Fresh Start, the long-awaited Gotee Records debut from
GRAMMY Award-nominated singer/songwriter Ryan Stevenson, hit
the top of the charts with "Eye of the Storm," (feat. GabeReal).
For Gotee Records, one of Christian music's most successful independent
labels, it was their first #1 on Billboard's National Christian Audience
(NCA) and Mediabase Christian Audience charts. The breakthrough,
multi-format single from the GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter is
making history for the label as it has topped six charts, including
iTunes' Christian and Gospel Songs. A year later, the followup single,
"The Gospel, entered the top 25. Now the title track from
"No Matter What" is in the top 10.
"Eye of the Storm"
won the Dove Award For Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year.
Highlighted by the multi-week #1, "Not Forgotten" (feat.
TobyMac). Produced and mixed by Bryan Fowler (TobyMac)
for fabmusic, with "Not Forgotten" produced by Chuck Butler (Mandisa)
and mixed by Christopher Stevens (Mat Kearney) for fabmusic,
Fresh Start features 10 songs co-written by Stevenson.
Ryan followed up
"Fresh Start" with another CD, "No Matter What that included The
Gospel with the title cut released as a single.
Ryan, thank you for doing this interview with us. How does it feel
to have TobyMac cut your song "Speak Life"?
Thanks for the opportunity! It's an amazing honor to have written
several songs with Toby and have him record them for his projects. He's
been a mentor figure to me for many years, so writing "Speak Life"
together felt like a crazy dream come true.
Congratulations on the release of "Fresh Start."
I have read from your press release that revival is something close to
your heart. How do you think this new record can ignite our hearts to
love Jesus more?
Yes! The Lord has been speaking "revival" to my heart for
several years. Recently, He has been walking with me through a process
of stretching, pruning and refining. Within this process, I've been
learning that pruning means He's ultimately moving me into the
mainstream of His purposes for my life. When we start to believe that He
is ALWAYS good, then we will begin to trust Him! When we do that, we
begin to not worry about our daily details and plans, we just walk and
see where he takes us. I feel like the key to revival is His presence.
Again, when we believe that He is a good God, and that He's always
motivated by love; we begin to operate without fear. This type of
uncommon lifestyle of presence seeking ultimately revives our hearts and
draws us to Him.
Why did you entitle record "Fresh Start"?
This song in particular has a special meaning to me because of
what I've sensed the Lord doing in my life. I feel like I've stepped
into a new season with the Lord. I don't feel like I'm starting over,
but rather beginning a fresh new adventure. This record- these songs and
the heart behind it all- is 100% birthed from coming into a new
understanding of His grace. The book of Lamentations says, "His mercies
are new every morning." I've walked through some serious fire over the
last several years but the growth from that has been profound. I believe
He gives us fresh starts and clean slates moment by moment.
See Ryan Stevenson's
"No Matter What" (feat.
Bart Millard of MercyMe) [Official
official lyric video of
"The Gospel" - Click
Ryan Stevenson's Official
Lyric Video for the #1 CCM Song,
"Eye of the Storm" -
Tell us more about "All Yours."
What inspired you to write this brand new single?
I wrote "All Yours" while I was sitting on the beach on
the Oregon coast. Again, I've been discovering how amazingly good the Lord
is all the time. Even during my selfish, prideful, lustful episodes, He
never changes. He always treats me the same; He continues to hold me,
provide for me and love with me such unending patience. Seeing this in my
life makes me not want to grieve Him. His kindness leads me to repentance
and makes me want to bless Him with my life. With all I have, I just want to
be all His. I wanted to simply tell him, "I'm All Yours!"
I also love the song "From the Ground Up."
Tell us more about the story behind this song.
I grew up in a small farming community in Southern Oregon, in a
little town called Bonanza. That's where I was molded with values that
shaped the course of my life. I am so thankful that I got to grow up in the
country surrounded by community. I grew up working on my best friend's dairy
farm. This place saved my life! It taught me to work hard; to not quit; to
persevere during difficult seasons. I also grew up in a little country
church singing the hymns of old. This was how I learned about Jesus. My
growing up out there extinguished any ounce of entitlement in me. I know I
carry the heart of my upbringing with me everywhere I go. It's who I am!
I believe you co-wrote all the songs on this new album. Who are
some of your co-writers? Any interesting story from your songwriting
sessions for this album?
I am so blown away at the brilliance and gifts within each of my
co-writers. People like Jason Ingram, Jeff Pardo, Matt Maher, Toby Mac,
Gabe Patillo, Bryan Fowler...these guys bring out the best in me! Every
one of them is so anointed! My favorite story from this album was how
"Bonanza" was written. My A&R man (Brad from Gotee) swung by the studio one
afternoon, and out of the blue said, " ou should try to write a song about
growing up in Oregon." It wasn't even a thought for this record, and we were
getting close to wrapping it all up. However, that evening I started to
write it. The next day, Bryan (my producer) came to the studio because he
forgot something. I shared the idea, and we finished the song in about 30
minutes and recorded it the next day. It was amazing to see it seamlessly
come together. It was my favorite song to record!
I believe you are a fan of Brennan Manning and his writing even inspired
you to write one of the songs on the album. What do you like about Manning's
I love how RAW he is. When I started to learn about his
personal life, that's when I really started to connect with his books. He
lived so vulnerably and wasn't afraid to talk about the broken, ugly things
of his life. His testimony started to revive me, and began a journey of
deliverance from a lot of unhealthy thoughts and patterns in my life. I'm so
thankful for his willingness to simply live openly before people. He kept
short tabs with Jesus and knew his inability to fix himself. It's in our
weakness that His strength is made perfect!
~ from www.hallels.com ~