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Elvin Ross

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Ross grew up in the small town of Hahnville, Louisiana outside of New Orleans. His mother was a middle school music teacher and skilled pianist who taught Ross how to play the piano from a young age — a craft he loved and excelled in. Soon, Ross started playing for local churches, and although he knew he’d found his calling in music, his mother insisted he “do more”, so he attended Delgado College and earned a degree in architecture. Upon graduation, he moved to Atlanta to utilize his degree in the real estate market, but he also continued down his path playing of music, in this case, for churches. Soon he began attending and playing at New Beginning Full Gospel Baptist Church in Decatur, and bumped into a familiar face. Back at his home church in Louisiana, Ross was friends with a member of the choir named Tyler Perry. Perry had moved to Atlanta and was a fledgling playwright who had just lost the music director for his first play, I Know I’ve Been Changed, and asked Ross to step in. Ross accepted his proposal, and the pair became quick friends working on play after play together and traveling the country opening them in different theaters. Of course, anyone who has heard Perry’s story knows that his is not an overnight success story. “We were there for each other through a lot of hard times,” shares Ross of his friendship with Perry. “Tyler and I actually used to share hamburgers between us, because we didn’t have enough money to buy two.” Though difficult, the duo did find success, and they both proceeded to set their sights on film.

“I spent a lot of time in my basement creating music and themes and dreaming that I would someday have opportunities to share it with the world,” says Ross. Then one day, Perry invited him to come watch the dailies of his movie Diary of a Mad Black Woman. “I watched the opening scene, and told Tyler, ‘This is so beautiful, I’d love for you to hear some things I’ve been working on’, so he played the opening scene again, and I played a piece of music I had written, and it worked so perfectly together that in that moment, we knew that was it,” Ross shares. So Perry took Ross’s composition to Lionsgate, and they hired him on the spot to be the composer for the film.

In 2008, Ross moved from Atlanta to Los Angeles to get closer to the film industry and network with and learn from other composers. Ross continued to work with Perry and also made his mark on the industry as the creator and executive producer of the reality show Gospel Dream, a talent search show that appeared on both BET and then Gospel Music Channel for six seasons. In 2009, he founded his production company, E. Ross Studios, and he scored every television show created at Tyler Perry Studios for nearly a decade. In 2012, he made his directorial debut with the documentary film Kunta Kinteh Island, which he also wrote and produced. He also moved back to Atlanta.



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