British Columbia

This B.C. singer just set a new world record for the lowest note sung by a woman

Joy Chapman, a singer-songwriter from Surrey, B.C., broke the Guinness World Record for Lowest Female Vocal Note.

Joy Chapman hit a C1, the lowest C on a piano

Joy Chapman is a Surrey, B.C.,-based singer songwriter who is now in the Guinness Book of World Records. (Guinness World Records)

A Surrey, B.C., singer-songwriter has hit a new low — and made her way into the Guinness Book of World Records. 

Joy Chapman recorded a C1 — which is the lowest C note on a piano — on April 1, and entered the record books for Lowest Female Vocal Note.

"It's a relief because it's just been a long year in trying to get it done and very nerve-wracking," said Chapman to guest host Margaret Gallagher on CBC's On The Coast. 

Chapman said she has always sung in a lower range, even as a child, and could sing the alto, tenor and bass parts of a song. 

"Because I could sing so low, I was the resident male. But I could also sing very high as well," she said. 

When her niece discovered that the Lowest Female Vocal Note holder was a singer singing a D2 (ie., the second-lowest D on a piano), she convinced Chapman to sing for the record. 

"I start my singing scales at C2. So she said, 'you sing much lower, you should try for the record,'" Chapman said. 

That was a year ago, and Chapman says it was a long process trying to complete her record-setting feat. Her mother passed away over the past year, and COVID-19 also shut down studio space. 

There were also technical challenges. In one of her first attempts, the videographer had turned on the low-end limiter on the microphone so it couldn't pick up Chapman's lowest tones. 

But now that she has shattered the record, Chapman says she is glad she was able to leave her mark in the history books.

"I wanted to leave something behind ... because I could do it."

Listen to Joy Chapman hit her low note, and the rest of her interview on CBC's On the Coast:

With files from On The Coast


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