Hi, I'm MaryJustice Lucas, born 19 years ago and raised in Huntsville, Alabama. I love music and have been around it since before I was born! Mom tells me that I was singing in the womb. I was born three months early. I must have been anxious to get started singing! One of the NICU nurses asked my mother if she sang and hummed a lot to me when she was pregnant, because when she passed by my Isolette Incubator, she heard me humming! Three months later, when I went home from the hospital at a whopping big 4.6 pounds, a baby boom box was put in my nursery and played Christian lullabies all night long. I was so used to the noise of the hospital, that hearing the music was the only way I could sleep.
My parents had Broadway Theatre League season tickets and started taking me to plays very young. Peter Pan, River Dance and Smokey Joe's Cafe were my favorites. After watching my mom in the role of Sandy in a local production of "Grease," the performing arts bug bit me. Before I was five I joined her in two other productions, "The King and I" and "Scrooge."
When I was five, I began seven years of dance instruction to include jazz, ballet and Pointe Ballet. I started writing songs when I was about five. I would tell Mom, "Listen to this song I just thought of." She started writing my lyrics in a journal. My mom, Marcia, was my best coach and teacher. I remember being strapped in my car seat in the back of her car listening to all kinds of music. I was exposed to everything from Blue Grass to Classical music, from Elvis to Mozart. She would play a song on the radio and ask, "Who is this singing?" and I would tell her who the singer was. And, I loved the old black and white musicals on Turner Classic Movies. TCM is where I learned that Judy Garland was more than "Dorothy" and was such a wonderful singer and talented actress!
After ballet class on evening when I was 10, we went into the Coffee Tree Books & Brew for a snack, unaware it was Songwriters Open Mic night. A songwriter came to our table and asked if anyone was a songwriter and to sign up to sing. Mom and my grandmother pointed to me and said, "She's the songwriter!" I was too shy to get up and sing, but she told me to write and sing were God-given gifts and that He intended I should share these gifts. I was 11 the fist time I sang Acapella at the Coffee Tree. The songwriters were encouraging and I soon overcame being timid, and sang one of my songs at a talent show at school. Of course, I was afraid my school friends would think I was terrible, but they were surprised and enjoyed my music. This gave me courage to start "getting out there with my songs." I got plenty of practice and encouragement at the Coffee Tree Books & Brew. After an injury to my knee I had to give up ballet and decided to focus entirely on music. I am saddened to report that the Coffee Tree Books & Brew recently closed their doors with the last Songwriters Open Mic. The place was packed with so many wonderful people who became as family. In my way of thinking, Huntsville lost the best friend and venue to songwriters.
Although I write pop and inspirational music, I joined the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) and was a regular at the local monthly workshops where I was encouraged to enter the MOVA Songwriters Competition in Guntersville, Alabama. I won first place with "Live, Laugh, Love" in the Pop/Rock category competing with adults. I knew this was where I wanted to be, writing songs, singing and performing. I had instruction in voice, acting, modeling from several well-known teachers and schools and started learning to play guitar. I have entered and won several songwriting and singing competitions at the local, state, national and international levels. After winning iPOP! Auditions for two years, I decided to attend the five days of competitions, auditions and workshops at iPOP! 2010 Los Angeles, California. Competition was stiff, but it was an awesome experience and I brought home awards for placing in the Top Ten in Singing and TV/Commercial Beauty. Although limited to one minute, I was thrilled to be allowed to audition with my guitar and a song I had just written. The audition was on a stage in front of an audience like a Pop Concert! My song was "On My Way" and after that experience I really felt like I was on my way. I love acting, modeling and ballet, but have a real passion for singing and writing songs, music and lyrics.
When I was 14, I started singing in showcases, songwriter's rounds, anywhere and everywhere I had the chance. I started homeschooling high school to have more time to learn guitar, keyboard and to develop my skills and knowledge of the craft of songwriting. A college preparatory curriculum and performing were a lot of hard work and kept me busy, but it was worth it. Graduation from high school is behind me now! Once again, God blessed me abundantly with a music scholarship to Calhoun Community College. I am enjoying private guitar lessons and playing in the CCC Guitar Ensemble with some awesome musicians.
In the past five years, I've learned so much and been blessed with so many opportunities to perform on stage, songwriter's rounds, charity benefits, studio recording, recording harmonies and duets with fellow songwriters, and shoot professional videos where the acting skills were very handy! My most recent Music Awards include the 2012 NACMAI Female Entertainer of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, Rising Star CD, the TCGMA 2011 New Country Video of the Year for "Fix You" and Songwriter of the year and CD of the Year.
So, if you have had the time to read this far, you will know that music is what I love. Some people enjoy the melody but don't pay attention to the lyrics and that's okay, but my favorite part of a song is its lyrics. As for me I find it impossible to NOT listen to what is being said. I love listening to the story being told in the song, just as much as I enjoy sharing the stories in the songs I write. I write from my heart. Inspiration is all around me. I write about what I see an feel, about the joys and disappointments of relationships. Songwriting and singing are like therapy. I am busy singing all over North Alabama and Tennessee. But, World, here I come. Get Ready for MaryJustice Lucas!