“Singing is wonderful, but there is no singing without a song.” – VaShawn Mitchell
Vashawn Mitchell’s 25+ year career in music is a testament to the power of songs as he celebrates the release of his 10th project fittingly titled, Chapter X. A native of Chicago, IL, a city considered the birthplace of gospel music, the genre naturally had a profound role in shaping Mitchell’s creative voice. His love for the artform led him to become one of the city’s foremost choir directors, Music Directors and eventually a Minister of Music. Holding these positions at a young age allowed VaShawn to develop a gift for producing powerful musical moments in the collective church experience.
After contributing songs to successful albums with his Pastor and church choir, Mitchell bravely launched his solo career; although as an artist, VaShawn has never behaved as a solo act because he always masterfully brings others along for the journey through the aptly titled moniker and ethos known as VaShawn Mitchell & Friends. With each project, VaShawn continued to prove himself a much-loved singer, songwriter, and producer of inclusive musical moments. This was most evident on Mitchell’s third and best-selling release, 2010’s Triumphant. The project delivered the gospel mega-hit and most played gospel song of 2011, “Nobody Greater” along with songs continually sung by churches and other gospel groups all over the world like crowd favorites “Chasing After You” and “His Blood Still Works.”
Triumphant solidified VaShawn’s place as one of gospel music’s most versatile song stylists and set him on course to an award-winning career. He has won seven Stellar Awards, three GMA Dove Awards and garnered multiple GRAMMY nominations. Mitchell expertly built on this momentum and continued to release ground-breaking projects like Created 4 This which gave the world another hit anthem “Turning Around for Me,” Unstoppable, Secret Place (recorded live in South Africa) that featured the infectious hit song “Joy” and a passion project entitled Elements to celebrate 20 years in the gospel music industry. He also released two holiday-themed EP’s, 2018’s Cross Music and 2020’s Home for Christmas. Each project offers gospel music lovers not only songs to sing along to but songs to be ministered to and encouraged by.
Always known for developing other successful artists, VaShawn has signed, produced, and written for some of today’s most recognizable voices in gospel music. This passion for advancing the cause of gospel music and its artists caused VaShawn to accept the position of President & CEO of the Gospel Heritage Foundation in 2018; in this role he gets to work with even more artists through bespoke conferences and unique learning experiences curated by Mitchell.
“I find the greatest songs in the world come out of pain, and I don’t like it! Here’s what it does: It strips away all of your facade. It makes you so honest. It’s cleansing.” – Lionel Richie
In 2023, VaShawn returns to his first love of songwriting and recording music with friends to release his most personal project yet, Chapter X. Even more than a celebration of 10 prolific full-length projects, it is a celebration of Mitchell’s profound resilience and features guests Jekalyn Carr and Kelontae Gavin. Chapter X is also the first recording and release after the transition of his beloved Grandmother Mrs. Jane Mitchell whose death affected him deeply. Every song and detail of the project reflects elements of the treasured matriarch and Mitchell’s healing journey. “My grandmother was everything to me, she raised me and was my best friend. When I went into creating what this project would be, I wanted her to be there just like she had every other time before. She’s all over this record in so many ways, even down to the location and other special touches,” says VaShawn. The lead single “See the Goodness,” featuring gospel music trailblazer Donnie McClurkin is a penetrating declaration to encourage every listener to trust that the promises of God will be fulfilled in their life and lifetime.
VaShawn tours the globe with an arsenal of songs that continue to resonate with his fans. Mitchell also continues to write and produce music for emerging as well as established artists while consulting music ministries across the country. He also maintains his corporate and philanthropic partnerships with Denny’s, Big Brothers and Big Sisters and the Norman Youth & Arts Foundation, named in memory of his grandfather.