Without Condition: The Music of Ginny Owens

by Charles White

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At 24, Ginny Owens has done what few people her age have ever dreamed possible. She has not only shared the stage with the likes of Third Eye Blind, Sixpense None the Richer, Sarah McLachlan and the rest of the performers of Lilith Fair, she has also received critical acclaim from her peers for her debut album, Without Condition.

However, her road to fame hasn’t always been an easy one. Ginny lost her sight when she was only two and her parents divorced when she was very young. This forced Ginny to grow up and learn responsibility at a very early age. This also helped Ginny to learn what are the most important things in life.

"Fame is not important. Friends and strong relationships are very important. Self confidence is important and my relationship with God is very important. Those things are the things that are going to last."

At a very early age, Ginny’s parents instilled in her the importance of a relationship with God. Her father and grandfather both served as Presbyterian ministers and as a child, Ginny was surrounded with Bible stories and talk about Jesus. Her relationship with God and her daily walk in faith helped her to deal with various challenges throughout her life such as her physical disability, her parents’ divorce and the normal difficulties associated with being a teenager.

Throughout her trials and tribulations, Ginny has learned many lessons. One of these lessons is that people tend to feel like outcasts not because of who they are but because of the opinions of others.   

 "It is important to keep developing yourself, your talents and who you are as a person and to be a friend to other people."

To those who are ridiculed and scorned as Ginny was herself throughout high school, she offers this: "This is a time in life. It might not be the most exiting season and the most enjoyable time, but it’s going to be over. It’s not going to last. Keep striving for the things you enjoy and working at those."

It is within her relationship with Christ that she found a loyal friend. "God is maybe the only unchanging friend that I’ll ever have...the only totally accepting friend who can love me as I am."

At a very early age, Ginny developed an interest in music. She began writing music when she was eight or nine years old. For Ginny, her compositions are deeply personal; in fact, Ginny’s compositions are conversations. "It’s important to me that songs have complete thoughts. The same thing I would sing would be the thing I would want to communicate to someone. The songs come from experiences I’ve had with people, though not necessarily from specific conversation of the past."

Throughout elementary school and into high school and college, Ginny continued to sing in school choirs and make music an important part of her life despite criticism from her peers and some of her teachers.

For Ginny this interest was initially a hobby, but that would all change as she ended her college career. When Ginny graduated from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, it was with hopes of obtaining a position as a high school choir director. However, her physical disability dissuaded many potential employers from hiring her.

Eventually, Ginny was discovered by a sound engineer who heard her sing at a local church event sponsored by Belmont University. Although never planning to pursue a career in music as a performer, nevertheless Ginny found herself on the road to a career in the music industry.

After a long journey of meetings and negotiations with writers and record labels, Ginny eventually found her way to Rocketown Records and its talented owner, Michael W. Smith.

Ginny’s debut album, Without Condition, is a powerful musical work in a style reminiscent of such artists as Sarah McLachlan, Natalie Merchant and Fiona Apple, without adapting the style of these artists in any formulaic method.

Instead, what Ginny presents in her album is an incredible mixture of smoky jazz, angelic vocals and a powerful alternative sound that will assure her position atop both the Christian and mainstream pop charts for quite along time. Her sound is unique and her music is both entertaining and inspirational for people from diverse backgrounds.

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