Singer-songwriter, Vanessa Mitchell, graduated summa cum laude with a BFA in Jewelry Design from the University of Michigan. Following a diamond setting apprenticeship with a Russian master jeweler, she began creating custom diamond rings for clients worldwide. Vanessa has received over 1.5 million views on YouTube for her educational ring videos. She is the author of the #1 Bestselling book, The Perfect Custom Engagement Ring.
She never meant to write songs – In 2010, she was too busy creating custom diamond rings and traveling. Weekly commutes from her home in San Diego to an apartment in Los Angeles meant lots of empty driving time… Just thinking.
"I would be driving late at night and with the dark road ahead of me, I started creating different scenarios to write about. I expected them to turn into short stories or scripts, but they naturally evolved into songs. Inspiration was usually based on an image I've seen (e.g., 'Worth It All' was inspired by a Marc Jacobs perfume ad) or inspired by one of my newly engaged jewelry couples ('When I Look At You').
Often though, I'd get inspired by listening to those love song radio stations where people call in and dedicate a song–they’d tell their story of love or loss and it always hit a nerve. I’m kind of a sap when it comes to that sort of stuff. I believe it's important for every artist to allow him/herself to become vulnerable in relationships because that's where you find sincerity. Sometimes I let my mind fall into that scary place of 'What if…' and feel the emotion follow. I couldn’t live with the drama I write about, but it's like watching a movie with all the highs and lows – so much fun to watch the actors go through it."
When asked why she titled her debut album 'Nice To Meet You,' Vanessa replied, "Anytime two people meet, one usually says, 'It's nice to meet you.' This album is about relationships that likely all started with those words. And with this being a debut album, it's my way of reaching out to listeners to say, “Nice to meet you."
The Recording Process
This album began with hundreds of lyrics and melodies laid down on a digital recorder during long commutes between San Diego and Los Angeles. After more than two years and 61 written songs, Vanessa set out to find a guitarist who could create expressive guitar arrangements for the songs. (Enter: Cory Dillon). Several guitarists couldn't "see" the concept; Cory got it. Vanessa and Cory spent months recording tracks in his living room.
Inspired by rising stars at Hotel Café in Hollywood (Joshua Radin, Meiko, Simon Lynge, etc.), Vanessa reached out to one of their producers. (Enter: Co-producer, Jon Mattox) Recorded at Bright Orange Studios in Los Angeles, Vanessa's demos soon came to life. With an old keyboard that she found in her parent's garage, Vanessa began composing orchestral instrumentation. She and Jon shared “genius moments” during every recording session, which fueled her desire to turn this vision into reality.
The final stage in the process was mastering the album. Enter: Matt Forger (Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney). Three years after humming her first original melodies, Vanessa's collection of songs had become an ALBUM.