Steven Curtis Chapman Signs With New Management Company From Greg Ham – Billboard
Written by GRB on 13/01/2023
Veteran manager/label executive Greg Ham has launched artist development company one:eight entertainment, with Christian music icon Steven Curtis Chapman as his first signing.
Ham was previously a partner in the MWS Group, and the clients he shepherded there — Michael W. Smith, reigning Gospel Music Association artist of the year CeCe Winans, Gotee Records newcomer Joseph O’Brien and Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton — will move to one:eight entertainment. Producer Robert Deaton, who was previously managed by Ham outside the MWS Group, will also be under the one:eight umbrella, as will worship leader Charity Gayle.
The idea for the new company began percolating when MWS partner Chaz Corzine exited early last year to become the founding executive director of the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Nashville’s Belmont University. Corzine co-founded the MWS Group in 2009 and had served as Smith’s manager for 38 years.
“Chaz left a year ago now and it was Michael and me,” says Ham, a veteran executive whose extensive resume includes serving as former president/CEO of ForeFront Records. “As we were going through the year, we were saying, ‘I think there’s an opportunity to grow this thing more, but we’ve got to retool it a little bit.’”
The result is one:eight entertainment and the new business association with Chapman. “I’ve been a friend and a huge fan of Greg Ham for many years,” says Chapman, whose current single, “Don’t Lose Heart,” is currently No. 9 on Billboard’s Christian Airplay chart. “There’s nobody smarter or more full of integrity and I’m very blessed and honored to be a part of this exciting new season for Greg and the awesome team at one:eight entertainment.”
Chapman was previously managed by the Stable Collective, a company he launched in 2017 with artist manager Mark Mattingly. Mattingly joined radio station K-LOVE and Air1 Media Networks last October as executive director of live events and sponsorships.
Ham says the name one:eight entertainment was inspired by the Jan. 8 birthday he shares with Elvis Presley and David Bowie and also his favorite scriptures. “Three of my favorite verses that are foundational to me are 1:8 verses,” he shares. “That’s Daniel 1:8, which is ‘Daniel purposed in his heart’ and it’s a cool story. I consider that foundation[al]. And then Joshua 1:8, which is ‘Be strong and courageous,’ and Acts 1:8, which is ‘You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you’ — so to me power from above to bring hope to the world. We are an artist/creative development company with global perspective and those three verses are at the very core.”
Though Chapman and Smith are two of the Christian industry’s all-time most successful male artists, Ham doesn’t see representing both as a conflict. “Maybe 20 years ago yes, but today it makes sense because to me it’s more complementary than competitive,” he says. “Steven and Michael being under the same umbrella says something very special to me to the younger generation that this is something to aspire to where two competitors can be served under one entity and the unifying nature that it shows.”