Justin Cowell
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Justin Cowell

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Nov
21
Justin Cowell @ The Collective

Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

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It is a hot day outside of Java Daves in Tulsa, OK. A young musician sets up borrowed sound equipment for his first gig. Understandably nervous, he begins his performance. The audience, mostly family and friends, are supportive as the tunes flow from a black, Fender guitar, accompanied by soothing, laid back vocals. This is where Justin Cowell’s musical career got its start. Cowell, a graduate of John Brown Universiy, has been writing and performing to increasingly large audiences ever since. Julie Cowell, Justin’s sister, was at that first performance. "He was a little nervous, but once he got the hang of it he started to loosen up," Julie said. Cowell’s musical experience began early. Like many children, both Julie and Justin took piano lessons at the prodding of their parents. For seven years he struggled with the 88 black and white keys. "I hated it," Cowell said. "Im grateful now, but my parents definitely got me started." At the age of 15, Cowell switched from banging keys to strumming strings on a crimson colored fender Stratocaster. Although he appreciates the experience with the piano, he has not returned since picking up a guitar. After a year of plucking on the electric, Cowell wanted to write his own music. He convinced his parents to buy him the black Fender he still plays today. Writing music has been a part of Cowell’s life for many years, and he can trace his own life through the lyrics of his songs. I see how Ive matured through my songwriting, Cowell said. "You can look back and a song is almost like a snapshot of life, a picture of a certain time of life." Life, with its ups and downs, loves and heartbreaks, gives Cowell the raw materials for the lyrics of his songs. "Any time I am upset or happy about something I pick up my guitar and turn it into a song," Cowell said. "Any situation that I am in, I just keep my eyes open to see if I can turn it into a unique song." Cowell knows that he is doing things right as people request his original songs rather than the covers of bands like Counting Crows or Gavin DeGraw. Cowell hopes that people can listen to his music and feel like they relate to his experiences through the songs. People who listen to his music, such as junior Summer Cox, think he accomplishes this goal. "I think his lyrics are something we can all relate to in the experiences and feelings he gets across with his music," Cox said. That is the type of experience that Cowell wants to produce in his listeners. "I’ve always looked up to people who can create their own music," Cowell said. "I respect those people, so I want to be one of those people who can put something out there that other people can listen to and say I feel that way too or I can relate to those lyrics, they describe exactly how I feel right now. I want other people to be able to do that with my music." While there is not a theme throughout all of Cowell’s music, he says that he frequently returns to the subject of love and relationships. "I try to communicate the message of love," Cowell said. "When you think you have it right, and it goes wrong, you can still get through it, there is a brighter day on the other side." The response to Cowell’s music has been very positive. However, just like any performer, not every performance goes exactly how he would like. "The ones that I remember are the times that no one really listens," Cowell said. "The times when you are playing up there and it seems like after every song it feels like everyone is just doing their own thing and not even paying attention." He has not let these rough performances slow him down. He even describes these performances as bittersweet. Cowell’s parents still support the music that they started him on years ago. The twenty-three year old singer/songwriter will be moving to Nashville, TN in the near future where he can be surrounded by other talented musicians and songwriters. - Three Fold Advocate


It is a hot day outside of Java Daves in Tulsa, OK. A young musician sets up borrowed sound equipment for his first gig. Understandably nervous, he begins his performance. The audience, mostly family and friends, are supportive as the tunes flow from a black, Fender guitar, accompanied by soothing, laid back vocals. This is where Justin Cowell’s musical career got its start. Cowell, a graduate of John Brown Universiy, has been writing and performing to increasingly large audiences ever since. Julie Cowell, Justin’s sister, was at that first performance. "He was a little nervous, but once he got the hang of it he started to loosen up," Julie said. Cowell’s musical experience began early. Like many children, both Julie and Justin took piano lessons at the prodding of their parents. For seven years he struggled with the 88 black and white keys. "I hated it," Cowell said. "Im grateful now, but my parents definitely got me started." At the age of 15, Cowell switched from banging keys to strumming strings on a crimson colored fender Stratocaster. Although he appreciates the experience with the piano, he has not returned since picking up a guitar. After a year of plucking on the electric, Cowell wanted to write his own music. He convinced his parents to buy him the black Fender he still plays today. Writing music has been a part of Cowell’s life for many years, and he can trace his own life through the lyrics of his songs. I see how Ive matured through my songwriting, Cowell said. "You can look back and a song is almost like a snapshot of life, a picture of a certain time of life." Life, with its ups and downs, loves and heartbreaks, gives Cowell the raw materials for the lyrics of his songs. "Any time I am upset or happy about something I pick up my guitar and turn it into a song," Cowell said. "Any situation that I am in, I just keep my eyes open to see if I can turn it into a unique song." Cowell knows that he is doing things right as people request his original songs rather than the covers of bands like Counting Crows or Gavin DeGraw. Cowell hopes that people can listen to his music and feel like they relate to his experiences through the songs. People who listen to his music, such as junior Summer Cox, think he accomplishes this goal. "I think his lyrics are something we can all relate to in the experiences and feelings he gets across with his music," Cox said. That is the type of experience that Cowell wants to produce in his listeners. "I’ve always looked up to people who can create their own music," Cowell said. "I respect those people, so I want to be one of those people who can put something out there that other people can listen to and say I feel that way too or I can relate to those lyrics, they describe exactly how I feel right now. I want other people to be able to do that with my music." While there is not a theme throughout all of Cowell’s music, he says that he frequently returns to the subject of love and relationships. "I try to communicate the message of love," Cowell said. "When you think you have it right, and it goes wrong, you can still get through it, there is a brighter day on the other side." The response to Cowell’s music has been very positive. However, just like any performer, not every performance goes exactly how he would like. "The ones that I remember are the times that no one really listens," Cowell said. "The times when you are playing up there and it seems like after every song it feels like everyone is just doing their own thing and not even paying attention." He has not let these rough performances slow him down. He even describes these performances as bittersweet. Cowell’s parents still support the music that they started him on years ago. The twenty-three year old singer/songwriter will be moving to Nashville, TN in the near future where he can be surrounded by other talented musicians and songwriters. - Three Fold Advocate


Discography

"Taking Off" (2006)
CD is available digitally on the web @ iTunes and other various websites through CDBABY.COM.

Photos

Bio

Justin Cowell's music is waiting to be heard. There is nothing flashy about it. It is simple yet sweet. He primarily plays guitar, however, he is starting to incorporate keyboard-driven songs into his repertoire. His music has been compared to the likes of Damien Rice and Gavin DeGraw, however, there are subtle differences. Justin Cowell writes for the melody and his lyrics are something that everyone can relate to.
He has been a worship leader for 8 years and, he started to write his own music and perform that music along with cover songs about 5 years ago. The thing that really sets him apart from other bands is that he doesn't necessarily need a band to deliver a great show. He's just an honest, raw performer.