Tell us about your family.
I love my family! My beautiful wife, Molly, and I have been married almost seven years now. We have three incredible children, Jack, Grey, and Annie. My parents, Randy and Dovey Ensey, started a church in Montgomery, Texas when I was six, and their faithfulness and trust in God continue to amaze me. I have two brothers, Brian and Michael, who I'm incredibly proud of. Brian is the postmaster in Conroe, the city where we live, and Michael is the general youth secretary of the UPCI! I have two wonderful sisters-in-law, Rebecca and Stacey, as well as six nephews and a niece! I have the best in-laws that anyone could ask for, and have been handed an amazing heritage from my grandparents, Jerry and Roffie Ensey.
Describe your spiritual journey.
That's a loaded question! "Journey" is a good way to phrase that. My mind immediately goes to a couple of songs that would make a perfect reply to that: Marvin Sapp's "Never Would Have Made It", and Clint Brown's, "If Not For Grace". Being raised in a pastor's home, I grew up in truth, received the Holy Ghost at six, and was baptized in Jesus’ name at seven. As every other person who grows up in church knows, there came a time when I had to make my own decisions about living for God. I never left church and completely quit living for God, but for several years, I was, as the parable of the lost coin details, "lost in the house". I came to church and was very involved, but I carried around weight and sin that hindered my walk with God and hampered my ability to be effectively used by Him. But thankfully, we serve a God who is faithful, who forgives, who loves in spite of our faults, and who is willing to take that which is broken and make it beautiful again. That's really what a lot of my music is about...a good God who will use us if we make ourselves available! In the last few years, I've just placed myself in God's hands, and told Him that whatever He wanted to do in and through me, I was available!
What is your favorite Scripture in the Bible?
I have many, but to narrow it down to one, I would have to say Isaiah 12:2: Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation.
What is your music background?
I've always been very vocal, and I honestly can't remember ever NOT singing. Until I was six, we lived on the Texas Bible College campus, and I can remember loving to watch the singers and musicians during chapel and other special services. I wrote my first song around seven. I was heavily influenced musically by my dad. During those early years of writing, even until I left for college, many times I would write lyrics and he would create the music on our home piano. I have fond memories of falling asleep at night to Dad playing the piano, one of the many instruments he plays, so it's no wonder I'm musically inclined! I taught myself to play the drums at 14 and the piano about 15. I grew up listening to 4Him, Michael English, Phillips, Craig, and Dean, Angelo and Veronica, Bebe and CeCe, etc.
What is your favorite song to sing? Why is it your favorite?
Of my own songs, I have two that are my favorites to sing. I love “Still Small Voice” because it's probably the most meaningful song I've written. It has a beautiful sound, but more importantly, it's about responding to God in a way that says, "whatever you want me to do, here I am, I'll do it!". The other is “Paranoid”, and I love that one because it's just so much fun! It's one of the more creative songs I've written, and in spite of the slightly crazy name, has an important message. It's basically the story of Psalms 23, but from a slightly different perspective. Aside from my own songs, I have to say that "The Day the Earth Stood Still" by Brian McKnight (song about Jesus' crucifixion) is one of my favorites to sing just because of all the melisma and vocal gymnastics that ensue in any song that BM sings.
Do you write your own songs? (If so, discuss your usual songwriting process.)
I do write my own songs, and I wrote the music and lyrics for every song on this album. That was important to me, especially for this debut project. I wanted to come out with something original that not only had depth and meaning from me to God, but that would also be enjoyable for others to listen to. I wanted a project that someone would actually want to pop in and listen to just for enjoyment as much as for worship. I write songs a couple of different ways: sometimes I start with the melody (music), and sometimes I start with a lyric. As anyone who writes probably knows, sometimes there are moments of inspiration where it all comes out together and flows perfectly, but MOST of the time, I start with one or the other. Many times I'll have an idea (lyrically) for a song in my head, so I'll sit down at the piano and fool around until I come up with a melody that works. Occasionally, I'll play something really cool on the piano and decide that I HAVE to write lyrics for it!
Where can we listen, purchase, and connect with you?
You can visit my personal website www.jonathanensey.com for updates, info, and to purchase physical CD's. You can also purchase the CD from the Pentecostal Publishing House. For digital downloads, you can purchase the album at www.itunes.com/jonathanensey , as well as on Amazon, CDBaby, and most other digital retailers (simply search for Jonathan Ensey). You can also check out www.facebook.com/jonathanenseymusic make sure to "Like" it so that you receive updates in your feed. If you are on Twitter, you can follow me at @jonathanensey.
What would you do with a million dollars?
Well, a million dollars isn't what it used to be! Plus, aside from being an artist, I'm also a financial advisor, so I would have to say that I would probably be pretty boring with the money. Aside from paying tithes, I would pay off our vehicles, maybe put aside $50k to travel some, but I would most likely invest the rest for retirement.
What time in history would you like to visit for a week?
Man! I love history, so that would be a hard one to decide. I would have to say that I would love to see ancient Egypt, Babylon, or Rome in its heyday.
What is your favorite breakfast cereal?
I'm a Fruity Pebbles guy all the way! I've been eating them since I was tiny and have no plans to stop just because it isn't wholesome "adult cereal". My wife buys two boxes when grocery shopping...one for the kids and one for me!
What is your dream vacation spot?
Again, this is a hard one because I love to travel. I think any vacation that I actually get to go on is a dream come true. Ha! It depends on what mood I'm in. My brothers and I usually take an annual ski trip to Colorado, and I thoroughly enjoy that. Just for relaxing, there's a spot in Mexico called Akumal that my wife and I love to go. It's a tiny beach village with only maybe a hundred people that actually live there, so it's very private, but it has excellent food and amazing beaches. I've always wanted to visit Fiji, so that would definitely be a dream vacation. I also love the Old World feel in most of Europe, and could spend a lot of time over there just eating all the varieties of food. And lastly, I could definitely stand to take a golf vacation to Scotland. That's "trip of a lifetime" material.
Who do you want to send a 'shout out' to?
Since I've already mentioned my personal family, I would have to send a shout out to my church family at Living Way Church in Conroe, TX. They are an amazing group of people, and I'm grateful for the support and love they've shown me over the past twenty years. I would also like to say thank you to everyone along the journey of my life that has believed in me and pushed me to keep growing in God, and to keep reaching for my dreams.