Zane Williams ('99) | Country Music Artist
Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics, 1999
Featured on TV series Troubadour, TX
Zane Williams is a rising star in the country music industry. He's a busy man these days, booking concerts all across Texas and having his music featured on a TV program in the fall. Zane has already had many defining moments in his career, but one such moment came in the most unusual of places - the basement of ACU's McGlothlin Campus Center.
In 2001, Chelsea Drimmel ('04), a recent transfer student to ACU, and some of her friends attended a concert in the Campus Center. While at the concert, she heard Zane sing and was immediately impressed. But Chelsea was not just any ordinary music-loving college student.
Zane Williams hangs out with another ACU alum, his friend country music star Aaron Watson, in this humorous YouTube video.
Chelsea's father, Mike Blanton ('73), was the owner of Nashville-based Blanton/Harrell, an artist management company. Chelsea sent her dad a sample of Zane's music, and like his daughter, he was impressed. Today, Chelsea serves as Zane's manager through her dad's company.
"Being from Nashville, I've got a high standard of entertainment and talent, and I had never taken anything to my dad before," Chelsea says. "But after hearing Zane play, I knew this was an incredible talent. There are few times I listen to a song and the lyrics are what hit me immediately. I'm driven more by the melody and the beat, but both of those songs connected deep within me and to this day I still remember the feeling I had during both of those songs."
From math to music
During his years at ACU, Zane actually studied mathematics, but that doesn't mean he wasn't preparing for a music career. He served as a host for ACU's Sing Song and sold more than 2,500 of his CDs out of his backpack. Zane learned a lot at ACU, but he believes his growth as a person was the most important thing he gained.
My time at ACU, as well as the friendships I made there, helped to solidify the good morals and character that my parents had tried to instill in me. We were 'good kids' but we sure had a lot of fun. It also definitely encouraged me to have a servant's heart and reach out to folks who are hurting or marginalized by society.
"My time at ACU, as well as the friendships I made there, helped to solidify the good morals and character that my parents had tried to instill in me," Zane says. "We were 'good kids' but we sure had a lot of fun. It also definitely encouraged me to have a servant's heart and reach out to folks who are hurting or marginalized by society."
Like most music stars, Zane has paid his due diligence, performing on college campuses and in coffee shops across the nation. But Zane is back in Texas, and the future is looking bright.
Back in the Lone Star State
"Things are better than ever now that I'm back in Texas, because my music is a much better fit here," he says. "I'm working on my seventh record with a producer named Frank Liddell who produces Miranda Lambert, Kellie Pickler and David Nail. I play in honky tonks, festivals, theaters, colleges and even people's houses."
Zane describes his music as "honest, positive, rockin', rootsy country music," and people are beginning to take notice. Last season, Zane was featured on the TV program Troubadour, TX, a show about aspiring artists in Texas. The show airs in 41 states, and Zane will be featured again during the show's second season this fall.
"I was one of 15 or so artists that they featured in season one. They filmed me at home with my family as well as on the road, told my story, and featured performances of my songs," he says.
Zane has big dreams for the future. He has every intention of fulfilling them.
Five years from now I'd like to be touring Texas and Oklahoma in a tour bus playing my songs for enthusiastic crowds (similar to another ACU alum and friend of mine Aaron Watson ('00)). Forty years from now I'd like to be known as an iconic Texas singer-songwriter, a family man and a generous philanthropist," he says.
Troubadour, TX, is described as a unique TV series following the lives of various singers and songwriters as they chase their dreams across the Lone Star State. A list of places where the show airs can be found on the series website.
- Zane Williams ('99) Country Music Artist
- Louis Palacios Jr. ('09) Actuarial Analyst
- Laura Hollifield ('09) Math Education
- Jason Mahler (’03) Math/Actuarial Science
- Dr. Connie Yarema Professor of Mathematics
- Marc Mace ('10) Mathematics
- Dr. Mark Riggs Professor of Mathematics
- Brandon Pope ('06) Mathematics/Engineering
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