Ty Russell follows role model, mom Karen Kingsbury, while finding his own way in music industry
With his own song on iTunes and a mother who is known as “the queen of Christian fiction writing,” sophomore Ty Russell is ready to be a bright light for the entertainment industry.
Russell’s mother, Karen Kingsbury, has written over 50 novels appealing to all ages. Russell said his mother travels a decent amount for book signings and conventions. And although some people may think that would have a negative effect on the family, Russell insists that it’s not a factor.
“She puts family first. … Even if she is on a deadline and someone needs help with homework, she helps with the homework because she is a mom first,” he said.
Russell said he looks up to his mother as his role model in many different ways. “It’s cool that she has a platform but is still so humble.”
Transferring from a bigger campus in Virginia called Liberty University, Russell said he is ready to see what a small campus in a big city has in store for him.
“I like to get plugged in and know the faces around me every day,” Russell said.
Even though his family moved to Nashville in the summer of 2011, Russell still attended Liberty for the 2011-2012 school year.
“It was weird coming home from school for Thanksgiving break to a new place,.” he said.
Music City seems to be a central location for Russell and his plans for the future. After asking around to try to find a smaller Christian school, Russell said Lipscomb was the most popular response.
“Everyone is so nice, warm and welcoming,” he said. “Everyone is here to serve and glorify God, which is important to me.”
With three weeks of classes under his belt, Russell said, “I think I am where I am supposed to be now.”
Russell is the second oldest of six children in his family. Three of his younger brothers were actually adopted by his parents from Haiti in 2000.
“Our family is really unique,” Russell said. “We are super close.”
Russell’s close family encourages him to pursue his musical talents., His song “Just Beyond the Clouds” is available on iTunes. Russell said he wrote the song with a family friend named Gary Baker. Since its release, his songwriting has been on the rise.
Rusell recalled being a high school student, touring with his mother and performing the song after she had done her promotion.
“I got exposure and saw what performing felt like,” he said. “I intend to actively pursue music even while I am in school.”
Music isn’t all Russell wants to use to change the world of entertainment.
“Whether it’s through journalism or music, the world of entertainment can be such a heavy place,” he said.
Russell, who is currently undecided on a major, said he isn’t yet sure what his future will be, noting that he’s interested journalism, teaching and music. “Anything is possible,” he said. “I am at a stage in my life where I have ideas, but nothing set.”
Unlike a lot of the entertainment industry, Russell said he wants to make God his theme. “I have a huge passion for music, and through some kind of entertainment, I want to portray the message of Jesus.”
With his intentions of being a bright light for the world of entertainment, Russell said his current accolades have shown him what it takes to be successful, and he intends to follow in the steps of a few of his role models, like Jeremy Camp.
“I like the way he can take music and do a lot of stuff over seas impacting cultures where Christianity isn’t always available,” Russell said, describing Camp.
Regardless of the career choice Russell makes, the entertainment scene can expect a change.
“The world of entertainment needs a bright light,” he said, “and I want to be that light.”