About Dan Macaulay:
I see you have written songs because last fall you entered the CCM Magazine’s 2012 Create Songwriting contest and placed as one of the runners up. This is where you got on my radar as I was following that contest quite closely. We can check out “From You for You” at the contest winners page HERE.
Q – First off, since you got 4 nods from the GMA Canada 2012 Covenant Award with 4 nominations. I take it you are from Canada. Tell us briefly about where you are from and your family.
A- Yes, I am a Canadian, from Brantford Ontario. I grew up there and started playing music publically and leading worship in my youth group when I was about 15. Started writing songs around the same time. Both the performing and the songwriting was rough at first, but as I stuck with it God grew me and grew my sphere of influence too.
I've been married to my wife Danielle now for 12 years. We met at youth camp when we were teens. We have 2 boys; Keaton, who’s almost 5 and Braden who’s 10 months.
Q- What types of songs do you write?
A – I mostly find myself writing Christian worship music. I feel called to write songs for the church primarily. Songs that encourage believers and give voice to the worship they want to express. Occasionally I’ll write something outside of that ‘genre’ but I feel like this is where God wants me to apply my focus and gifting.
Q- When did you begin your professional songwriting career ?
A – I started making up songs when I was pretty young. I can remember laying in bed singing out songs I’d make up on the spot about whatever… In my mid teens it became more of a conscious effort. I also began singing/playing publically around this time and I wrote and performed a few songs in my church to great reception. I also started writing a few ‘worship choruses’ that we began singing in our youth group and kids ministries at church. Soon the songs seemed ‘good enough’ to even do outside of our church, and a few even became songs that others heard and sang elsewhere – with a couple songs travelling around the world through others – with no promotion on my part at all. I always tell people “you can’t keep a good song down.” If it’s good it’ll sprout legs and get around on its own.
I continued writing through Bible College and saw more of my songs really go far during that season of my life as well, with another song, written in my first year of Bible College called “Amazing” (1995) be taken literally around the world by others who heard it and liked it. All with no promo on my part. I sometimes joke that the songs of mine that have gone the farthest were the ones I wrote before I ever tried to do this professionally and TRIED to promote a song.
Q – You are a worship leader…Where? …and for how long?
A – Yes, I’ll wear a bunch of musical hats, but the one that fits best and that I wear most is that of worship leader. So while occasionally I do ‘performance’ oriented things, I most often am leading worship in churches. Even my performance-concerts usually come down to worship for at least a while.
I’ve been leading worship since a teen, carried on through Bible College (95-99) and Youth & Worship Pastoring (99-03) in CT before launching out to travel in music full time (03-08) to worship pastoring again (08-12) and back to full time on the road. So right now I’m based in Williamsville NY (just outside Buffalo) close to our Canadian roots and family, but stateside. We base from here, are not pastoring, but are leading in various churches from week to week. We partner with World Vision along the way so in many cases I lead worship and also present people with an opportunity to live out their worship in a tangible way by sponsoring a child through that great organization too.
Q – I see you have a full tour schedule booked through October. Do you have an agent yet? If you do, how did you and your agent meet?
A- Yes, we’re staying pretty busy! :) I don’t have an agent officially. What I have is an amazing wife who looks after all the booking-stuff for me. She’s been doing that for 10 years (the last 5 on top of being a mom!) and so we’re a team in that way. I couldn’t do it without her!
Q –Do you tour the U.S. much? (2 NY dates are listed)
A- At the moment we’ve been touring in Canada a bunch as we’ve seen some good open doors for ministry there and have a great working relationship with WorldVision Canada which helps open some doors. We expect to do more in the U.S. in the future as well!
Q- And WAIT! … In the studio with SMITTY? …whaaaat? Tell us a little bit about what it was like to record Breathe in Me with Michael W. Smith….(Listeners click video below)
A – Recording with Smitty was a dream come true. I’ve been a super-fan my whole life and really look up to him. Honestly, the first time I met him I could barely string words into a sentence. I did better the studio day though :) Formed, sentences and even sang :) He was super nice, friendly and gracious. That song “Breathe In Me” has been important to me over the years and has really blessed me. So I had always wanted to record it - and the chance to do so with Michael himself was surreal.
Q - So…New Full Album “From You For You” released on iTunes April 2012. I take it, you have had a crazy last year or so? (This song was announced as a runner up for Create, late December 2012) Tell us about your journey thus far.
A – This past year has been super crazy in so many ways. We had so much on with a new baby and working at a busy church for most of last year, as well as trying to release the album independently, it was all a little much. I still feel like I’ve barely exposed the album and it has a lot of life ahead of it still. Still excited to go out and bless people (hopefully) with the songs God gave me for it.
