Devoted mother and inspired vocalist Ellen Harris was highlighted last week, and here is her very enjoyable interview:
Li’el: What does a song have to do to grab you?
Ellen: This happens several ways:
I hear a verse chorus line or sometimes an entire song early in the morning. It’s strange, I believe they call it the “muse”, you have to catch it right then or else it will get away from you.
I hear songs in my dreams; I can hear my voice singing it. I hear the same verse over and over again all day in my spirit, as I’m driving to work, while I’m at work or thinking about events in my life, or listening to my favorite preacher, Charles Stanley on the radio.
Li’el: Who inspired you to start singing?
Ellen: I believe my parents encouraged me.
We (9 kids) attended church with my Mom and singing was part of the service. My Dad would always have country music playing all through our newly brick home in the 60s through the intercom speakers. We loved Christmas music too…both my parents would sing around the house all the time. I later fell in love singing around 12 years and joined the junior high chorus. Oh I forgot my High School Chorus teacher told me “never stop singing.”
Li’el: Who inspires you now?
Ellen: The Holy Spirit, family, friends, church members and all those people I’ve met along the way since I’ve released my CD.
Li’el: Why should we be inspired by you?
Ellen: I’ve put my faith into action, just as Christ has told us to do. God is always speaking something in our spirit. We have to listen to his “still small voice.” He leads us, if we let him. “Lead me, guide me, along the way…”
Li’el: Tell us about you as a singer?
Ellen: I’m just using the voice God has given me. I’m a alto and sometimes 2nd soprano. I’ve had no formal professional training, only have attended workshop and I’m now under an anointed Minister of Music at my church (New Song Bible Fellowship). I’m still praying for a personal vocal coach. I have to pray and allow the Holy Spirit to take over when I step up to the microphone. I try to hold back the tears, so I can complete the song…that is very hard to do at times when I’m singing with my tracks. I minister to myself as I practice the song, thinking about the words to apply to my life.
Li’el: Tell us about yourself as a person.
Ellen: I’m basically an introvert but I’ve come out of my shell by singing. I’m ok alone, and I can talk to anyone…I make conversations quickly, and I have a warm personality that put people at ease. I’ve laugh more these days, and my daughters say I’m so funny, I tell jokes and have a sense of humor now!! I’ve learned to speak up for myself so that people will not take advantage of me. I have matured since my early adult years.
Lie’l: Tell me about your experience in college?
Ellen: Graduated from Norfolk State University in 1982, can’t believe it’s been almost 30 years. I still have dreams going back to college. As a young person, sometimes you really don’t know what you want to do. I took business courses in high school, thought I would be a Business Teacher; instead I’ve been employed by the Federal Government working mostly in administration since graduation. Maybe I will pursue a Social Work degree when I retire. There are so many loop holes in the system.
Li’el: Tell me about your aspirations and lifetime wishes?
Ellen: First to be Godly woman, “To be want God wants me to be “ and yield to his divine calling in my life.
I would like to keep the balance and manage my time more wisely. To appreciate this season I’m currently in right now. I don’t have any small children anymore and I have all this extra time to pursue my passions. I plan to have the CD loaded on the internet this year, and also a video for “In His Time.” I’m still tinkering on the piano, been at that “for a minute” but happy I can play some songs to calm my spirit. I’ve had this dream to be able to play the piano very well, but now I know it takes a lot practice and determination. When my husband started preaching at Holy Cross Nursing Home over 5 years ago, I was one of worship leaders, the soloist, and performed many of my original songs there and also played simple hymns on the organ.
Li’el: Tell me about your album “A New Song”?
Ellen: This is the first song was birthed in my spirit after reading Ephesians 5:19. I wrote this song in 30 minutes.
”Speaking to yourself, singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”
I heard the chorus line first: “I will worship you with all of my heart, I will worship you with all of my mind, making melody in my heart to the Lord, making melody in my soul.”
Li’el: Tell me about the writing process:
Ellen: Some songs come quickly, some take many years to complete. You get a piece here, a thought here or there; the pieces of a puzzle come together over time. It’s like the artist stroking the paint brush, except it’s with words. It all comes from the spirit and going through life…the good and bad, the pain, the joy and victory. Songs are just poetry in motion: observing people, nature, the world, being in tune with God speaking in your spirit, phases of life etc. You have to be quiet and “still.” My CD project took two years to complete. You learn to collaborate with all those people involved in the project: my daughters, background singers and studio staff. Making a CD is just like making a movie, writing a book or play. I can say “I’m pregnant with these songs”
Li’el: What is your motto about the work you put out?
Ellen: It’s all about reaching and saving souls for the kingdom. I may never get feedback or an email from most of my listeners out there, but my reward is in Heaven. I encourage and inspire others to live for the Lord, seeking his perfect will for their lives. I’m trusting God for my next project, hope to have it on ITunes next time.
Li’el: What is your motto about life?
Its what you make it…for we get one chance on this side of Glory. Seems like the older you get, the faster the time goes. Take “9/11” its been 10 years already. We must make the most of our days. I lost my youngest sister, Esther in 1997, she was hit by a car while crossing the street in the morning. Since her death, God has challenged me every day with this question…. “What will you leave?” I will leave my children, my family and my songs to somebody out there who needs the Lord to look to for comfort. I’m a servant doing the master’s will…
It is apparent that this is an awesome woman of God! I’d like to personally thank her for this interview, as well as invite you to check out her CD ministry that will be up with its own separate page. Look out for and listen to “A New Day”!