We Had to Ask – Ryan Johns
InsideOut: At what age did you start singing?
Ryan Johns: I started singing at the age of five. I sang in a Christmas musical put on by our local church.
IO: What made you want to get into music?
RJ: Music has always been a part of my life, mainly due to church. Somewhere I went from just enjoying it to actually wanting to be a part of music.
IO: If you could have a super power, what would it be – and why?
RJ: I would totally fly. Just to have the freedom to go anywhere, anytime I wanted would be cool.
IO: What’s your favorite drink at Starbucks?
RJ: Decaf Caramel Frappuccino with extra mocha, extra caramel, and maybe a little more caramel on top of that. 🙂
IO: Congratulations on the release of your new album Breathe Again. The opening track New Creation is brilliant, in lyrics and in music. Can you tell us how that song came about?
RJ: Thanks! I really appreciate the support. New Creation was actually written by a guy out of a church in Texas. My friend Johnathan Dean brought it to my attention—and I made a track for it for his youth service. During the process, I fell in love with the song and decided to put it on my album. My producer liked the song, but wanted to make the music go in a different direction. Somehow this version was born out of that.
IO: What is your favorite track on the album, and why?
RJ: My favorite track is Farewell because it’s a really personal song for me. I wrote it for my grandmother on the day of her funeral, in the church where we had the service. I love the song so much because losing someone hurt so bad, I didn’t know what to do. Then these lyrics came to me so I sat down at a little piano and started writing. I love it because it gave me peace, that even though I lost my grandmother, it’ll be OK.
IO: Do you have any funny or embarrassing moments from making the album?
RJ: Haha, hmm . . . yes. In the demo for I’ll Be There, I was being goofy and held out the note for “there” for at least six bars—seeing how long I could hold a note out. My producer then made that his ringtone for the week we were working on the song. Talk about embarrassing. 🙂
IO: What has God been speaking to you about lately?
RJ: I really feel a burden for the youth of this generation and for the worship of this generation. Especially after NAYC 11, the lack of songs written by Apostolics has really hit home with me, so I want to pursue that pretty aggressively over the next few years.
IO: What advice would you give the young musician or singer out there who thinks they’ll never be good enough to sing in church or record an album?
RJ: Never give up on yourself, learn to accept constructive criticism, pursue your dreams, and never try to open a door God has not opened for you. Talent is never enough! Submission to God’s plan for your life + talent = the key.
IO: In the Old Testament, we see David bringing peace into the palace with his harp. Share with us the importance of ministering through music, and explain the difference between ministering and entertaining.
RJ: This is a tough question. I think the biggest difference is what you’re focused on. Ministering is usually associated with worship services while entertainment is more concert driven. For those who do “Christian” concerts—if your goal is to entertain 100 percent, then what’s the purpose? I think you always need to go into an event, no matter if its worship or a concert, with the mindset that I want to reach people.