Lee Alumnus Nathan Chapman Stands Out In The Country Music Business

Wednesday, December 09, 2009 - by Beth Harbin, Lee University
Nathan Chapman and Taylor Swift. Click to enlarge.
Nathan Chapman and Taylor Swift. Click to enlarge.

Lee University alumnus and music producer Nathan Chapman and country music's Taylor Swift won "Album of the Year" at the 2009 Country Music Awards for Ms. Swift's album Fearless.

Mr. Chapman said, "I felt pretty good. It was nice to get an award like that. The music business is so hard and so tricky...this level of success would blow anyone away."
He is nominated as co-producer with Taylor Swift for Record of the Year and Album of the Year in the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards.

His work with Taylor Swift began in 2006 when he met Liz Rose, who co-wrote seven of the 11 songs on Swift’s debut album. Through Ms. Rose, he met Ms. Swift, who asked her record label if Mr. Chapman could produce the album because she liked the work they did together.

Because his parents were Christian singers, Mr. Chapman was no stranger to the music industry, and his producing credits go back to 2004. Though Mr. Chapman had never made an album before, for Ms. Swift, working with him on her debut album was the only option.

She told CMT in 2006, "...I got to record with a bunch of really awesome producers in Nashville, but none of them sounded the way it did with Nathan...the right chemistry hit."
In the end, Mr. Chapman produced all but one of the songs, including Ms. Swift's hit singles "Tim McGraw," "Teardrops on My Guitar," and "Our Song," which was a No. 1 single.

Mr. Chapman graduated from Lee in 2001 with a degree in English. He also met his wife Stephanie, a songwriter and country music artist, in France while on his cross-cultural trip. He feels that the common thread between his degree and current career is that both are involved in the creative arts. Although he wanted to be an English professor when he came to Lee, he still finds his degree useful. "I definitely use some of the things I learned as an English major in song writing," he said.

Along with the recent win at the Country Music Awards, Ms. Swift's album Fearless won Album of the Year from this year's Academy of Country Music Awards. Mr. Chapman was ranked number 5 on the 2008 Billboard Country Producers year end chart and number 6 on the 2008 Billboard Hot 100 Producers year end chart.

Since 2004, Mr. Chapman produced several other projects including Stephanie Chapman, Point of Grace, Anna Nalick, The Invite, Jesse Lee, written for Martina McBride, produced a single for Sara Evans, produced a single for the new country group The Band Perry, a single for Jewel and much more.

Along with producing and writing songs, Mr. Chapman has written and published a devotional, With God on the Hiking Trail, though for now he will be sticking with the music business. For him, a life without music is not an option. "Music has been such an important part of my life that I couldn't get away from it," he says.


TEDxUTChattanooga Announces Slate Of Speakers For Oct. 25

The organizers of the first TEDxUTChattanooga have announced the slate of speakers for this year’s event. TEDxUTChattanooga will be held Saturday, Oct. 25, at the Dorothy Hackett Ward Theatre at UTC. Earlier this year, TEDxUTChattanooga invited nominations for speakers to offer short talks by a select, diverse group of professors, students, and community members, all of whom ... (click for more)

Public Education Foundation Hosts Free College Knowledge Lunch Break Wednesday

High school parents & educators from all over the Tennessee Valley are invited to attend the Public Education Foundation's FREE College Knowledge Lunch Breaks.  Other adults who work with or advise students on the road to post-secondary success are invited as well.   These monthly lunch time workshops will focus on college related topics such as essay writing, ... (click for more)

Erlanger Finishes Fiscal Year With $18 Million Profit

After a major loss the year before, Erlanger Health System finished the fiscal year with an $18 million profit, officials announced Monday night. It was well ahead of the $2 million gain that Erlanger had budgeted for, and far better than last year's $8 million loss. The profit was boosted by a first-time $19,587,000 from a Public Hospital Supplemental payment and essential ... (click for more)

Chancellor Rules That IDB Must Reimburse Attorney Fees, Other Legal Costs For Helen Burns Sharp On TIF Lawsuit

Chancellor Pam Fleenor has ruled that Helen Burns Sharp, who sued over the validity of a $9 million Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for a planned major development on Aetna Mountain, should be reimbursed her discretionary costs as well as her attorney fees. Ms. Sharp said in a recent court filing that her legal bills to attorney John Konvalinka were $74,427 at the time. The ... (click for more)

ChattaData Is A Real Advance For The City

This past Tuesday, the city of Chattanooga's new performance management tool called ChattaData was unveiled. As the chairman of the City Council’s Budget & Finance Committee, I am excited to witness the city putting this important information online in a way that is accessible and transparent to all taxpayers. This approach shines light on how we as a city prioritize our ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: It’s ‘Hate The SEC’ Day

The boo birds came out on the fly on the ESPN website Sunday afternoon, this moments after the latest AP College Football “Top 25” included eight teams from the Southeastern Conference.   What set naysayers aglow was Mississippi State, after upsetting LSU 34-29 Saturday night, debuted on the list at No. 14 while Clemson, playing Florida State in an overtime thriller, got tossed ... (click for more)