Grammy and Dove Award-winning musician Ron Rawls is releasing his first single as a solo entertainer, 'Heaven's Perspective'. LTTM spoke with him to find out why he's taking time out from his role as musical director for American Idol artist Mandisa to record his own music.
For those who haven't heard of you before, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got involved in making music?
I grew up in a very musical family. My dad, is a keys player, and most of my uncles, aunts or cousins either play an instrument or sing. So music definitely runs through my veins. I spent a lot of time learning music in the church, back in my hometown, Huntsville, AL. Eventually I moved to Nashville, got connected with a few artists, and I’ve been a touring musician ever since.
What made you step out as an artist on your own right now?
I’ve always had a heart to encourage and uplift people. Throughout my life, music has been the primary vehicle for me to do that. Over the past few years I’ve been thinking and praying about the timing of when to move forward on my own music. At the top of last year, I knew that it was time to make a move. So I started working on it.
Tell us about your new single?
Heaven’s Perspective was written by my friend Tyler Howell. I actually heard him sing it at a concert 3 years ago. I knew that the song was powerful back then, but I had no idea that it would impact me the way it has. My favorite line in the song is “Though I walk through wilderness, You are there. You won’t forget.” Life’s problems have a funny way of making us feel isolated. But this lyric is a clear reminder that He is with us AND He won’t forget about us!
Are you planning an album in the near future?
Yes! My team and I are working on that right now. I’m really excited about the new music that’s coming.
If you could work with any songwriter, who would it be and why?
I have a short list of writers that I’d like to work with. But one of them is Andrew Osenga. He’s a story-teller. I’d love to see how his style could mesh with a worship/gospel singer.
How would you describe your style of music and what are your influences?
My style of music is a blend of Gospel music and Worship music. Gospel is what I grew up on (Israel Houghton, Fred Hammond, Donnie McClurkin). But around the age of 16, I was introduced to Christian Contemporary music (Stacie Orrico, Rachel Lampa, DC Talk, Newsboys). Every since then, music has taken on a specific blend in my head that I can’t shake. So now I’m just letting that blend of music flow out of me.
How would you define success in your career?
Success to me is when people can walk away encouraged and lifted from time in His Presence. That’s the goal of my music. To infuse people with hope and encouragement, and facilitate real encounters with Jesus.
What is your favorite album of all time?
Wow, that’s a tough one. But 3 of my favorites are “Real” by Israel Houghton, “Peace and Love” by Tommy Simms, and “We Cry Out” by Jesus Culture.
You're stuck on an island, it's hot, you only have enough battery life left to listen to one song on your phone. What track is it?
It would have to be a worship tune. Probably “Spirit Break Out” by William McDowell, featuring Trinity Anderson. That track brings the fire, and encourages deep moments in the presence of God. I love it!
What does the next year hold for you?
I’m currently on the WinterJam tour with Mandisa. After this, my team and I are planning a small worship tour in May. It will feature a few artists from Nashville & Huntsville that are making waves in the worship community. I also expect to release more music by the summer.