In her sophomore album, Love Will Remain, San Diego-based artist Vanessa Mitchell musically examines intense grief following the loss of her father to pancreatic cancer in January 2022. While her debut solo album, Nice To Meet You was released back in 2010, Vanessa states, “I didn’t have anything to say… Until now.”
Mitchell is known internationally for being a Master Diamond Setter. She's the Founder of Vanessa Nicole Jewels, an award-winning jewelry studio that creates custom diamond rings for clients worldwide. Music acts as a creative outlet to cathartically express her emotions while balancing the demands of motherhood and business.
"As someone who creates diamond rings to symbolize love stories, this passion project is very interconnected to what I celebrate each day, which is LOVE. Songwriting is what has allowed me to privately process my grief so I can continue to be fully present for my incredible clients. When you have a team and family that relies on you, the responsibility to perform is high. But when your heart is broken, the pain has to go somewhere – Having this project allowed me to feel some sense of control during a time when I otherwise didn’t have any."
This new album released in January 2023 focuses on a different kind of story not often in the spotlight – that of a father & daughter.
In January 2022, The Washington Post wrote an article about her Dad, Patrick Mitchell, three days after cancer took his life: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2022/01/13/bucket-list-cancer-kindness-coronado/
Other news channels then picked up the story:
NBC Nightly News (https://nbcnews.to/3ydMVcA)
Inside Edition (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVZ3egyQqIE)
Songwriting is how Vanessa has moved through her grief from diagnosis until one year after he passed. Mitchell's album Love Will Remain was released on January 11th, 2023 – the one-year anniversary of his passing.
The album is organized to parallel The Five Stages of Grief® – Denial, Bargaining, Anger, Depression, and Acceptance.
Grief is not solely expressed in tears. There are many ways to honor a loved one’s life.
It can be about connecting with others.
Or going inward and connecting with oneself, perhaps for the first time. Deciding in what ways it will influence how we move forward.
Vanessa says, “I’m dealing with my grief in the only way I know how which is being creative. It’s quite cathartic to hear music that acts as a soundtrack to your feelings.
My Dad was AMAZING – A best friend and mentor. I honestly can’t believe that now he’s someone ‘to be remembered.’
I didn’t think I had the energy to write another song being nearly 40 years old raising three young kids, nurturing a marriage, and running a business where team members and clients rely on me.
After Dad was diagnosed, our family talked all day about what needed to be done medically, but the elephant in the room was the fact that he might not survive this. There were a lot of hidden tears to be strong for each other.
Music allowed me to express the unsaid.
My Dad's in Heaven now, but releasing this album feels very On Purpose and In Service.
Someone will hear my songs and feel less alone.
It’s incredibly powerful if you can give someone the gift of feeling understood. It's a GOOD thing.
And if we're not doing good things, what ARE we doing?”