Ryan Ellis is pretty sure he'll be in California forever. It's where God gave him authority as an artist. From his endless passion of traveling the coast of his home state bringing people together through gospel and song, he comes home from the long days and slips into his makeshift studio in the garage and writes, that is, after he gets into family mode with his wife and two children. Wherever he is, nothing keeps him from trying to be like Jesus.
Introducing "Heart of the Father," Ryan Ellis' newly-released single since signing with Provident Label Group/Sony Music. A breathtaking introduction to the singer-songwriter's redefinition of the worship genre, the song harks back to his pop and R&B influences, sparked by memories of singing along to Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men. Evoking the sunny vibes of his hometown of San Diego, the chorus is lush and orchestral with accents of rock and the melody is a wave that breaks beneath the poignant lyrics: "Your spirit guides me to the heart of the Father."
"The inspiration came from what I was living out day to day as a worship pastor in Isla Vista, California and the steadfast, patient love I had with the city," says Ellis, who has fond memories of sharing about Jesus with Isla Vista Worship in the vibrant college town located in Santa Barbara County, while also slinging patties and buns for the Jesus Burgers ministry (JesusBurgers.org). He recalls kids stumbling in and out of his friends' houses, wondering how a kind father would react to those who are still young and finding their paths. "Heart of the Father," co-written with Mitch Wong and Mac Montgomery, is the exploration of patience and grace for those who are still coming into their own.
"This song is such a great reference point of what I believe we're called to do as people of Christ," Ellis explains. "We're meant to just meet people where they're at, not change them. It's having grace, patience, kindness, mercy, and the ability to see and love people for who they are and help guide them along. If they just need a friend or someone to listen or to give them good advice, to me, being all things to all people is what being a good father is. Romans 2:4 says it's His kindness that leads us to repentance. That's 'Heart of the Father' - a song about His goodness."
Ellis' time in Isla Vista became very fundamental to what he does today. While many days were spent serving food for the locals and raising money simply to live amongst those starting their faith journeys, he shares, "It taught me what it looks like not only to talk about Jesus but honestly talk less about the Gospel and let my life preach it."
For his forthcoming project slated to release later this year, Ellis pulled from his earliest memories of when he first fell in love with music. The result is a body of songs that take pages from old-school breakbeat sounds and hip-hop heavyweights like A Tribe Called Quest, Pharrell, and Timbaland. Ambitious in sound but true to his influences, Ellis would describe the next chapter in his musical journey as "soulful and faith-based with west coast vibes."