Moving the hearts of many through his ministry, Gospel artist-Todd Dulaney is walking in his purpose. The former New York Mets player realized early in his career that the calling placed on his life was much greater than baseball which led him to walk away from the game –but for a greater reward. After singing background for Gospel star Smokie Norful and becoming the worship leader at his church, he released his first album, “Pulling Me Through”, which landed him a deal with Entertainment One(eOne)-the confirmation that his decision was well worth it. With his latest single “The Anthem” currently climbing Billboards Hot Gospel charts, fans are in heavy anticipation of the follow up project.
Bleu staff had the chance to catch up with the rising Gospel star to talk about his departure from professional baseball and what he hopes to accomplish through his music.
From a pro-baseball player to a now popular gospel singer-What sparked that transition in your life?
It was a couple of key components that led me away from baseball, one being the opportunity that I received to sing background vocals for Pastor Smokie Norful, that really exposed me to music and ministry in a way that I had never seen it. Once I began traveling and singing I saw purpose in my life that I didn’t feel while playing baseball. I could see how strong and effective music was/is in people’s lives and from that moment I knew I wanted to encourage uplift and inspire through song. So it means so much to me to carry a message that I believe in all across the globe
Did you feel like being a gospel singer was something you were called to do?
ABSOLUTELY! I don’t think I’d even do it if I weren’t called to it. Being a singer is one thing but singing and carrying the message of the Gospel is a weight of responsibility all in itself. My top priority at all times is the message. The music is just a fun way for me to let people know that there is a way out of trouble
Did you grow up in the church?
My parents made sure that I had a foundation in the church, but playing baseball gave me an escape route on the weekends :-). Most of the times we had games on Saturday’s and Sunday’s so I was able to miss a lot of the Sunday morning church services. I thought I was running somewhere but God still got to me 🙂
You released your first album, Pulling Me Through, which was a big success for you, what did you feel in that moment?
Releasing Pulling Me Through was a huge moment of victory for me cause after walking away from professional baseball I could feel that people around me were looking like…. “You’re crazy, who just walks away from playing pro ball?” So to finally see things moving musically for me was overwhelming and weight lifted from my shoulders
What has been the biggest struggle in your life and what meaning did it add to your journey?
Marriage! Learning to become one with my wife was and is the greatest challenge of my life. It took me the first couple of years to learn that my wife didn’t approach everything like me, and did things her way. Once I learned to embrace our differences the love in our house went sky high. Two people learning to operate as one had me bouncing off the wall cause I was trying to make her into Todd Dulaney 2
What is the history between you and Smokie Norful? Did you all personally know each other before you started singing background for him?
Smokie and my brother went to college together at The University of Arkansas Pine Bluff and both studied music there. So once when I went down to visit my brother at school he introduced me to Smokie and said “Smokie sing something for my family” Smokie sings… I believe it was Mary Had a Little Lamb… and we were all like… This short man can SING!!!
What was the best advice he (Smokie) gave you?
Smokie’s foundational scripture that he often quoted was Matthew 6:33 “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you”. I adopted this as my own foundation. This scripture is my driving force, to always remind myself that I started out chasing the things of God so I wanna finish in the same manner
Looking back at your life, what advice would 30 year old you, give to 20 year old you?
Oh wow… I’d say pick better friends. Friends that wanna do the right things, friends that dream big and wanna bring greatness to the world. And also GO HOME AT NIGHT!! I used to think that all the great stuff happened at night.. Now I know better
So, You’re married, How do you find the balance between marriage and your career?
🙂 The balance is HAPPY WIFE HAPPY LIFE. Seriously keeping my wife happy makes life easier for me cause she is my helper. So I take care of her before any business and in turn she helps me take care of the business. (I was getting this wrong for a while)
How do you want to be remembered? And what do you hope your contribution to the world will be?
I want people to remember me as authentic. That my life lined up with what I sang about and that my music carried the weight and power of God Because my life was in line with the lyrics of the songs
Be sure to follow Todd on twitter @ToddDulaney
and @ToddDulaney1 on Instagram
Stay up to date with Todd at www.ToddDulaneyLand.com