Last month, we introduced you to singer-songwriter (and you’ll soon find out, life-long entrepreneur) David Vaters, who had just released the first of a two-volume set titled A Voice In The Wilderness (buy Vol. 1). Vaters has been writing songs nearly his entire life, a craft he has honed and one that has afforded him some very unique and high-profile experiences within the sometimes-crazy world of music. As you get to know David better, however, you soon realize that his interests really rest in the hope that you’ll take away an interest in the One who created it all. We were certainly intrigued, and wanted to get to know him much better. Enjoy this extended conversation of Vaters’ twisty-turny journey to, from, and back into the wilderness again—a fitting locale for someone who loves his Creator, and His creations.
CCM Magazine: It’s been noted that you’ve had extensive work in music up until the release of these debut albums. Can you tell us a little more about some of the prior experiences that have led to A Voice In The Wilderness, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2?
David Vaters: I have been on the fringes of the “music business” for a long time, but never with both feet in it like I am now. I started with writing songs at fifteen-years old. By the time I was sixteen, I had written over sixty songs—I was pretty ambitious. I decided to “go for it” and dropped off three songs to some of the major record companies at the time. To my surprise, I got a call a few weeks later from a producer that worked with RCA Records/United Artists and Gordon Lightfoot (it was a long time ago so I don’t recall his name). I was shocked that anyone called, remember, I was a teenager. He asked me to visit him at his studio a short distance from RCA in Toronto. I’m a Canadian, born in Newfoundland (but that’s a whole other story!).
Anyway, I actually received a development offer to record several singles, however, my parents were not impressed or convinced that I should quit school to pursue music full-time. I guess I missed my Justin-Bieber-discovery moment [laughs]. From there, I did solo work for a while and then formed a band called The Straight And Narrow with some really talented guys. We really had some incredible experiences playing at music festivals and small Christian events in Canada and opening up for Christian bands from the States. I had the honor to work with a musical genius, Skip Prokop (Lighthouse), who had several multi-platinum albums—he really taught me the ropes as a performer and musician. In fact, Ringo Starr once said, “Skip Prokop was the best drummer in the world.”
Then, I kept working at my business with my brother and we built some pretty cool companies in the clothing industry. I was in-and-out of the music business and had serious interest from A&M Records at one time, however, they wanted me to tour and I had a business I just couldn’t just leave.
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