In this series Newell’s Music will be highlighting a different local artist every month in an effort to promote local musicians and the Upstate music community that we so proudly serve.
This month our Local Artist Spotlight is on Jacob Mitchell. A young Musician raised in North Charleston, South Carolina, Jacob is currently in his senior year at Lander University in Greenwood, SC where he majors in Musical Performance. In his time at Lander, Jacob has been involved in both the Wind and the Jazz Ensemble where he has played a variety of instruments. These instruments include: baritone saxophone, bassoon, trombone, electric guitar, and vocals. With all this talent, Jacob’s main instrument of choice is the electric guitar. He says his inspiration for music comes from his grandfather who also played a variety of different instruments including trumpet, guitar, bass, drums, piano, as well as vocals.
Jacob is an extremely talented player but he says he would like to continue to learn and improve, particularly in his solo and improv chops. “I’d really like to be able to just point to a note on the guitar and immediately tell you what it is” Jacob said in our interview. Jacob speaks of great players in the industry like John Mayer as another source of inspiration. Jacob has admitted to staying up late to watch John Mayer’s Instagram Live streams in order to see and hear new licks. when speaking to us at Newell’s he said “Players like John Mayer can take something simple like a pentatonic scale and play it all the way up the guitar in a very smooth motion, that’s a big part of what makes their playing so great.”
Jacob isn’t content to just sit around and learn other peoples music though, he described his process for songwriting to us. “I usually start with a melody, beat, or bass line in my head and I sit down and try to work it out on my guitar, and then go from there.” To some this process may seems backwards, but Jacob prefers to write music first and then find lyrics to match. “I try to write a bunch of stuff because you never know what people will like. Sometimes you may love a song that never goes anywhere and sometimes the song you think isn’t great is what people connect with.” This philosophy means Jacob has no shortage of material for shows and gigs.
You may see Jacob on the local music scene and around the Lander campus playing different gigs. You will find him at this year’s Lander Christmas Tree Lighting which will be held Tuesday, November 19th so make sure and stop by campus to check him out! Jacob can also be found at TW Boons in Uptown Greenwood playing with another local musician Paul Crutcher. The date for this performance has not been yet confirmed, but check back with us later this month and we should have it listed for you. Also, be on the look out online for Jacob’s EP to release soon!