Ryan Innes: Mormon Musician
Ryan Innes is a native of Utah and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is a vocalist and songwriter who is best known for his soulful voice, and believed by some to sound like Marc Broussard, Gavin DeGraw, John Legend, Allen Stone, or James Morrison. Ashlie Lohner, the author of his biography on ReverbNation states, “Ryan’s voice will dig deep into your memories and help you release emotions long repressed in a way that is new and inspiring. Not only is his skill as a vocalist impeccable, but his ability to express emotion is the difference he brings to the table—then serves with a side of pie.”
Ryan has not always had a passion to pursue a music career. While in high school, he was allowed to play football under the condition that he also played the piano. He graduated from Eastern Arizona College with an associate’s degree in pre-medical science and had dreams of attending medical school and becoming a pediatrician. While in college, he became engaged to be married only to have the engagement broken off three weeks before the wedding. After the breakup, he began to reconsider his reasons for wanting to enter the medical profession. In an interview with Deseret News dated 11 June 2010, he remarked, "I hated my job. I started to reassess why I was going into medicine. Did I really have a passion for it? No. I was just doing it because of the money and status and nobility of it all." He continued, "Then, through a friend, I discovered the media music program at BYU and realized that was exactly what I wanted to do. I applied to BYU and got in. I auditioned and made it into the school of music. I took the aural skills test (having never taken anything like it in my life), and somehow passed. The doors opened up and I was on my way to BYU to study songwriting and contemporary voice — neither of which I’d ever done before."
While attending Brigham Young University (BYU), he honed his solo voice while performing with the a cappella group Vocal Point, and earned his bachelor’s degree in media music studies. In 2010, he released his first EP album. In July 2012, he performed at the Stadium of Fire in Provo, Utah for the Fourth of July celebration. He was one of the final two contestants, out of more than 3,000 auditions, and was able to perform with American legends, the Beach Boys. In that same year, he was a featured performer on The Nashville Tribute Band album “The Work: A Nashville Tribute to the Missionaries.”
He garnered national recognition during his stint as a contestant on the fourth season of NBC’s The Voice in 2013, where he chose Usher to work with. At the Blind Audition, Ryan sang “Gravity” by John Mayer. During the Battle Round he performed “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers and was advanced to the next round. At the Knockout Round, he competed against Cathia, and sang “I Don’t Want to Be” by Gavin DeGraw and was eliminated from the competition. However, he did not allow that small defeat keep him from moving forward with his hopes of pursuing a music career. In September 2013, he was a part of the Rooftop Concert Series in Provo, Utah.
Popular artists who have influenced his career include: Marc Broussard, John Mayer, Amos Lee, Ray LaMontagne, Marvin Gaye, Billy Joel, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, John Legend, Martin Sexton, Boyz II Men, and Daniel Bedingfield. To say that Ryan has music in his blood is somewhat of an understatement. One of his ancestors, Peter Howard McBride, was called by Brigham Young, the second President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to promote singing and music in the Gila Valley. In a 2009 Deseret News interview, Ryan commented, “I don’t need to win a Grammy, have a huge rock star following. … I just need to make enough money to support myself. I want to write quality music that means something to someone.”
Ryan has just written a new song with Jarrett Burns called “Rise & Fall” for the soundtrack of the soon to be released Christian movie Just Let Go which is the inspirational true story of Chris Williams who after surviving a drunk driving accident that killed his pregnant wife and two kids, struggles to “just let go” and forgive the young man who caused it.
Ryan’s biography on ReverbNation further exclaims, “His is a talent you hear once in a few lifetimes. His music makes you want to love harder, hurt deeper, and let go of all your inhibitions, leaving you speechless—until you learn the words well enough to sing along.”