"I knew this had to be the storyline we chose," he says of the reflective clip

By Danielle Anderson
October 31, 2014 02:15 PM

Chase Bryant‘s video for his debut single “Take It On Back” marks an exciting new chapter in the singer’s life – but it’s also a nod to his past.

It’s no coincidence the storyline of his first clip takes place on a train. The idea was inspired by his grandfather, musician Jimmy Bryant, who passed away from cancer when Chase was a kid.

“My grandfather was super into trains,” Bryant, 22, tells PEOPLE. “He was fascinated by them and collected them his entire life. In fact, when he got really sick with cancer, for his last Christmas, my family and I made him this elaborate running train set with all the works.

“There were railroad tracks by my grandfather’s house but trains didn’t run through there very often. On the day my grandfather died – at the very moment it happened, I kid you not – a huge freight train came barreling down that track. It was so strange, but there was something very spiritual about it. So when I first read [director] Wes Edwards’s treatment for [my] video, I knew this had to be the storyline we chose. In some way, I feel like I get to share this video with my grandfather.”

And it’s not just trains that Bryant remembers his grandfather for. “My grandfather was a huge influence on my life,” the singer says. “He really helped shape who I am as a musician and as a person. He was a famous side player from Southern Texas and he played keys with Waylon Jennings, Roy Orbison and Buddy Holly. He always said to me, ‘You’ll never be good at being anybody, but yourself.’ I took that to heart. It’s the main thing I think about when I’m writing songs and recording music. I want my music to reflect who I am as a person in my every day life. I want people to listen to my record and think ‘Hey – I could hang out with this dude.'”

Click above for a behind-the-scenes look at Bryant’s video, premiering on CMT, Nov. 4.

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