No woman on earth can sing as low as Joy Chapman.
The Surrey-based singer is now a world-record holder after hitting a very deep 33.57-hertz C1 note.
“It’s all official, it’s on the Guinness website now,” Chapman said of her “Lowest vocal note by a female” world record, achieved Feb. 21 and recorded for a video posted to her Youtube channel.
“It’s not even my lowest note, so I’m going to do another attempt to smash the record,” she promised.
In the minute-long video, Chapman introduces herself as a 52-year-old Surrey resident who works as a singer, songwriter and tribute artist. As a “retro-modern country” musician, she has a 15-song album coming out called Footprint in My Songs.
Her world record is one way for Chapman to get noticed in the music world.
“About a year ago, I was just doing scales and vocal training, and through the years I noticed different vocal coaches kind of freaking out as I’m going down the vocal scale, that it was creeping them out,” Chapman recalled with a laugh.
Her niece did some research and discovered that the female record for low-note singing was well above how low Chapman was able to go. “That kind of started this,” said Chapman, who lives in the Clayton area, on the Surrey-Langley border.
Turns out, the record attempt was a long, nerve-wracking ordeal over the past year.
“Everything had gone wrong with all the tries before this one,” Chapman said. “It was ridiculous, the number of things that went wrong.”
First, there were problems with a low-end limiter on the mic. Days later, Joy’s mother slipped into a coma and died, resulting in a sad delay. Later, studio noise aborted another session, and yet more camera issues caused problems.
Understandably, Chapman said she was nervous in the moments before she finally hit the record low note in February. “So uptight with everything,” she said her vocals tightened up, so she wasn’t able to go as low as she typically can.
“What I can sing is at the end of the sonogram, apparently,” Chapman explained. “I’m being lined up with a specialist to scope my vocals to see what’s actually happening, for science, that allows me to go that low. It’s hypothesized that because I have a condition called hyper-mobility syndrome in my body, that I’m able to lower my larynx than most humans. We’d like to get some universities involved because we need more forensic equipment.
“The sonograms and mics have trouble picking up the notes,” Chapman added, “because when you’re going as low as I am it becomes difficult to hear the notes. It’s almost not notes, it’s vibrations at that point.”