One of the most appealing Inspirational artists to emerge in the millennial era is the affable and anointed Todd Dulaney. His charming smile and churchy anthems are totally in sync with what the saints want…authentic worshippers. His brand new project, Your Great Name, at the top of the Gospel Billboard charts, is Sunday morning music mixed with majestic favor.
Without question, it’s the sound of new millennium ministry put to contemporary Christian music. Dulaney recently gave an exclusive interview with BlackGospel.com and discussed his shaky transition from a retired professional baseball player to a rising music star, shining for Jesus.
Christopher Heron: First off, let’s roll back the clock for a minute to the album A Worshipper’s Heart. Did you think that Victory Belongs To Jesus would become the hit song from the album?
Todd Dulaney: Not me. I thought it was a good song, I thought it was a strong song, but everybody else around me was like, ‘’Dude, this is your song.’ So, it caught me by surprise.
Christopher Heron: I noticed that you did win best new Gospel artist from Billboard Magazine in 2016 so congratulations on that. There’s a wave of new artists that are representing Gospel music in the new millennium, like Travis Greene, Jonathan McReynolds, Anthony Brown, Tasha Cobbs…you’re a part of that new breed of artists. I describe it as a fresh, anointed, new sound for the millennial generation.
Todd Dulaney: I can feel it. I think we all can feel it, that we’re being embraced. Like you said, it’s our season. For whatever reason, we have a fresh wind that’s pushing us forward and everybody is like, ‘’we want to hear more.’’ Just 4 years ago, it was harder, but right now, we seem to be right in the middle of this whole shift. And the great thing about it is that the people that have been the gatekeepers, artists we looked up to in Gospel music are supporting us, artists like Tye Tribbet and Kirk Franklin. They’re encouraging us. So, it feels great.
Christopher Heron: Is there one person, a recording artist, that you would call your brother?
Todd Dulaney: Yeah, Travis Greene is my brother. He’s somebody that I talk to all the time and we share everything. We’re not just industry buddies. We let it all hang out when we’re around each other. There’s no artistry when we’re together. It’s just straight friendship.
Christopher Heron: That song, Your Great Name, is FIRE. How did you compose the song? And did you know this would be the title for the new album?
Todd Dulaney: Let me start with the second half of your question. eOne would have to get credit for the title of the album. The label switched the title to Your Great Name because the song was so strong. When I wrote this song, my whole objective was to write the biggest anthem in the church. I wanted the drums to be huge. I wanted you to feel the energy. So, I wrote the lyrics and most of the music and then I sent it over to my producer, Jamal Kimbrough, and he added many of the elements to the end of the song, making it so crazy! Once we were done, I said, ‘’This song is really big.’’
Christopher Heron: You honed your craft as a Worship artist, at Victory Cathedral Church where Smokie Norful is the senior pastor, serving as a Worship Leader.
Todd Dulaney: Who I really am in my heart is just a Worship leader. Everyone calls me a recording artist but I’m just a Worship leader. Even at my concerts, all I’m doing is leading worship. Leading worship completely prepared me for this because I don’t change up anything. I just do exactly what I would do on Sunday morning. I just stand up before the people and try my best to point them towards Jesus. There’s no way I can lose doing that.
Christopher Heron: You brought some very formidable female worshipers to this recording with Naomi Raine, Shana Wilson and Nicole Mullen. Why these women of Worship?
Todd Dulaney: I was very intentional about wanting to expose the world to new voices like Naomi Raine & Shana Wilson. When I heard those two women I was like, ‘’The world needs to know them.” And then with Nicole C. Mullen, that was just a dream come true for me because I really looked up to her. Her ability to cross cultures, that grabs my attention because it takes a specific kind of anointing to reach different people. For instance, I really like John Legend. I look at this artist and I’m like, ‘’Man.” because he can reach all cultures, and I’ve got a thing for that. It’s really easy to be who you are based upon where you’re from but it takes some effort to say, ‘’I’m going to learn more about people from other places.’’ When you’re in the barbershop, most guys can only speak from the perspective of the hood. That’s because they haven’t opened themselves up to say, ‘’Hey, I want to understand other cultures.’’ That takes effort.
Christopher Heron: Let’s see what makes you tick. For instance, who would be your dream duet on a recording?
Todd Dulaney: Chris Tomlin. He’s written so many church hits for the last 15 years.
Christopher Heron: What’s your favorite Gospel song of all time that you’d love to record one day?
Todd Dulaney: I think one of the greatest songs is Donnie McClurkin’s, Stand and Deitrick Haddon’s He’s Able.
Christopher Heron: And a Gospel producer you’d love to work with.
Todd Dulaney: Aaron Lindsey.
Christopher Heron: So what’s next in 2018?
Todd Dulaney: We’ve got the McDonald’s Tour. I will be part of that starting in March. We’re also back in studio to prepare for the DVD release concert. It never stops. I’m just trying to wear the people out with content.
Christopher Heron: And are you happy at this stage now?
Todd Dulaney: Yeah, I’m happy. I’ve proven a lot of people wrong. I had some naysayers, people that thought leaving professional baseball was a huge mistake. So, for me, it’s a small victory. But it’s not the end. I’m not going to stop. I’ll always be here. I’ll keep releasing strong music.
Christopher Heron: What’s one song that you want listeners to discover?
Todd Dulaney: It’s the last song on the project. It’s called I Can’t be Stopped. I ran into a sports anchor, his name is Harold Reynolds, and he asked me, ‘’Can you write a song for the Major League Baseball network’’ and I said, ‘’I can.’’ It’s written from a biblical perspective. It’s a song that encourages athletes to keep going. It’s a song that reminds you that in Christ you can never be stopped.
For more information on eOne recording artist, Todd Dulaney, and the chart-topping album, Your Great Name, visit his official website at www.todddulaneyland.com.