*“I want to bring people back to the roots,” said soulful vocalist/musician David Billingsley about the reason for recording his recent debut album release titled, “Hymns from Grandma’s Living Room” (Devine Jamz). “…Back to Gospel hymns and how we do it.”
Billingsley was a child prodigy from Wisconsin playing proficiently the piano, organ, drums and tambourine by age six. By age 11 he was a professional musician. He credits performing in his grandmother’s living room as where he crafted his extraordinary talents.
“I sang the (title) song at my grandmother’s funeral. I learned it’s not about you as an artist, it’s about what the people are in need of,” Billingsley pointed out about the titled song and lead single “Hymns from Grandma’s Living Room.”
So with this song he wrote for his grandmother David Billingsley constructed his debut project. A project he hopes will evoke for listeners their life-changing moments that started in the church and ended in grandma’s living room after church.
“I actually did it all at once,” he said of the recording process.
David went on to attend college in Minnesota and while there be played professionally for Grammy-winning Sounds of Blackness. He went on to play keyboards and sing background vocals for Stokley and the Vu as they tour around the world. In 2017 he launched the David Billingsley School of Music and Arts for grades K-12. His school was geared towards kids who lacked access to high-quality music and arts education in Minnesota.
“I was the only black kid…in class and did not know it was racial, about money. That access changed my life,” David explained about why he launched his school for children who did not have the access to quality schooling in the arts as he did. “He (God) put this in me at a young age….by age 14 I knew I was going to start a school because of this. We received over 100 kids the first day. The second-year we had a studio…so we mastered in school.”
He said each student leaves his school with a mastered album. Today the David Billingsley School of Music & Arts is partnering with local schools in Minnesota where he continues to educate kids that have no quality access to music and the arts with a quality education. www.BillingsleyMusic.com
SYNDICATED COLUMN: Eunice Moseley, has an estimated weekly readership of over ¼ million with The Pulse of Entertainment. She is also a Public Relations Strategist and Business Management Consultant at Freelance Associates, and is Promotions Director (at-large) for The Baltimore Times. www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com. EVENT: “Uplifting Minds II” Entertainment Conference (ULMII), founded by Eunice in 1999, is into its 21st year. Next events are coming to Los Angeles in November, 2020 and to Baltimore Saturday April 17, 2021. The ULMII event is a free conference offering an Entertainment Business Panel Q&A Session, a Talent Showcase and Talent Competition (vocal, songwriting, dance and acting) where aspiring artists have a chance to receive over $15,000 valued in prizes/product/services. Log onto www.UpliftingMinds2.com for more information.