APPLE VALLEY, Calif. (KABC) -- Chayce Beckham is giving Apple Valley reason to be proud as he competes in the Top 12 on "American Idol" this week.
He's helped put the desert town on the map since day one. ABC7 caught up with the 24-year-old to hear about his music and life before "Idol," when he worked as a heavy machine operator with United Rentals.
"It's hard work, man! It gets hot. In Southern California, it gets hot out here and you're working on a blacktop and it's 115 and you're in pants and boots and stuff," he laughed.
Music has been an obsession of his since he was just 3 years old, when he started playing the guitar -- although he admits it took years of practice to get good.
"I would sit in my room and try to learn how to play these songs whenever I was like 8 or 9 years old, and my sisters would be like, "Shut up! Shut the door, stop singing," because it wasn't good you know, I was learning," he said.
Now, even the "American Idol" judges want more -- not just his music, but more of him.
"I think America really sees this authenticity and I just think you're never gonna go back to hauling whatever you were hauling! Your life has begun and congratulations for it," said Katy Perry on a recent episode.
Chayce says the show has allowed him to open up about struggles with alcohol and getting lost in himself in recent years.
"I've used this experience to better my life as a person and as my mental health, just by not running away from my problems and my issues I guess," said Beckham.
He's hoping America sees that he's been there and knows how you feel.
"I was in a bad way for a while, but thankfully with the right people around me, the right team of guidance and a lot of prayers, I was able to get myself back where I needed to be."