Buzzworthy:  Joy Whitlock’s God and a Girl

Not long after I put the finishing touches on my recent feature on Women in Christian Music, I popped Joy Whitlock’s God and a Girl CD into my computer (sooo old school, I know) and have been wowed every since.
Not since I first discovered Sarah McLachlan back in the early ‘90s have I encountered an artist in that ethereal pop/rock vein that’s been so compelling. Coincidentally, it was McLachlan who influenced some of Whitlock’s earliest work, but rather than be a mere copycat act, she infuses her own sound and spiritual journey in what’s a lethal combination of substance and style.
Describing the album as “her conversations with God,” she embraces the ups and the downs of her life in a way that’s not only vulnerable, but utterly relatable. “Because I still have many struggles in my life, even as a child of God, the subject matter of most of my songs tends to gravitate towards struggle,” says Whitlock. “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.”

Growing up in Mississippi as the daughter of a minister, Whitlock’s family was involved in a few churches, which kept them busy traveling. In the process, Whitlock began to fall away from her faith and tried to numb the pain with drugs and promiscuity. It wasn’t until she saw Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ that her heart softened and she rededicated her life to Christ, which inspired the songs on God and a Girl.

For more information on Whitlock, check her personal website and blog at

About the Writer
After graduating with a B.S. in Journalism from North Central University in 1998, Christa Banister moved to Nashville, Tenn. and eventually started working at
CCM Magazine/Salem Publishing in various editorial capacities (including managing editor) for five and a half years. After that, she launched her own freelance writing company and writes for numerous clients including CCM Magazine, (she reviews movies for them each week), Christian Single, Christianity Today, Threads Media,, BurnLounge, and helped kick-start the first Christian music blog for MTV. She also writes bios for professional recording artists and authors and penned her first two fiction novels for NavPress in 2007.

© 2008  All rights reserved.  Used with permission. 

**This column first published on November 7, 2008.

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