Meet David Vanlandingham, a 28-year-old singer/songwriter, worship pastor, husband, and a father of four from the heartlands of America in Southern Indiana. His biggest passion with the music he writes is to inspire and encourage anyone who will listen. The message is that LOVE is the answer… and in today’s crazy world, we could all use a lot more compassion and love! David has been the lead singer of the band “Building Nations” for 7 years now, and has performed on many stages both big and small… anywhere from 100 seat venues to a 10,000 seat venue… David has had many great opportunities come his way and hopes for much more to come!
Vocalstar: Do you think your upbringing has contributed to your style as an artist?
David Vanlandingham: I absolutely believe that my upbringing has had everything to do with my musical style as an artist. I was raised in a very musically inclined family, and in a positive environment that always pointed towards God and making sure He was my Center… I always strive to be inspiring as an artist and I work hard to make a positive impact and difference in people’s lives who listen to my music and watch my videos. What I was taught growing up was to make a different kind of difference, be real, and that will carry over into my music and style and people will feel the message no matter where they’re from or what language they may speak. The music is the microphone. The message is HOPE.”
VS: Are you more of a singer or more of a song-writer?
DV: “I definitely consider myself both. I’m a writer and I’m a singer. I love to sing and perform, but I also love to write it out when the mood strikes! When I’m inspired, writing just happens naturally. It’s a spontaneous need to get an idea written down, and it usually just flows from there.
VS: Describe the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome as an artist?
DV: “I would say one of the biggest “obstacles”, so far, would be trying to overcome this generalized idea about identity or popularity that the industry always seems to come back to. I feel stuck or at a standstill when I’m not free to create on my own terms, and be the person that I truly am. The feeling of the stress and the pull down that it tends to bring, in trying to fit their molds, their standards in order to “make it”… it’s a challenge for sure. Being able to overcome that struggle and feel free to create the music that I do, and serve people the message that it brings, means that i might not be the most popular guy of the moment sometimes by “industry standards”. But listen, as long as it takes and as hard as it may be to get it out there, its my mission–my calling, to make sure that everyone hears the positivity, hope and love that I work to give them through my music.”
What’s a typical day like for you artistically? What inspires you musically?
DV: “My “day-to-day” is being a worship pastor and encountering so many people’s struggles and stories on a daily basis. I mean, I can almost count on this typical conversation response…
“Hey, how are ya?”
“Well, I’m OK but… here’s what I’m dealing with…”
Or “I’m really struggling with this or that…”. Etc.
People are hurting out there. But they know I care and they know that they continue to find Hope and comfort in the encouraging video posts or songs that I write. Music that directly relates to their struggle and then in turn directly impacts their outlook in life AND then their attitude and hopefulness potentially impacts other people around them. Their stories are my biggest inspiration. My goal is to bring color to their struggle, name it, bring it to life, and battle it with a positive perspective. So, inspiration for me is always spontaneous I don’t set out to write songs or music every day. Music finds me where I’m at, and it is directly derived from my daily audience, folks I meet, and what they are hungry for.”
VS: What’s your idea of success as an artist? When will you feel like you’ve made it?
DV: “Success, to me, is subjective. If I get to a point where I feel I’m successful, then I am.
The biggest or most successful accomplishment so far for me “personally” would probably be getting to perform in front of ESPN cameras in a 10,000 seat Arena during an NFL Event, “Hall of Fame Concert for Legends” and we opened for Tim McGraw. My brother and I were invited to perform that day with a friend of ours from church, who is an Indianapolis Colts cheerleader, Sable Winegar. We were honored, of course, to participate and it was pretty darn fun. But even with that being said, I just don’t believe, especially as I get older, that success should be measured by anything other than the impact that you have on people’s lives, and for me – It’s how I impact lives with the MUSIC that I create, that matters. So sure, a bigger venue, larger platform to share music with fans, I’m ALL for it. But does the size of the arena amount to success overall as an artist? Nah, not unless I feel like I’m bringing a change, like I’m spreading hope, that the fans are loving it, and if I’m not losing myself to, or in, the process. So, success?… Well, It’s totally subjective.”
“The GIANT in front of you is never bigger than the GOD inside of you!”