Born and raised in Western New York, Todd Michael Chapman is a rust-belt-inspired melodic rock singer, songwriter, and musician. Having played the guitar since he was a child, Chapman is known for mixing various genres to form a modern interpretation of melancholic rock and claims inspiration from the likes of great artists such as Tonic, Jude Cole, REO Speedwagon, and Keith Urban.
His newest single “Hold On Tight,” features strong tempo and lyrical attitude changes that bring a certain sonic edge to the table, meeting at the crossroads of classic and modern rock. Complex rhythms capture a range of emotions, starting from a place of desperation and climbing an optimistic mountain toward inspiration.
Having written this song for his children as encouragement for his kids and listeners to persevere through life’s challenges and trials, Chapman was eager to sit down with us for a chat about conquering the impossible, going back in time, holding on to the ones you love, and much more. Read below for the full scoop.
What would you try if you knew you wouldn’t fail?
Todd Michael Chapman: “My mind immediately goes to things that feel impossible, like solving big problems — hunger or climate change. When it comes to more personal endeavors, I’ve always felt the fear is less about failing and more about having the desire to truly put in the effort it takes to succeed.”
What do you love most about yourself?
“I don’t spend much time thinking about this, but if I had to find something I’d say that it’s my positive attitude and how I try to encourage others to think the same. I’m definitely a “glass half-full” person who tries to find the positive aspects of things. I think that’s why I tend to be quite “chill” most of the time. I push down positive paths and try not to worry about things until they need worrying. I’m pretty sure I got it from my dad.”
If you had a time machine, would you rather have one that only goes back in time or only goes forward?
“Definitely back. As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. Just think of all the thing that could be made better if we only knew how they would turn out. In the past you can make the change, in the future you experience the result. Overall, I’d like to think I am more the fix/change it type.”
What is something you’re terrible at but wish you could do well?
“Here’s a loaded question…play piano…write lyrics…LOL. In all honesty though, music and melody ideas come to me fairly quickly, it takes me a long time to write lyrics. I’ll have the music arranged and scratch tracks down, but stalled on lyrics. It’s not that I don’t have a lot to say, it’s just getting it out and in the right way. One of my closest friends was just the opposite. He didn’t write music, but gave me a folder of some really great lyrics. I’ve used a few of them in the past. I might not go as far to say that I’m terrible at it, but I’d certainly like to be better!”
What single event do you think affected you the most?
“There have been several life events that have had affect on me. Getting married and the birth of our children have had significant affect on my life. In 2015 my father passed away, that was significant as he was a big influence on me as a person. Over the last couple of years of his life, I’d pick him up on most Sunday mornings and we’d go out for breakfast. I’m so glad we had that time together. That’s a lesson for sure, spend time with people you love. You’ll never forget it.
“In terms of world events, I’ll never forget how I felt when I saw the World Trade Center towers fall. I was watching live on the news. The loss of life, the shock, and the grief; it was a moment I won’t ever forget and one that made me think about so many things.”
Any near-death experiences?
“Not from an “I see the light” perspective, but I was watching “Almost Famous” the other night and it brought back memories of a flight I was on a long time ago. It was a small prop plane and I was flying from Grand Junction, CO to Phoenix, AZ. The flight was delayed for 2 hours due to winter weather. While enroute over the Rockies we hit the nastiest turbulence I’ve ever experienced (and I’ve been on a lot of flights!). It seemed like we were upside down, backwards, sideways…just tossed around like a toy. There were only 10-12 seats on the plane and I looked at a woman who was sitting next to me and she was in tears. I was clutching the armrests so hard to try and stay put that I was sore for a week!”
Name some of your biggest pet peeves.
“Most people who know me, know that I don’t swear in front of women or children or in public places. Just because you know me, don’t treat my music any different than any other music. Please stay out of the left lane unless your passing…and if you pass me please don’t move into my lane and then drive slower than me. Pick up after your dog while walking.”
If everything is possible, what’s important?
“Peace. Peace between countries, people, politics, family, race. Peace at the grocery store, the shopping mall, and concert venue. Let’s just all get along and care about people.”
Do you have a personal mantra? What is it?
“I’d say “stay positive” followed very closely by “don’t judge”. Combine those two things and you have a powerful combination to help achieve goals and make lasting relationships. I’d once heard someone say “think about what you’d want said about you at your funeral or written in your obituary, then be that person.”
What’s the question you wish people would ask you when they met you for the first time?
“‘Would you like to headline Madison Square Garden?’ That would be awesome, of course.”