We’ve had some cool little successes with the songs on the album, like the Create runner-up thing, a finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting contest and the International Songwriting Competition, as well as two of the songs “Life Like You’re Free” and “Win With Love” being featured in Worship Leader Magazines Song DISCovery program; plus a bunch of Christian radio success in Canada…
Q – Give me a list of 5 songwriting experiences in your repertoire of which you are most proud:
1. My song ‘Amazing’ which I wrote in 1996 in Bible College has been sung around the world and recorded by other artists as far away as Jerusalem. It’s still a ‘fav’ that people talk to me about or write me about the most. So thankful for and humbled by the way God has used this song in people’s lives over the years.
2. I’m really pleased with the reception to my Christmas single “Hope Is Here (Joy To The World)” which is a new song based around the verse of the classic Joy To The World. Have seen that song be used around the world so far and it has done well on radio too. It was also nominated for a Canadian GMA Covenant Award for “Seasonal Song of The Year” 2012 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Is9KCl1afnY Last year PraiseCharts.com listed it at #9 on their “Top 100 Christmas Worship Songs” list http://www.praisecharts.com/top-100-christmas-worship-songs/
3. I’m thankful for the John Lennon Songwriting Competition ‘Finalist’ finishing for my song “In Awe” from the ‘From You For You” album. Worked really hard crafting that song and glad it was appreciated.
4. Also thankful for the GMA Canada Award Pop or Worship “Song of The Year” nominations for 5 of my songs between the 2009 and 2012 nominations… Always feels nice to be recognized.
5. Thankful as well for some Christian radio success in Canada, with a bunch of CANCON (Canadian Content) #1 singles and a bunch more “Top 5’s”… Just to be played and enjoyed on Christian Radio in Canada is nice and it’s great when I go places and people say “I hear you on the radio all the time”… it helps build a bridge big time with people.
Q- Give me 2 of what you consider your greatest accomplishments so far:
A – My 12 year marriage is still thriving and my kids are growing up well and happy so far ;)
Q- Beside songwriting, you sing. Do you play any musical instruments?
A- Yes, I play piano. Hack around on guitar.
Q – Do you consider yourself more Songwriter, or more Singer?
A- Good question… Hmm, I love both, but if I were to choose, or pick a ‘stronger’ of the two I think I’d choose songwriter.
Q- Are you pursuing a solo career? Or would you like to write songs for other new and/or established Christian artists?
A- I’ve been pursuing a solo career but writing for others is certainly an option too. Some of my favs do both.
And now – for the Facebook DJ Five. The Five Questions I ask everyone I interview...
Q – In 5 words or less, who/what is your target audience?
A – Worshippers and Seekers of God
Q- What is the mission of your music/songs?
A- To give people who want to worship, inspiring, creative, while Biblically and theologically sound, songs to facilitate and deepen their worship and walk.
Q- What result would you want to see happen by the listeners of your songs? (5 yrs, 10 yrs, tomorrow?)
A- Exactly what has happened with some songs... (been writing long enough) That 5, 10 years from now the songs would still speak to them and still bless them… Reminding of old experiences with God and stirring new ones still.
Q- What’s your life Bible scripture right now?
A- Psalms 77:19 “Your road led through the sea,your pathway through the mighty waters— a pathway no one knew was there!” (NLT) – So even when it seems we’re at a dead end God has and has always had a plan for how He’s going to lead us. He’s the only one who can see it. So we have to trust Him.
Q- Who is Jesus to you?
A – My savior and Lord. The only righteous leg I have to stand on. The only reason I have any hope.
Q- Is there an email or street address where interested other writers and musicians in need of songs can feel free to email/mail you and connect with you for more inquiries about God, your songs or yourself?
A – Sure: email@example.com
Q – You have a website, www.danmacaulay.com and you are on Twitter, iTunes, Facebook, and Youtube. Do you have any other social media links?
A- Sure, people can get 4 free songs on Noisetrade from me here: http://noisetrade.com/danmacaulay/
Thanks to Dan Macaulay for the interview. Here's what he would like to share with the readers in closing...
A – Keep on keeping on. If you’re a songwriter, persist. Don’t give up! It takes a long time to become an “overnight success” (I am told – still waiting for that myself) I am encouraged when I hear it has been a long road for others too – only because it means I’m not the only ‘loser’ and the lack of instant success does not mean there isn’t something there worth running with. Don’t compare you’re small beginning [to] someone else’s success. They’ve been on a journey too. In fact, don’t compare at all! - But re-define success and find ways to take joy in the journey. God will get you where He’s taking you. Trust Him.
So what are you waiting for, readers? Go out and get Dan's album, From You For You, on iTunes !
Album Art and photos provided by Dan Macaulay
And also...Facebook DJ Deb would like you to think/pray about considering partnering with World Vision or World Vision Canada. You have the opportunity to impact another person's life for Jesus in a really BIG way! I have been sponsoring a child through a similar organization and I can't imagine my life being the same without her! Think. Pray. Live. :) Go out and be what is put on your heart!
And this has been your Artist Exclusive 1-on-1 with Facebook DJ Deb and Dan Macaulay!
Tune in next time on this same Blog Page for something else! Very awesome I’m sure!
Facebook DJ Deb