Spare a moment please for the music of DavidB, the Gospel/R&B singer-songwriter who is on an incredible journey and is taking his listeners with him. In terms of the music world as a whole, DavidB is hardly a newcomer. So far the singer’s list of solo and group achievements (with Manchester Gospel group D.T.W.G) include MOBO, JUMP, and Gospel Music Award nominations, singing alongside the likes of Josh Groban and Heather Smalls, performances/appearances at Big Church Day Out, New Wine Festival and Songs of Praise, as well as sold out gigs in his hometown of Manchester.
But having faced major setbacks, which could have put an end to his music career before it really got started, David knows what it means to start from scratch. Now with a debut EP Care About The Journey under his belt, it seems that David is finally moving ahead with his music, and he is determined to appreciate each and every moment.
Like most artists, 26 year old David Balogun realised his passion for music early on in life, identifying singers like Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Brandy and his own father as his musical inspirations. In 2002, David wrote and recorded his first single “First Love” which was well received and gained him some initial recognition. After time spent honing his voice, David soon found himself in Manchester-based music groups D.T.W.G (Desire To Worship God) and Manchester Sing Out Choir.
His desire for music continued to grow, but the path David followed to get closer to it was an unpredicted one. The plan was to study medicine like his father but this did not work out as well as expected, and after much soul-searching, David eventually found his way back to music. He released a few singles here and there, and dedicated a year to working on his debut album (in 2010-2011). But unfortunately the album was never released, presenting yet another blow that taught David about the darker, more ‘political’ realities of the music industry.
However the situation also taught the singer to re-think his idea of what music is to him. “It made me realize that music isn’t the end of everything“, he says in an interview with VineJuice, “sometimes the end feels so impossible that we forget about the little steps needed to get us there“. It is his appreciation of these little steps that ultimately signalled the creation of his first EP Care About The Journey, released in June this year. In hindsight, this turn of events might seem like an ironic and bittersweet moment for the artist.
Nonetheless DavidB is still moving forward step by step, and his debut single from the EP is testament to that. Moving away from his usual R&B sound, “Ijo Ya” is a catchy blend of dance and Afrobeats sounds that DavidB’s voice flows effortlessly on. The beat itself may have received a little too much attention on this song, as it would have been nice to hear more from David’s voice. But all is forgiven when you hear the line about the ‘Ghana Must Go’ bag… because how often do you hear a ‘Ghana Must Go’ bag reference in a Christian Afrobeats song?!
DavidB’s second official single “Sold Out” is a brilliant follow up, and is where you get to hear the richness of the smooth soulful sound that he is known for. Singing about his determination to be sold out for Jesus, “Sold Out” is an infectious Gospel/R&B track and top marks have to be given to producer Teon for that beat and overall crystal-clean sound. Honourable mention must also go to DavidB’s YouTube cover of Whitney Houston’s “I Look To You” – please listen to it, then listen to it again. If that cover isn’t giving you all kinds of Boyz II Men, melt-like-butter, sweeter-than-syrup, throwback 90s R&B goodness… then you must not have been listening! Go back and play it again, your ears deserve it!
DavidB’s musical journey may not have been an easy one so far, but he is not mistaking whatever trials may come as dead-ends anymore. He is choosing instead to enjoy the ride, learning from the highs and the lows of life, and urging others to do the same. Care About The Journey is available right now on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play.