For Monterey, Louisiana native, Ross Ellis, writing songs cut by his heroes “just doesn’t get old.” Penning hits for country music superstars such as Tim McGraw (“Neon Church”) in 2020 and most recently, Gary Allen (“Slide”), the 28-year-old initially moved to Music City to be an artist. On Friday, June 4, he took another step into that dream with “I Wish You Would”—his first song release in over a year.
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Ellis co-wrote the song with Dan Fernandez and Michael Whitworth in the summer of 2017, around the time of the eclipse. Over a few beers, the three friends attempted to “make a heartbreak song fun and sexy.” Pushing the limits of how many sexual terms they could get away with, the tongue-in-cheek track had to be PG-13-proofed before they could pitch it around town.
Ellis grew up singing in his Southern Baptist church. His mom claims it started in his carseat, but it was something he did with family on the porch up through starting his own band the Wayside with his cousin and some high school friends at 15. The band gained a strong following throughout Ellis’ high school and college years, playing venues across Louisiana and Mississippi. After graduating from University of Louisiana at Monroe—McGraw’s alma mater—Ellis turned down multiple job offers to move to Nashville.
When he arrived, Ellis was staying in the Fiddler’s Inn in Opryland because, he says, “In my mind, that’s where Music Row was.” He laughs, adding, “I didn’t know the first thing about Nashville and hardly knew a soul in this city.”
After a month of living out of hotels, Ellis met singer/songwriters, Jameson Rodgers and Hunter Phelps, who were looking for a third roommate. After less than a year of working part-time jobs, evening and weekend writing, and playing writer’s rounds, Ellis caught the attention of BMI’s Bradley Collins. A short time later, he signed at Big Deal Music. . While continuing to write and record, Ellis has toured alongside the likes of Chris Janson, Brett Young, Chase Rice, Raelynn, and Eli Young Band.
“I Wish You Would” follows “Love Blind” in 2020 and “Home to Me.” Looking to one of his favorite bands and greatest influences, Kings of Leon, his new track takes his country roots to the next rock-leaning level. The breakup content can be traced back to “Ghosts” (2018), but here he laments on lost-lust, rather than the haunting nature of heartbreak.
Listen to Ross Ellis’ latest, “I Wish You Would,” below. Stayed tuned for more updates here.