B-Yourself: Whitney Mitchell and Jim Lowe


New Songwriting Talent

Whitney Mitchell and Jim Lowe

New Song writing Talents: Whitney Mitchell and Jim Lowe

Grand Prize Winners for the John Lennon International Songwriting Competition

Hometowns: Whitney: Trussville   Jim: Irondale

Profession: Jim: I work in the Pastoral Care department of the Guiding Light Church, attending to the needs of our congregation.  I also work in the music ministry here. Whitney: I am a student at the University of Montevallo. I am studying biology.

My Passion: Jim: I really want to help share the Gospel of Christ to the best of my ability, and also to help others. Whitney: I love to sing and encourage people. I also love to learn.

Greatest Achievements: Whitney & Jim: So far, winning the Grand Prize for the John Lennon International Song writing Competition.

What inspired you both to become songwriters? Jim: I actually come from a family of musicians/songwriters.  I have always loved listening to and playing music, and started maybe 10 years ago when I had a friend who asked me to start putting music to their lyrics. Whitney: Almost three years ago, I was asked to write a song that would be used in a play at our church. After that, I started to write songs instead of poetry to express myself. I’ve been writing ever since.

Talents: Jim: I actually play three instruments,  trumpet, piano and drums.

Whitney: I can sing, but I also play trumpet and a little bass.

What specific song writing genre do you fit into?

Whitney: My lyrics are gospel, but the music can take many different forms.

Jim: I listened to a ton of R&B and soul and gospel music growing up, so I think the majority of the things I do lend myself towards those areas, although I’ve branched out and done a few different genres.

What was the process of becoming this year’s winner of the John Lennon contest?

Jim: Interesting but long story.  Essentially we were writing for a workshop put on by gospel recording artist Babbie Mason.  Our church, the Guiding Light Church, asked her to come and hold a workshop based on all the talent we had at our ministry.  She gave us insights to writing and asked us to write songs that the group could talk about and critique to make memorable.  We all have ups and downs in our lives, and at the time, I was in a low point.  I had written the music and given it to Whitney, and asked her to write some lyrics for it.  Turns out she was in a low point herself.  Long story short, we turned the song in and basically received a perfect 10.  We found out about the contest last year and decided to enter our song.  Not only did it win the Alabama statewide contest, it won the International contest as well.

Has winning this honor encouraged you to both write/compose more music?

Jim: It sure has!  From winning both of those contests, Whitney and I have won around $10,000 of studio equipment.  As a result of how well the song did, I’m working with Whitney on a full album, which is currently slated for a June release. We are still in competition to win the $20,000 song of the year award in the contest.

How Birmingham can support Mitchell and Lowe in the song of the year contest: Go to the John Lennon Song writing Competitions website at www.jlsc.com and vote for their song, “My Heart Cries Out For You,” in the gospel/inspirational category.  Your votes on the site could help them  become one of 12 finalists and win the song of the year award. And you can vote as many times as you want.

Interview and photo by Angela Karen

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