Iconic Gospel music minister and songwriter, Ryan Ellis has released a brand new song featuring Brandon Lake, titled “Son of David,” coming from his latest self-titled album which features six songs from his 2021 EP.
The entire project, which showcases Ellis’ giant vocals and musicality, is a mood lifting ride of truth, vulnerability, and encouragement.
According to Ellis, “What I want people to take away from this project is a deep relationship with the Lord,” he says. “I want them to be able to have conversation starters, to be able to jam out in the car but at the same time be thinking about heart stuff. I would love to be able to empower them wherever they feel in life, to empower them to take risks and be creative and go deeper in all relationships. So that’s my heart behind this, it’s to inspire."
“Son of David” begins with Ellis’ voice making his plea to the Son of David, accompanied only by the rhythmic vocalizations of a backing chorus of voices before Lake’s voice carries the second verse. As the song drops into the chorus it's full sound comes in, and by adding in a marching bea Ellis makes sure that you cannot help but clap along to the energy created by the drums and electric guitar. “Son of David” infuses the rocking sound with a sense of purpose and drive, pulsating with a feeling of perseverance and strength. This song is a worship anthem that helps you push through a difficult situation and lean on God’s mercy to get through it.
During his adolescence, Ellis was confronting his angst without the support of a father, relocating his life in new cities and always living close to the poverty line, always considering himself an entertainer. He sang and danced his way into school, and even graduated high school by serenading his English teacher. Performing arts was for him the constant to pursue when everything else in his life seemed to be in flux.
Aimless with his creative pursuits, Ellis enlisted and joined the navy after high school. It was while he was in the service that he reconnected with Jesus, realizing that his voice and songwriting ARE his connection to faith. Completing five years of Navy service, he was introduced to Isla Vista Worship and their mission work. Recording his first project, a live album with Isla Vista Worship in 2015, Ellis’ work caught the attention of contemporary Christian producers, leading him to writing for the greats in the genre such as Chris Tomlin, Natalie Grant, Housefires, and Matt Redman.
Songwriting became a healing process for Ellis when in 2019, he and his wife Cassie endured the loss of their one-and-a-half-year-old son Asa from deteriorating health conditions since birth. Seething with anger and hopelessness, Ellis looked to God for comfort and he was given his loved ones in return. Ellis built a relationship with his father who had not been in his life until he was 20 years old, and he also forged deeper bonds with friends he’d known for many years who consoled his family through their tragedy. In losing Asa, Ellis discovered that God didn't necessarily pull him out of his depression or loneliness but he absolutely delivered the love and care Ellis needed when he sked for it.
Today, Ryan Ellis creates worship music that blends a number of genres. With his generation Ellis had access to all types of music while growing up, and he sees no reason why he can’t bring all of these influences of sound and texture into the art he creates. HIs rationale is that just because it’s a Pop song doesn’t mean it can’t have substance and ust because it’s a Christian song doesn’t mean it can’t get people on their feet. HIs song “Son of David” certainly will get you to your feet and although I am sure that Ellis would not want any of his Gospel songs to be pigeonholed into one genre this song has a definite contemporary Country Gospel vibe to it.
As people of Christ, Ellis believes that 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. We can be a friend or someone to listen or to give them good advice, 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 and that is what Ellis' song ‘Heart of the Father’ is about, His goodness.
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. “What I want people to take away from this project is a deep relationship with the Lord,” he has stated. “I want them to be able to have conversation starters, to be able to jam out in the car but at the same time be thinking about heart stuff. I would love to be able to empower them wherever they feel in life, to empower them to take risks and be creative and go deeper in all relationships. .”
“Son of David” will be a part of Ryan Ellis’ self-titled debut album. Ellis says about the debut album, “If you find yourself in your own trenches, if you find yourself broken, overwhelmed, missing someone, suffering, there's something here for you. If you find yourself just wanting to listen to something you can vibe out to that still intentionally honors God- there's something here for you.”
There are so many aspects of Jesus’ character that it can be easy to forget some of them. Many people often focus on Jesus’ kindness and gentleness, thinking of Him as a close friend, but forget that He is also our Lord, and a true descendant of one of Israel’s greatest kings, David. In “Son of David,” Ryan Ellis and Brandon Lake call out to the descendant of King David for mercy. As the song resonates with you, it reminds us that In the midst of all of our struggles and conflicts in this lifetime, we can always raise a cry to Israel’s true King for help, and He will show us mercy.
By Deborah Gibson