Rock Candy

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 14: Chris Daughtry performs at The Drop: Daughtry at The GRAMMY Museum on September 14, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.

The How I Wrote That Song limited series gives music fans a front-row seat for conversations with songwriters behind some of the biggest hits of yesterday and today. You’ll learn the stories behind the songs from the people who wrote them. How I Wrote That Song is produced in partnership with Beasley Media Group, XPERI (HD Radio), and BMI.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This interview with Chris Daughtry was conducted in October of 2021, and was scheduled to run in November. However, opted not to post it at the time, due to the tragic passing of Chris’s daughter, Deanna.

Chris Daughtry has found himself in a somewhat unusual position in the music industry: most former American Idol contestants live in the more conventional worlds of country, pop or R&B. Daughtry, of course, has been enjoying support from rock radio for over 15 years now. He admits that pre-Idol, the music he wrote was a bit less commercial.

“Home” was one of his first hits: it reached #5 on the singles charts. He noted that it came pretty quickly and that it marked a turning point. “Up to that point, before going on American Idol, I was always in heavier bands. Those bands didn’t really write songs that sounded like radio hits. The songs that I wrote for those bands were always heavier leaning and more inspired by the heavier stuff I was listening to at the time. And it wasn’t until probably right before going on American Idol that I kind of started tapping into more radio-friendly melodies.”

“I think ‘Home’ was kind of my attempt to write like a pop radio song. I knew I was about to go on American Idol. I had already made the cut. But I couldn’t really tell anybody. So I was at home with my guitar, and I was kind of just kind of in that mindset of what is [my career] going to be like after American Idol? So I picked up the guitar and strummed it? And it was one of those songs that wrote itself. A lot of times melodies come to me way before a lyric. I reached out and grabbed it from the ether. It was like this gift landed in my lap. The lyrics literally came out in the chorus, you know, give or take a few words. You know, I won’t be cliche and say, I wrote that song in 15 minutes, but I think I wrote that song in 15 minutes!”

Check out the interview below and catch Daughtry on tour in February and March. Get the dates here.