His starting in the show business was leading rhythm and blues & ska bands in the 60’s like The Bees, The Seven Letters and The Pyramids but the success came with Symarip in 1969 selling over 7 millions of copies with the ‘Skinhead Moonstomp’ album for Trojan Records, introducing the Reggae sounds in UK and the rest of Europe. Up to date he’s still the artist who has sold the biggest number of records in Trojan, even more than others like Bob Marley or Jimmy Cliff.
Roy Ellis, also known as Mr. Symarip, was borned in Kingston, Jamaica, from mother Jamaican and American father. He was already brilliant as a ten-years old solo singer in the Children Gospel choir in the Baptist Church in Kingston (Jamaica). In his school-days he developed a strong friendship with Jimmy Cliff, and also Bob Marley belonged to his circle of friends.
Later in the 60’s in England and central Europe he made himself with his giant voice an international name in the Ska, Reggae, Gospel, Blues, Soul scene. Roy Ellis was also the lead singer and song writer from one of the most famous British Ska, Reggae, Gospel, Blues, Soul, Funk Band: The Pyramids / Symarip. During the 60’s he was one of the pioneers for the Ska and Reggae music in England and Middle Europe.
In 1966 he was discovered by the "Godfather of Ska", Laurel Aitken, who wrote 2 songs: ‘Jesse James Rides Again’ and ‘Because I Love You’, and also produced a bunch of other hits for them.
In 1970 The documentary film "REGGAE" was flimed in the Wembley stadium. Roy Ellis interpreted the Ska & Reggae Music and also Gospel songs in Reggae style. And in 1971 sang Roy Ellis his blues-characteristic compositions ‘See you later’ and ‘To Father’, in the film ‘Warm December’, the star performer was the magnificent film actor Sidney Poitier.
And just after hitting the charts with Symarip he decided to dedicate his carrer to gospel and soul music leaving the Reggae scene for about twenty years.
Since 1980 Roy Ellis lived in Switzerland holding the Swiss nationality.
In 1994 Roy Ellis was a guest singer by the Bo Katzmann Choir Christmas tour, that was transmitted also by the Swiss TV. In 1995 Roy Ellis appeard on the Swiss TV ‘Music & Quiz’ program Megaheart with his own composition ‘Switzerland is Beautiful’.
In 1999 Roy Ellis with his Gospel choir, The Angel-Singers, accompanied Tina Turner, Phill Collins, Francin Jordi, in the popular Swiss TV family program ‘Benissimo’.
The return of Roy Ellis to the Reggae / Ska scene after being involved on his gospel and soul projects in Switzerland for came three years ago when he started to play some Reggae - Ska shows in Germany and Switzerland, and the sucess was so great that he has also been recenlty touring Japan and other european countries like Greece, Poland, Czech Republic, UK, Spain, Austria, Italy, and also Mexico, Chicago, etc.