Lee Alumnus Nathan Chapman Stands Out In The Country Music Business

Wednesday, December 9, 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.

12th Annual Antique Car Show Hosted By Southern Adventist University Will Be Nov. 1

Southern Adventist University will host their 12th Annual Antique and Classic Car Show on Sunday, Nov. 1, from 11 a.m.1 p.m. located in the Wood/Talge parking lot.  Southern Adventist University hosts an antique car show every year as part of Alumni weekend, where collectors and restorers of the classics come to show off their rides and talk with other car owners. A wide ... (click for more)

CHS Senior Sarah Barnette Is Nominee For U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

Cleveland High School senior Sarah Barnette was named a nominee for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.  Ms. Barnette is one of ten Tennessee students selected out of hundreds of nominations. She will now compete with applicants from across the country. Ms. Barnette serves as President of the CHS Student Government Association, plays in the marching and concert bands ... (click for more)

Planning Commission Votes 6-5 To Reject 7-Story Apartment Building On Cowart Street

After lengthy discussion on Monday before the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission, historical neighborhood advocates won a victory in the Southside area when the commission narrowly rejected a request to allow developers to build a seven-story apartment building on the 1200 block of Cowart Street.   The Belle Investment Co. & BYD Coward, ... (click for more)

Charges Upgraded Against Avery To Murder After Victim of Chair Leg Attack At Moccasin Bend Dies

Charges have been upgraded to murder against Leviticus Avery, 37, after a man he allegedly attacked with a chair leg has died. Avery initially was charged with aggravated assault and attempted first-degree murder in the incident last Thursday at the Moccasin Bend Mental Health facility. Kevin Green, 38, remained in critical condition until he died. He was struck in ... (click for more)

Ole Man River Just Keeps Rollin

Citizens are hearing yet another new chapter in Chattanooga’s 21st Century Riverfront concrete repair saga. It seems it will require more repair, more delays and more tax dollars to do it. When will it end? Construction of the Riverfront concrete structures began in 2003. Before it was finished, designers, engineers, contractors, Public Works officials, Mayor Littlefield and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: It Was Our Tool Shed

Some said the huge beams had been soaking in creosote for two or three years when the men finally stacked them to dry. They were long, about 20 feet each, and thick – maybe eight inches. I remember they were 14 inches wide but the biggest thing I remember was that it was the ugliest lumber I ever saw. They cured the beams for one entire hot summer in the Tool Shed, a huge building ... (click for more)