Rising gospel star Todd Dulaney talks faith,
family, and fatherhood
By TJ Armour,
Todd Dulaney's "Victory Belongs To Jesus,"
from his CD "A Worshipper's Heart," is still in
the top 10 of Billboard's Gospel Music charts almost a
year after it's release.
And, Todd has a story to tell.
From giving up a pro baseball career and leaving the New York Mets'
organization behind to navigating his way through the
rocky waters of the music industry to balancing it all
while remaining a devoted husband and father, Todd has a
testimony that he wants to share with the world.
The Chicago native ended up singing behind Grammy Award winner Smokie
Norful and assuming the role of the worship leader
at Norful's church before releasing his independent
debut album, Pulling Me Through, in 2011. Now
signed to eOne Music, Dulaney's hit sophomore album, "A Worshipper's Heart."
has spawned another top 10 hit with "Victory Belongs
"Anthem" from the CD reached #4 on Billboard's
Gospel Music charts.
Rolling out recently caught up with Dulaney to discuss his faith, his
journey to this moment, and his hit, "The Anthem."
Who were your musical influences?
I've always loved the sound of Israel Houghton's
music. I love how it's appreciated by all cultures.
Also, when I was a kid, my brother had a Deitrick
Haddon cassette tape that I played out!! "Don't
Let Me Fall" was my jam. So, I'd say those two guys
really impacted me coming up.
Tell us about your decision to leave professional
baseball to pursue your ministry and recording career.
Did you have an epiphany or was it something you had
been considering for a while?
I guess I can say it was an epiphany because, if you had
asked me as a child what I'd be doing now, you couldn't
have paid me to say I'd be singing. But, my faith gave
me a perspective that I never had before. Once I
realized what I believed, then my priorities changed and
things like playing pro ball took a back seat to what I
now believe is my purpose, and that's to spread the
Gospel through song.
What are some of the things you learned while
touring and working with Smokie Norful?
live performance of,
"Victory Belongs To Jesus"
Pastor Norful taught me to study and not just sing. He
taught me how to address media.
And, probably one of the most essential things, he taught me how to completely write a song. I
remember I had ideas of songs and I'd bring them to him to listen,
and he'd say, "It's not finished." I would say "Well, that's all I
got!" but he'd tell me to go back and work harder to finish it.
Name one thing fans
would be surprised
to know about you?
Hmm, maybe that
I love the smell of new book pages. Anyone that knows me calls it
weird. They catch me sniffing the pages and wonder what's going on.
But that's my thing. (laughs)
New Bible pages are the best!!! (Weird I know. Don't judge me.)
What can fans expect from
A Worshipper's Heart?
We've loaded this sophomore project with songs that we can engage
our congregations with... songs that are easy to catch on to and
sing along. This album is my first live album and the entire night
exceeded my expectations. So, I'm believing this album will, by far,
be my best work yet.
Tell us about "The Anthem,"
your latest single.
is one of those songs that will last throughout time because of its
timeless message. It was written and performed first by Planet
Shakers (A worship movement in Australia) and I would
always sing it like it was my own. So, as we were preparing the
songs for my upcoming record, I was asked, "Are there any songs that
you'd like to cover?" I thought to myself ... yes! And I'm thankful
that I did.
With Father's Day approaching,
can you tell us a bit about your story/journey into fatherhood?'
Well, my wife Kenya and I have two kids (Taylor, 2 and
Todd Jr., 4). So we've kinda jumped into the world of
parenting with a full steam ahead. Our journey is one of constant
learning and adjusting. I'm always watching my children to see where
I need to step in and help them see things with a clear set of eyes.
One of my parenting slogans is, "It's my job to see it until you're able
to see it yourself." We're raising kids in a time where, there is so
much going on in our nation, that as parents we absolutely must have
a good grip and pulse for what's going on in our kids lives
Any advice for those
looking to break
into the world of gospel?
sing! Always look for opportunities to share your gift. If you are
meant for this, then people will take notice. But, you must keep
singing and building a following of people that appreciate what God
is doing through you.