Lipscomb Alumnus Patrick Carpenter has been writing his way to the top of the music charts since his graduation in 2016. Carpenter released his first E.P. titled Coming Back Stronger in July and watched it climb the singer/songwriter iTunes charts to number 13.
Carpenter graduated with a degree in journalism from Lipscomb, so, his path to music was not a typical one. He began college at Mississippi State as a marketing major but decided his sophomore year he wanted to transfer schools and move to Nashville for more opportunities in the music industry.
"I definitely feel that God led me to Lipscomb,” said Carpenter. “I knew I wanted to be in Nashville, I felt led to come here. I had applied to a few different programs and I was crushed I didn't get in, but I came to the place that accepted me first. Now I see how all of that was a God thing. I made friends who are now on ‘my team’ that help me with gigs, photos, music and more. They are some of the most fantastic and supportive people I could have in my life. God definitely had his hand in bringing me to Lipscomb and I couldn't be more thankful for my time here."
As a transfer, Carpenter did not take Lipscomb’s familial atmosphere was something he did not take for granted because of his experience at a state university. He experienced professors who pushed him to reach his full potential, and he attributes part of his musical success to those professors.
Learning how to be a better writer and how to be a professional are two important aspects of songwriting that Carpenter said the Lipscomb journalism department instilled in him during his time here.
In addition, he found opportunities for musical and professional growth outside the classroom as well. Carpenter was heavily involved with Lipscomb radio, and he used that position to his advantage.
“I was given a platform and they told me to make it mine,” said Carpenter. “I was able to go into Lipscomb’s recording studio and record my own music for radio broadcast. My music was showcased in commercials and show transitions.”
Although he is staying busy writing songs and performing at events and on shows like Channel 4’s “Today in Nashville,” Carpenter finds time to pursue his other passions as well. Coaching football, at Franklin High School and pursuing a master’s degree in education at Lipscomb to become a licensed journalism teacher, and hopefully, a football coach as well. This degree will allow him to marry all of his passions into one.
Carpenter said he has always had a strong love and passion for football, which wasn’t always how he felt about music and the guitar.
“When I was 11-years-old, I had the urge to try something new,” said Carpenter. “My dad always had a guitar, I decided I wanted one as well. My parents bought me one and I hated it.”
He had no inspiration to learn how to play, he said, until he saw Richie Sambora play on a Country Music Television “Crossroads” episode featuring Bon Jovi and Sugarland. Sambora played as the lead guitarist in Bon Jovi and Carpenter loved that Sambora “poured so much soul into his performance.”
Once he found his inspiration, learning to play the guitar and write music came naturally to him. Carpenter began playing in church, and still plays at Otter Creek Church of Christ with two other musicians that now play in his band, Chance Britton, drummer, and Michael Spears, bass player.
The musicians that play with Carpenter have acted as big influencers in his growth as a musician, said Carpenter, but they have not been the only influencers shaping him into the musician he is now. Carpenter’s inspiration comes from a myriad of artists – Richie Sambora, Keith Urban, Vince Gill, Van Halen, Eric Clapton, Dave Barnes, Ben Rector and the most significant influence in Carpenter’s musical career, Brad Paisley.
“I would love to be Brad Paisley without the hat,” said Carpenter. “My dream is to write and play music that impacts people and acts as a soundtrack to their lives.”
Carpenter’s dream of becoming the soundtrack to his fans lives is becoming a reality as he continues to write songs that relay the stories of his friends and to perform those songs to more audiences.
Carpenter’s next performance will be at a benefit concert in Fort Lauderdale, Florida this December.
For more information on Carpenter, his music and upcoming shows, click here.
To listen to his iTunes singer/songwriter hit Coming Back Stronger, click here.