Notre Dame senior takes faith into recording studio
By Thomas Wiedmann | CorrespondentWhether he’s in the recording studio, on the soccer field or in the classroom, Notre Dame High School senior Chad Nelson consistently practices his faith and strives to make it transcend into his many pursuits.
“I talk to God almost on a daily basis, and I look to him for strength and courage in everything that I do. He’s brought me a long way,” said Nelson, 17, a member of St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton. “Growing up in Catholic school and just being in that setting with prayers every morning, every afternoon and weekly Masses – it’s helped me grow in that environment. I look to God for help in my activities like music, sports and my daily life.”
Nelson and his mother, Mechelle Delli, are frequent church-goers. Their time together at Sunday Mass along with Nelson’s elementary Catholic education in St. Gregory the Great Academy, Hamilton Square, has built the foundation of his personal relationship with God. As Nelson began solidifying his faith, he’d soon recognize his passion for music in eighth grade, when he began writing parodies of songs, what he described as “a joke for my friends.” What started out as a fun activity soon became an undiscovered talent.
“I had a natural ability to flow with my lyrics and wordplay with metaphors and stuff like that. It just came to me,” said Nelson. “After eighth grade … I wanted to get serious with it.”
Although Nelson admits there were doubts when he first announced his ambitions of becoming a serious musician, a five-track mix tape he put together called “Written Scriptures 1.0” on his SoundCloud music-sharing account received positive feedback from his friends and family. He has since released two full-length albums “Written Scriptures 2.0” and “Evolution.”
Nelson’s music came to the attention of the Diocese, too, after he was one of a few teens featured in a video promoting the diocesan Year of Youth, which was decreed by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M.
Nelson has written a rap song about young people, their talents and unity celebrating the Year of Youth, and a video is being produced by the diocesan Department of Multimedia Production. The song and video will be available in the coming weeks on the diocesan YouTube channel and other social media outlets.
“A lot of people ask me, ‘How are you still running?’ ‘How do you still find the inspiration to write so many songs?’” he said. “It’s crazy to think how many songs I’ve written by now that just come to me, but God is a big part of why I’m able to continue, to be able to write and find that inspiration in my music, and to keep my content clean. It’s intriguing for a lot of my listeners. [God’s] just always been present in my music, and hopefully he’ll continue to be.”
Nelson’s faith follows when he swaps the recording studio for the soccer field, too. Although Nelson played several sports growing up such as basketball and football, he found his true passion in soccer. He plays as a defenseman on the Notre Dame High School varsity team.
“For the longest time, I’ve always been a clutch player. I always seem to show up in the biggest moments, and I attribute that to God,” Nelson said. “Other than that, I’ve been pretty healthy throughout my entire athletic career, and God has blessed me with that ability to stay healthy whether I’m on the court or on the field. He’s just been present with me wherever I go.”
Nelson plans to pursue athletics part time through intramural programs when he goes to college in order to focus on his education, he said. He also already has his sights set on becoming involved spiritually at the school of his choice.
“The one thing I’m definitely going to get involved in, regardless of what school I go to, is campus ministry,” he said. “I want to get involved in whatever Catholic communities are there and continue to grow my relationship with God.”