Making it past the auditions for America’s Got Talent is impressive enough, but it doesn’t get much better than receiving the golden buzzer. Singer-songwriter and Tennessee resident Chase Goehring had the honor of earning a golden buzzer from DJ Khaled on season 12 of the show. The golden buzzer sent him straight to the live competition, allowing him to bypass the preliminary rounds. Ultimately, he finished in the top 10. The Hustler sat down with Goehring to recount his time on the show.
VH: How did you first become interested in making music? What were you up to before America’s Got Talent?
CG: Growing up, I wasn’t really interested in music. I just didn’t get it. All my friends were getting into it and I was like, “This doesn’t make sense.” But in middle school, I started taking piano lessons, and that was pretty fun. I joined a band with some friends. We did a couple shows, and I left the band to pursue the ukulele. So I went from this rock and roll band to this little wine instrument. My friend from my band joined me. He was the drummer, and we did this little acoustic duo. Then we split and became solo artists. I taught myself the guitar. I never had any singing lessons so I probably sounded really bad in the beginning. I started singing more, songwriting and putting stuff online.
What went through your head the moment that DJ Khaled hit the golden buzzer?
As the night went on, we were getting down to the last few people. He hadn’t hit his golden buzzer yet. So when I was performing, I was like, “There’s a chance he could hit it. Hmm, maybe it’ll happen.” But was I expecting it? Not at all. When I finished performing, people started chanting, “Hit that buzzer! Hit that buzzer!” He was looking at it, and I was like,
“What is gonna happen?” And then he hit it. The rest is history.
How did you compete with such a wide variety of talent? What were your methods of calming nerves?
A lot of people ask this question. It’s funny to me because I felt like there was less competition being a singer-songwriter, because it was kind of my thing. The only other singer-songwriter was Mandy Harvey, so we were kind of in our own little group. That’s just how I took it mentally. There was a lot of variety, so it just made it where we respected each other for what we were doing. Sometimes, I did get nervous. This is a big audience, millions of people are watching, but you kind of just have to forget about all of that and focus on what you do, and be the best at it.
What is your most memorable moment from the show?
One time, I pretended to be a producer. I got to know one of them really well, and he and I were buds. They always dress in black. I always wear black pants, and I had this hoodie on that looked like the one he was wearing. We took a picture together, and I decided I was a producer for the day. They let me use the walkie talkie and I would be like, “Chase for so-and-so.” Everyone is chill like that. I hate to say it because it sounds so cheesy, but we are family-oriented.
Do you have any advice for aspiring singer/songwriters?
It’s so cliché, but be original. There’s so much music, and it’s all diverse. I feel like the music that stands out the most is the music that comes from the artist who knows who they are, and they don’t want to be like anyone else. They want to be the first version of themselves.
What would you tell someone auditioning for season 13 of AGT?
I know some people are on edge wondering, “Should I do it? Should I not?” Some people don’t really have the confidence to do it, but I would say to just go for it. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, so it’s a no-brainer in that sense. Just go for it, give it a shot and if it doesn’t work out, move on to the next thing.
Audition for America’s Got Talent this Sat. Jan 13. Doors are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Music City Center. Register online at AGTauditions.com.