David Dunn got his start as an acoustic singer-songwriter during his college days at Texas Tech, but these days he’s creating beautiful synth-centric soundscapes to highlight his killer voice. Oh, speaking of, you’ve likely heard it yourself on the hit NBC show The Voice. Dunn’s latest EP, Crystal Clear, is a short-but-sweet taste from a very talented artist, perhaps one of the strongest voices to hit the Christian market in a long time.
CCM: First of all, what made you want to move forward with an EP? You’ve recorded a full-length before, but is this about an introduction on a larger level or something else?
DAVID: I haven’t been asked that one. Well, the main reason I did an EP instead of another full-length is because of a “less music, more often” game plan. Instead of having fans wait for years for a lot of new music, I’ll release less music in a shorter time frame — just a different mentality/ approach in the digital age we live in.
I did, however, write a ton of songs for Crystal Clear, almost a hundred tunes actually. Some of those songs I absolutely love, but for one reason or another they just didn’t make it into the six tracks that we decided to record this time around. But they’ll definitely surface on future records.
CCM: The vocal work is so strong on the album. Who are some of your own favorite vocalists?
DAVID: I love and admire two kinds of vocalists — those with amazing technical ability and those who sing with incredible conviction. Off the top of my head, I’d say Bono, Phil Wickham, James Morrison, Michael Buble, Alan Stone, Joy Williams, The Script, Shane & Shane and Ray LaMontagne.
CCM: I know you got your start in the acoustic scene, and obviously the new album is not like that. What’s musically interesting to you these days?
DAVID: I love creativity on any level. If you’re an artist who puts forth effort into making your craft spectacular, I am always going to be your fan. Whether it’s painting, sculpture, film, music, if you value the art, I’ll be your fan. So when it comes to music, my tastes are super eclectic. I love organic acoustic music, and I love heavy synths and 808s; but mostly I love anything that’s well done.
My records and musical development are a product of my desire to try and make my songs better with what I add to them in the studio. Where my music lands, in my desire to make the songs better, happens to be in the heavy beat and synth land. It’s not necessarily something I’ve set out to do, it’s just where my tunes end up living. The sound or production of this new record especially is more an extension of my writing style than a choice. That being said, I love the sounds and how the record turned out.
CCM: What’s been the biggest difference for you as an artist before and after your experience on The Voice?
DAVID: I didn’t necessarily gain a bunch of new fans because of The Voice. Most of the people who watch the show are reality TV fans rather than music fans. But the great part of the show for me was that my existing fan base, which had somewhat lost interest, started paying attention again. And when I put out another record, For the Life of Me, shortly after I got booted off the show, a whole lot of people listened to the record and connected with the songs, which was and is amazing; and I’m so grateful for all of them!