Joy Whitlock: A Short Biography Joy Whitlock is a study in contrasts. From her petite frame roars a commanding voice that is vulnerable, yet fearless. She speaks in short, well-measured phrases; her colorful tattoos underscoring her commitment to art and truth. Joy grew up as a pastor's kid, but wanted nothing to do with Christianity for most of her life. Now, her music communicates an authentic and passionate spiritual journey. At 17, Joy and her family moved from Mississippi to Memphis, and it has since been her home. Shortly after relocating, her older sister let her tag along to the Lilith Fair women's music festival in Nashville. Joy remembers, The whole trip was amazing! I had always loved music, but not until that night did I realize how much a part of me it was. The last performer was Sarah McLachlan. When she stepped out of the darkness into a single beam of light, the most beautiful sound came out of her mouth. Tears immediately formed in my eyes. I was mesmerized ... paralyzed. Every word, every note, every stroke of her guitar awakened something inside of me. Inspired by such a captivating performance, Joy was determined to learn how to play the guitar. Although she had never played one in her life, Joy called her parents the next day and asked them to help her buy one. They went down to Strings & Things, bought a cheap Fender acoustic--which she still has and loves-and began her life as a musician. She recalls, 'I started watching other player's hands and tried to mimic what I saw. Most of my learning was just practice and finding chords and then remembering where they were. I still can't read music. I play by ear...and heart.' At age 20, Joy began performing in a local cover band called Krysalis which developed a small--but faithful--following. She also began experimenting with many things, including drugs. Although her dad was a preacher and she knew about God, she recalls, I realize now that my understanding of Him was all wrong. I had no clue who He really was...and is. I actually never gave Him any thought through the majority of my life, until last year, on April 4th. For some reason, a few months prior to that day in April, I became somewhat aware of sin and sin in my life. I became convicted, which was foreign to me. I was scared and I didn't understand what was happening. My mother came for a visit about that time and convinced me to see 'The Passion of the Christ' with her. I had no desire to see it. I knew this wasn't a movie for enjoyment, so to speak. But something inside me would not let me back out. So I went. I had no idea what was about to happen to me. No idea that in just a few moments, I would meet that same Christ. And I did...right there in the theater...curled in my seat...Heaven opened and let me in. Imagine that! Joy soon began attending a large and vibrant fellowship of young Christians at the High Point Church in Memphis. There, she was befriended by Ardent Records artist Todd Agnew, who began to mentor her both musically and spiritually. Todd was impressed with her talent and testimony, and asked her to make a couple of guest appearances on his recent project, 'Reflection of Something.' The record label was also impressed with Joy and invited her into their studio to begin recording her own songs. 'The Fake EP' is her first offering of five self-penned tunes that honestly chronicle her struggle with faith and her self-discovery in Christ: I want people to know that pain is not working against us. It brings us closer to the One who knows pain better than anyone else-Jesus Christ. He understands and hurts right along with us. When we are persecuted, He is persecuted. When we cry, He cries. And when we laugh...He laughs too. He goes through life with us and in us. And our life's struggles and heartaches only remind us that we are not alone. They show us that if we fall, He will fall with us. He will not let us go alone. He will not let us go.... Joy's vision is to communicate hope within struggle, faith despite fear, and art that's not simply propaganda. A true study in contrasts, Joy Whitlock is anything but 'Fake.'