Canadian singer-songwriter Jessica Mitchell brilliantly challenges many of the norms and conventions we associate with the country music genre. Mitchell caught the attention of multiple news outlets, including The Toronto Star and Global News, when a video she posted to Facebook of her hearing her new single "Workin' On Whiskey" on the radio for the first time went viral.
"Workin' on Whiskey" was the top added Canadian Country song to radio for the week of July 17. 2016 has been a ground-breaking year for the rising star, which saw Mitchell open for Kiefer Sutherland and Royal Wood on their Canadian tours, perform at a number of major music festivals, snag a coveted Guild sponsorship, all while having a first-time chart climbing hit single. Nominated for a CCMA Award for Roots Artist of the Year, September brought the London, Ontario native back to her hometown for Country Music Week and the CCMA Award show. 2017 will find Mitchell on tour with country music legend, Terri Clark.
Mitchell is, at heart, a storyteller – an open book. Now based in Toronto, she is actively working on new material, expected in 2017, and has spent the last decade focusing on writing new music and crafting her richly unique sound. Since signing a publishing deal with Slaight Music Publishing, Mitchell has embarked on several writing trips to Nashville. Inspired by the raw honesty and storytelling nature of the country music genre, Jessica felt a shift in the direction in her own music. "Country singers emote in a powerful way," explains Mitchell. "There's truth in the traditions of the genre, which I find inspiring."
Mitchell has spent the last few years travelling between Toronto and Nashville collaborating with top-notch songwriters including Stephen Kozmeniuk (Jennifer Hudson, Kendrick Lamar), Todd Clark (Phillip Phillips, Tim Hicks), Luke Sheets (Ryan Kinder), and has developed a wonderful writing partnership in David "Dwave" Thomson (Lady Antebellum, Autumn Hill) and Patricia Conroy of Canadian country music fame.
Mitchell believes that pain and loss are oftentimes at the heart of every relatable piece of music. As she puts it, "You'll never see the light until it's completely dark, and it got DARK for a while." After losing her mother to a long battle with cancer, Mitchell had her own epiphany about what kind of artist she wanted to become. Her hope is that by sharing grief, and other personal experiences through her music, she will forge genuine bonds with her audience. "I want to connect with people," she says, "by creating something that sounds real to someone. I want my music to change someone's life or help a person through a difficult time."
Mitchell's EP "Hold Onto The Light" was released April 1, 2016. The EP's first single, "Grown Up Things," produced by Grammy-nominated producer Dave Brainard (Brandy Clark, Jerrod Niemann) and co-written with Luke Sheets (Plumb), is a soul-searching song about loss and change, of not wanting to deal with the curve balls that life throws at us. It showcases her powerful and pure voice and her considerable songwriting skills.
When listening to Mitchell's music, she makes it very easy for you to latch on to her inviting melodies and the genuine, soulful nature of her words. The rich tone and hopefulness in her voice grabs you and pulls you in – and once the song is over, you can't help but feel as though you have personally connected with her on a deeper level.