New Zealand based singer/songwriter David Curtis has released his latest single 'Christmas Day (The First Day of Forever)'. Louder Than The Music spoke to him about the inspiration for this Christmas song, but also about how he found fame as a young teenager, and the journey that he set out on from the unhealthy experience of a child thrust into the limelight, to finding peace in his musical career.
For those who haven't heard of you before, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got involved in making music?
I always loved music and singing from a very early age. I was asked to audition for HMV at the age of 13 and as a result I was offered a recording contract. The 1st song I released became a national hit on the New Zealand music charts and set me on a path with music as my career focus. I recorded two albums as a child singer on the HMV label.
I became a professional singer working in secular music from the age of 20. I used to sing jingles in Auckland and perform in local clubs & music venues as well as musical theatre. Music took me to London for nearly 10 years where I continued on a similar path until my wife and I had our first son and decided to return to New Zealand.
In the last few years I have set up a home studio to record my own music. Recently I have started to lead praise & worship in our local church and have started my journey into writing and producing music that reflects my Christian faith.
Tell us about your new single 'Christmas Day - The First Day of Forever' and what the inspiration behind it was?
John 3:16. is the inspiration.
Many people love Christmas but never give any thought or importance to it’s true meaning.
Do you have any plans to release more music in the near future?
I have several songs in various stages of completion and I will continue to write, produce and release my original material, along with the odd wonderful old hymn, for as long as I am able.
What message would you like people to take from your music?
The message that I hope to bring, as I produce more material, will come from Scripture. The message is ultimately ‘The Cross’.
How would you describe your style of music and what are your influences?
Easy listening, middle of the road, melodic mixture of country, folk and pop.
I was brought up as a child listening mainly to secular music, British pop, The Beatles etc. so melodic pop hooks have always been a strong influence. Over time, country/folk, acoustic music started to grab my attention.
Attending church from an early age exposed me to many of the classic hymns. Hymns remain a big influence on my music today .
If you could work with any songwriter, who would it be and why?
Brooke Fraser - A fellow Christian Kiwi artist who I respect greatly.
How would you define success in your career as an artist?
I find the whole ‘success’ question a challenging one as an artist.
I started off as child singer with overnight success on a national stage in New Zealand. I describe it as being pushed onto a runaway train that I never intended to catch. When my voice broke the overnight success ended as quickly as it started. For a long time I had an unhealthy view of success because of my experience at such a young age.
As a professional singer from the age of 20, success in the secular music business meant being booked often enough to earn a living. The popularity of your live show and how much people enjoyed your performance determined how often the phone would ring.
Now, as I am growing in my Christian walk, success as an artist is more about pursuing the best level of quality that I can and keeping Jesus in the centre of everything in my life . The closer I get to achieving this, the closer to success I think I will be.
What is your favourite album of all time?
‘Behind this Guitar’ - Mo Pitney
You're stuck on an island, it's hot, you only have enough battery life left to listen to one song on your phone. What track is it?
Softly and Tenderly - Alan Jackson
What does the next year hold for you?
Having my own project studio, provides me with the opportunity to carry on producing music as often as time allows. Next year will include me finishing a few songs that I have in different stages of completion and writing and recording as much new material as possible.