Pulled Him Through – Meet GoldStreet Gospel’s Todd Dulaney

Monday, 07 November 2011 01:31 Written by  Cicely V. Teal

It is true that music is a universal language, but gospel music is the language of the soul. For years, the conversation among gospel industry circles has been how to make it more modern in order to reach the masses, particularly the youth. The sound of praise and worship has typically been traditional and often been lost on those it seeks to reach.

In a time where people are searching for hope and want to be inspired, in steps the musical ministry of 27-year-old former New York Met, Todd Dulaney. His professional baseball career was halted when he was injured and released from the Mets, but in his hour of darkness, he was called to an even greater purpose. His urban inspirational sound is changing the genre of praise and worship. He is inspiring both the older and younger generations with his anointing, and GMO had the privilege of catching up with the 2012 Stellar Award New Artist of the Year nominee as he opened up about his early beginnings, his pro baseball career, his calling and his journey ahead.

On his upbringing...

“I was privileged to have been raised in a two-parent home (Thomas and Tommye), which I found out later in life wasn't the norm. I also had one older brother (Torry) and the oldest was my sister (Tam) which made me, yes, the spoiled baby brother. I honestly can say that I always felt like I was destined for something greater than average but I assumed it would be in athletics. I never imagined it would be serving the Lord.”

On his calling...

“I believe the calling became clear after my second season with the [New York] Mets. During that off season, I began to sing background and travel with Pastor Smokie Norful, and at that time I began to see purpose for myself. The breakthrough came once "Pulling Me Through" (Dulaney’s first single) was released. Once this song was released, a lot of what God had promised me began to become visible. The tough part was holding to what I knew He had shown me. Especially when everyone was saying, ‘You've gone mad for giving up baseball.’”

A few years back GoldStreet Gospel, a Chicago-based record company, began to reach out for artists.

It was the talk of the city of Chicago. There were so many artists wanting an opportunity,” Dulaney said. One night while Dulaney was attending Living Word Christian Center in Forest Park, Ill., producer Ed Tucker approached him about his future in gospel music.

He [Tucker] said that the Lord instructed him to connect with me. He asked me what I did, and I told him that I was an aspiring worship leader,Dulaney said. He said he believed he had a good opportunity for me. I gave him my contact information and he didn't contact me for about a month and a half. But when he did, it was a great fit.

On staying true to the music...

“I personally think that it's impossible to proclaim the Gospel in any capacity without staying in the Word of God. God is always moving, and He always will be. Therefore, music is always evolving, and in order for me to hear what to sing or what to say, I have to be connected. If we, as people, are able to notice that sometimes the Gospel isn't present in gospel music, then I know that God notices it. So there is no doubt in my mind that He can and will rise up or pull down whoever or whatever He wants. I just don't want to be yanked down.”

On Inspiration...

As a former background singer for Pastor, Grammy and Stellar Award winner Smokie Norful, Dulaney received words that would change his life.

"He [Norful] played probably the biggest role in my transition from baseball to music ministry," Dulaney said. "The best piece of advice that he shared with me was you have to get in your Word. You just can't sing all day. You have to have something to say. When I got that piece of advice, I took that and ran with it."

On being anointed...

“I really believe that the music is for the masses, and what I mean is that when I write music, I write with hopes that even the least of the musically inclined can catch on and sing along.  I believe when a ton of people get together and sing, with one voice, a song to the Lord it moves things in a place. More than just the musical experience, I want to bring a full ministry experience to what we do. Maybe going into towns a day early and allowing people to come to rehearsals where we pray, meet, greet and share. One day I will get the chance to really do all that God has placed in my heart for this ministry.”

Pulling him through...

The Maywood, Ill., native’s first album and title track, "Pulling Me Through," exemplified his desire to uplift people’s spirit, but it was not an easy road to travel.

“The process for the first album was one of the hardest tasks I ever had to stick with. For one, I wasn't a high priority for my label family (Goldstreet Gospel). I constantly had to prove that the music I had was worthy to be pushed. I would have to keep calling producers to share my ideas. I got so many ‘I’m going to call you back’s.’ It was rough. Jamel Kimbrough, co- producer of my entire project, and I spent countless hours making it happen. I thank God for him. Now it's a little easier to get call-backs. I've just really got going on this second project, the first single is a song entitled "Simply Amazing," featuring Michelle Williams formerly of Destiny's Child.  [I have] high hopes for this single.”

The journey ahead...

“In the future, people can honestly look for more of the same from me. I can't help but to worship God. It's who I am and it's my niche. I'm trying to keep my ears pressed toward Heaven to make sure that if God decides to tell me to jump I can get to jumpin'. This has been an exciting ride so far so I just want to go as far as He'll allow and enjoy it.”

Currently, his single, “No Other Name” is in the top 100 on all three gospel music charts and continues to rise. He has also been nominated for the 2012 South Florida Gospel Music Awards and in the first round of the 2012 Stellar Awards in three categories, CD of the Year, New Artist of the Year and Praise and Worship CD of the Year. He was chosen to participate in the 2011 Music Matters “Merge Summit” and is also the worship leader at Faith Walkers Assembly in Rockford, Ill. Dulaney is most certainly practicing what he preaches. He is making his footprints in the sand and his mark in the industry.


Cicely V. Teal

Cicely V. Teal

Cicely V. Teal graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a B.A. in Communication and Depaul Univeristy with a M.A in Journalism. She contributed to and maintained a column at N’Digo Magapaper, and wrote for Urban Influence Magazine, Breaking Tweets, The DePaulia and The Independent. She also worked on documentary projects at WTTW channel 11, children’s television programming at WCIU-TV and African American programming at Central City Productions.

She is a blogger and studies web analytics, social networking strategies and integrated marketing at the University of Chicago.

She can be contacted at Cicely@glossmagazineonline.com