Six-time Stellar Award-winner and GRAMMY®
Award-nominated recording artist VaShawn Mitchell soared to the top
of the charts in 2010 with his mega-hit single “Nobody Greater,” from
his top-selling, award-winning album Triumphant. In 2011, Mitchell
received 11 Stellar Award nominations, the most nominations received by an
artist that year. Billboard magazine declared “Nobody Greater” the
#1 Most Played Gospel Song of 2011.
VaShawn was named Billboard’s #1 Gospel Radio Artist of 2011 and
Triumphant was among the Top 5 Gospel Albums of 2011. The single held
the #1 position for nine consecutive weeks on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs
chart and crossed-over to the Urban Contemporary Adult charts. Mitchell
also received two GRAMMY® and two GMA Dove Award nominations for both the
album and single.
acclaimed singer-songwriter is back with a new project, Created 4 This,
which has spent the last 28 weeks on Billboard's charts with the current hit
from it, Turning Around For Me, resting at its highest position of
See VaShawn Mitchell's "Turning Around
For Me" live video
This picks up where Triumphant left off. This project is a body
of music that features Mitchell’s signature style: contemporary themes with
a traditional Gospel vibe. The praise and worship music on the CD is
encouraging, inspiring, and uplifting.
“I wanted to build on ‘Nobody Greater’ and Triumphant to
create a new compilation of music to empower and equip people in this
economy to understand why we are here and what we are created for,” says
Mitchell. “The whole message of the album is that we still have hope, that
we shall overcome and be victorious, and that God will be there to sustain
us in this next phase of our lives.”
Created 4 This
is produced through a partnership between EMI Gospel and Mitchell’s
production company, V-MAN Entertainment. The album was recorded live at the
Thornton High School Auditorium in Mitchell’s home town of Harvey, IL, a
suburb of Chicago. Produced by VaShawn Mitchell, Calvin Rogers, and
Phillip Feaster, it features 11 songs that range from high octane
praise to contemplative worship, and showcases Mitchell’s acclaimed
songwriting—he wrote or co-wrote most of the songs on the album—and
compelling vocal style.
A deluxe edition of
the project, which was released at the same time, contains two bonus songs
on the CD and a DVD that features videos of live performances and
behind-the-scenes footage of Mitchell gearing up for the live recording
session and reflecting on growing up in the Chicago area.
performer with cross-over appeal, Mitchell has performed around the country
and in Switzerland, Germany, Italy, England, as well as many of the
Caribbean Islands. He was featured in gar Mommas, a movie based on the
popular gospel play of the same name, which premiered on the Gospel Music
Channel in January, 2012. The stellar cast was led by Vanessa Williams and
Terri J. Vaughn, and also featured Rachel True, Lamman Rucker, and Tommy
Before taking center
stage as a performer with Triumphant, Mitchell, a worship leader and
celebrated songwriter, penned hits for a number of Gospel’s most well-known
voices, including Smokie Norful, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, and Bishop Paul
Morton. Throughout the years, he has written several top-selling choir
recordings and spawned such memorable hits as “My Worship Is For Real” and
“Trouble Don’t Last.”
He recently started the
Norman Youth and Arts Foundation, named in memory of his grandfather. As
their first projects, they sponsored summer youth camps for the arts in the
Chicago area because arts programs have been eliminated from so many schools
and school districts there. Mitchell was recently honored by his hometown
when they named the street where he grew up “VaShawn Mitchell Street.” It
was an experience that he describes as “humbling and encouraging,” and one
that offered him another opportunity to inspire young people to work hard
and achieve their goals. He believes that he is a role model for young
people, and that it is part of his calling. It’s a role that is both proud
and happy to take on.
VaShawn Mitchell will be in metro Atlanta on February 7 as part of the
United As One Tour at Word of Faith Family Cathedral in Austell.
Appearing at the event will be James Fortune & FIYA, Kierra Kiki
Sheard and Zacardi Cortez.
For more information, call 770-874-8400 or visit their website
The Gospel Guru Talks To
Stellar Award winner and Grammy nominated recording artist VaShawn
Mitchell is back with a brand-new LP, “Created 4 This.” Indeed,
the follow-up to his 2010 LP “Triumphant.” The LP, which is preceded
by the project’s lead single “Turning Around For Me.”
Gospel Guru caught up with Mitchell to discuss his latest album,
collaborating with Fantasia, and much more. Get into the interview
Describe Vashawn Mitchell in three words.
