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interview // thomas l. mitchell II

Thomas L. Mitchell II was born in New Haven, CT. Thomas has also accomplished many achievements. He comprised and founded the 1st gospel choir at Weaver High School in Hartford, CT. On an academic level, he has maintained honors throughout his educational career and presently holds a GPA of 3.68 at Southern Connecticut State University. On a musical note, he has received many awards for songwriting, gospel and classical music compositions, and for being a well-rounded musician/artist. He has shared the stage with many great performers such as Vikie Winans, John P. Kee, Ricky Dillard & New Generation, Karen Clark-Sheard, Curt Carr and many more. Thomas' musical style is very eclectic. He combines the joyful sounds of traditional gospel with contemporary, classical, and smooth jazz elements. His vocal arrangements are soulful and full of exciting neo-harmonics, augmented harmony, as well as four-part harmony. His vocal range extends four octaves. In conclusion, he states, "Just listen and be blessed!"

 

How did you begin singing and who was your inspiration?

 

My singing career began when I was 12 years old.  I come from a family of singers, which includes my immediate family, my grandmother, and my great grandmother.  However, my mother was my inspiration.  Every time she opened her mouth, she would give it all she got.

 

How did you hook up with Fly Away Records?

 

Well, a friend of mine from Springfield, MA, heard my project and told me about a National Gospel Artist Search that was going on at the time with Fly Away Records.  They gave me the information and told me to send a packet into Fly Away Records' NGAS.  I sent it in and before I knew it, I was looking at record deal--which I had a hard time believing.

 

What will listeners hear on your upcoming release, "Just Wanna Say Thanks"?

 

They will hear a compilation of songs that carry diverse musical styles.  But the album is primarily based around the notion of saying "thanks" to God--for being God.  It showcases the many sides of my musical ability, but even more importantly--transfers spiritual messages of hope in the lives Christians whose daily walk gets a little rough at times.

 

What do you feel is your favorite track off the album?

 

That's a tough one.  But, I would have to say, "That Same Jesus".  This song talks about Jesus Christ, the things he went through, and how he's coming again.  I feel like gospel music (as of late) has not being sharing the gospel (which is the good news of Jesus Christ).  We've been hearing inspirational songs--but not the gospel of Jesus Christ.  And so, this song highlights the life, the death, and the coming again of our savior Jesus Christ.   

 

What inspires your songs?

 

My relationship with God.  The songs that I write and have written--have been the direct result of God bringing me through trials and blessing me.  Everytime I need him--he's there, he's been there, and will be there.  Out of experiences like this--I've been inspired to write, "God Is God", "You keep on blessing me", "I'm addicted to you", and so on. 

 

What albums are in your discography?

 

The J. Moss Project, Twinkie Clark, Dorinda Clark, Karen Clark, Tonex, Pastor Deandre Patterson, Ricky Dillard, Thomas Whitfield & Company, John P. Kee, Kim Burrell (Ma' Burrell), Richard Smallwood, Smokie Norful, Men of Standard, CeCe Winans, and others--too many to name.

 

What would the ultimate reward for you be? 

 

I don't know.  It's hard to say when your doing something with no expectation of a reward.  I do what I do because God has gifted me with the ability to do music.  However, I wouldn't mind an award or "2". 

 

An attribute about yourself that someone may not know?

 

I am hilarious.  I love to laugh and I have a great sense of humor.  Many people see me ministering at concerts or in church, but rarely get to sit down and chill wit' me for a minute.  But those that do, often tell me that I am crazy.  And it is true--I am crazy...(but crazy in Jesus).  I often tell my choir and friends--that God gave us muscles in our face so that we can laugh and smile and not look one way all the time--so laugh. 

 

What can we look forward to in the near future from yourself?

 

Well, I have a choir called "Levitikuz Nation" and the next album will be featuring them.  They are wonderful aggregants who exemplify professionalism in every way possible.  They have soaring vocal ranges and an anointing on their lives--yet they remain as humble as humanly possible.  They also inspire me to write.  I feel like I can write anything and they'll sing it--no matter how high or difficult.  So, we are already working our songs for the album release in 2005.

 

Any last words?

 

I would just like to thank the staff at Fly Away for all of their encouragement and support in getting me publicized.  Though we've been working together for such a short while, it seems like we've known each other forever.  Also, I would like to thank my peoplez' in CT for pushing me to be all that I can be.  And finally, to you Caleb (& Aphire) for a wonderful interview... Be blessed.

 

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