of it. We’ve actually got a new single coming out here in a few weeks that we’re really excited about. It’s another rodeo type song, called “Wyoming Wind.” We’ve got the music video done for it and they’re getting all the stuff together to release that.
C&I: What’s something that people might not know about you?
Chancey: Let’s see, something you may not know about me. … You could put that I have a master’s degree. Don’t suppose anybody knows that. Yeah, master’s degree in public administration.
For more information on Chancey Williams, visit his website