A: Praiser. Songwriter. Worshipper.
What was your inspiration for “Created 4 This”?
A: Man, you know I just believe that I can not duplicate what God
did with “Nobody Greater” but what I can do is do it off of the sound
and that is…you know a lot of people regardless of the denomination,
culture, background, in church, out of church were singing “Nobody
Greater“ because they were going through some pretty tough times and I
believe the song kind of spoke to where people were.
So after recession, when things are coming together this sound, this cd,
these songs are kinda to empower and encourage people to understand who they
are and what they’re created to do. So it’s a cd full of songs that will
empower and encourage through praise, through worship, through slow songs,
through fast songs…every song will encourage a person regardless of where
they are in life that they can do and were created for this from birth.
What is a standout or favorite song for you on the new album?
A: My favorite track is the song “Greatest Man”. Me and
Israel recorded it together… It was really by Steven McCoy out of
Baltimore, Maryland and he let me change a few words to it. When I heard the
songs I told him that this song would definitely be a staple in Praise &
Worship, it is a timely song. It’s one of those songs that when you first
hear it, even if you don’t know it you think you know it. So that would have
to be my favorite, it kinda births different emotions, it feels good. It’s
just about Jesus being the greatest man.
It’s no secret that “Nobody Greater” was one of the biggest songs of
2011, do you feel any pressure with your follow-up to “Triumphant”
and “Nobody Greater”?
Man, of course…I
did feel pressure. Now I think I’m cool because I know that I did what God
said to do. And that’s more important; people try to make me feel pressure.
At first I was nervous and trying to write songs just like “Nobody
Greater” and then I tried to get people to send me songs and they didn’t
sound right. But when I sat down and birthed the concept for “Created 4
This” and the songs came together and the sound was birthed. I’m very
content because I did what God said do, and when you do that I believe God
blows on it…It may not become that “Nobody Greater” song that
everybody wants but it will become the next sound, the next phase, and the
next phase of my music and my ministry.
How did your collaboration with Fantasia come about?
A: I was sitting down and thinking about who I wanted to
collab with…I really wanted this record not to be in the box, I wanted to
come out the box. I contacted Fantasia and her mom, and asked them if they
would do a song with me and they were really excited. I was like “whoa this
might work” so I contacted them and realized that we have a lot of things in
Her mom was such a great prayer warrior, she prayed for us and it
just became a relationship. Now, we’re family. I believe God does everything
for a reason. It happened just by me contacting them, but our spirits
connected so quickly. It was a match that was predestined to happen.
being an artist, you’re an entrepreneur. At the top of the year you
announced the signing of your artist to your label-imprint. How was it
taking on that role? A: I have to say that, as “Vashawn
Mitchell” has developed the last few years, I consider myself a business.
Part of that is a worshipper, part of that is a singer-songwriter, another
part of that is what we do as a business has to make sense. A lot of people
don’t know I’m a partner also in my own records with EMI. V Man
Entertainment pays for the records, EMI markets and distributes them and we
take partnership in the deal where my company gets a royalty off of the
total deal. So it’s nothing new to me to sit in marketing meetings, and on
marketing calls, and develop press plans for artists.
It’s even a greater accomplishment when you can do it for someone else
and not feel some type of way and just be excited for someone else. I
believe in this next season, this next generation of music in general we’re
gonna have to reach out and teach others so they won’t make the same
mistakes that we made.
A lot of people think I just showed up but I’ve been doing this for about
15 years now, “Triumphant” was my 6th cd personally. And
I’ve produced about 4 cd’s with Bishop Trotter before that. It’s a
process of accomplishments and failures, and some of those failures I don’t
want artists like Anthony Brown, Steve McCoy, Tasha Cobbs,
or people that I connect with to make. Apart of me being an entrepreneur is
definitely sharing what I know with the artists, but also sitting in on
those marketing calls and seeing what works and what doesn’t work…giving my
ideas and input. But also learning all I can about the industry I want to be
a part of and not just singing and going home.
How does Vashwn Mitchell define or determine success?
A: Man, I determine success by the return. To me, not a financial
return…but the return of hundreds and thousands of people being blessed by
the ministry that you have put out. Success is nothing I could have done,
it’s really based upon knowing that God blew upon Vashawn Mitchell in this
season to put out such a big sound that had a life of its own. I believe I
became successful as an artist, as a singer, as an entrepreneur not because
of anything I did but because God decided that I was the vehicle that he
would use to birth such a huge sound in this season.
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