MTSU making impact at 61st annual Grammy Awards


Photo courtesy of MTSU News

Story by Rayyan Ahmed / Contributing Writer

MTSU will be making noise again at the upcoming 61st annual Grammy Awards, this time with seven university-connected people contributing to rap, Americana, country and gospel projects. This group includes a recent graduate who was still a student when nominated as a part of the distinguished list.

The graduate in question is none other than Brytavious “Tay Keith” Chambers, an integrated studies major who recently received his bachelor’s degree on Dec. 15. While still in school, he produced Travis Scott’s No. 1 track, “SICKO MODE,” with Drake, Big Hawk and Swae Lee.

In his senior year alone, Chambers also produced plenty of hot tracks for both renowned artists and newcomers, including BlocBoy JB’s triple-platinum “Look Alive,” Drake’s “Nonstop,” which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard charts, Lil Wayne’s “Hasta La Vista” and Eminem’s “Not Alike.

“SICKO MODE” was nominated for the Grammy’s earlier this month for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance. “Astroworld” was nominated for No.1 Album. Only artists and songwriters get recognition when it comes to Grammy nominations, but when it comes to “SICKO MODE,” Chambers said in an MTSU press release, “Who put this together? I’m the glue.”

MTSU has six more alumni that have gone on to produce Grammy-nominated tracks and albums. Michael Anderson, known professionally as Anderson East, was nominated in the “Best American Roots Performance” category for his song “All on My Mind.”

Repeat Grammy-winning songwriter/producer and 2003 music business alumnus Torrance “Street Symphony” Esmond was recognized this year for producing “Hussle & Motivate,” a song on Nipsey Hussle’s “Victory Lap” CD, which was nominated for Best Rap Album.
Jason Hall’s engineering and mixing on the Brothers Osborne’s “Port Saint Joe” album helped it earn a Best Country Album nomination. He’s a repeat nominee and 2003 alumnus.

Luke Laird was named in the Best Country Song list for co-writing Kacey Musgraves’ “Space Cowboy” and “Butterflies,” which earned Musgraves a Best Country Solo Performance nomination. He’s a multi-nominated songwriter/producer and 2001 recording industry graduate.

James “Jimmy” Mansfield is repeat nominee and a 2014 audio production alumnus who worked as assistant engineer on Ashley McBryde’s Best Country Album-nominated “Girl Going Nowhere” and The Brothers Osborne “Port Saint Joe” project.

Wayne Haun was nominated for the Best Roots Gospel album category for producing “Clear Skies” by Ernie Haase & Signature Sound. He’s a multiple award nominee and 2000 School of Music alumnus.

It’s clear that this season, MTSU can be proud of its multi-talented students and alumni.

“I learned so much academically and personally while being here at MTSU,” Chambers said shortly before he received his bachelor’s degree from the University College, according to an MTSU press release. “I enjoyed my four years here, and I appreciate all of the support I received from the community while in school.”

MTSU President Sidney McPhee and College of Media and Entertainment Dean Ken Paulson are finalizing plans for MTSU’s sixth year of traveling to the music industry’s biggest ceremony to congratulate nominees and recognize MTSU’s Grammy ties.
You can watch the 61st annual Grammy Awards Sunday night, Feb. 10, live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles beginning at 7 p.m. Central on CBS.

For a full listing of this year’s nominees, click here.

To contact News Editor Angele Latham, email newseditor@mtsusidelines.com.

For more news, follow us at www.mtsusidelines.com, or on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @Sidelines_News

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