Q: Thank you for sharing your beautiful talents for the glory of our Lord! Would you please briefly introduce yourself to our readers?
A: I’m Donny Todd, I’m a Roman Catholic, husband to my beautiful wife, and father to three incredible children. I’m also a musician/singer-songwriter/Catholic artist.
Q: Could you please describe your own faith journey?
A: I was raised and homeschooled in a Catholic home by pretty incredible Catholic-convert parents, but it wasn’t until 17 that I really decided to live my life as a Catholic. I Joined NET (National Evangelization Team) a year later and traveled the country as a missionary to the youth of our Church, my role being the music leader for my team.
After NET I focused primarily on music for a long time. I was still attending Church and receiving the Sacraments, but not really engaged in my parish or in any sort of missions. I spent a lot of time learning about different theological truths of our Faith and was passionate about learning how to defend our faith.
I have a strong affinity for the gift of Confession. Confession has freed me so many times from humongous weights. God’s mercy has played an incredible role in my life and I wouldn’t be who or where I am today without it. I always encourage people to go to Confession, especially when they’re afraid to. That’s when we need it the most.
Q: How did you come to the decision to share your creative talents for spiritual purposes?
A: I have had people suggest through the years that I make a Christian album. Even while leading worship on NET I didn’t really feel inspired to write specifically Christian lyrics. I would sit down and try to write a Praise and Worship song but it would feel hollow to me, like it was too forced.
While I was living in Georgia and performing a lot, a music friend wrote to me out of the blue to tell me that my album, “Find Myself” had kept him from driving under a semi one day on the highway, when he was facing some dark times. Find Myself wasn’t overtly Christian, it was an album of love songs, but it did have a few songs that dealt with faith in a pretty quiet way. I realized that if God could use my music to bring peace to people who heard it even if the lyrics weren’t Christ-centered, what could He do with something more focused on the spiritual life?
Three years ago I began to write songs about what I was dealing with spiritually. Simultaneously I was feeling a strong desire to create music that could reach the youth as well as those who are the fringes of our faith. I wanted to offer people a different style of spiritual music. Not to mention, there aren’t a ton of Catholic voices in Christian music.
So I started praying for God to open doors if He really wanted this, and He started opening them. Little things happened. I was continuing to write songs with Catholic themes, fluidly (which wasn’t normal for me). I had little money and was praying about how I could come up with the funds to record an album at an actual studio. Moments later, I saw a post of someone asking the same question on Craigslist and being told about Kickstarter.com (a crowd funding website). I checked it out, researched how to run a Kickstarter campaign and then, after more prayer, launched my campaign.
It was a 33 day, all-or-nothing campaign to raise $12k. 134 people backed my campaign, and to my surprise, many of the 134 were people I didn’t know. God provided through each of them and I successfully raised the $12K needed to finance the record!
Q: Tell us about your CD(s). What led to the inspiration for this project and the songs you wrote? Do you have a favorite track on the record?
A: Kingdom Come is kind of my musical testimony. My songs deal with my understanding of God’s mercy, prayer, the conscience, sin, and the beauty of forgiveness. I wrote these songs as expressions of personal experiences I have faced along my spiritual journey thus far, hoping they can be a vehicle for God, or perhaps inspiration for people facing their own struggles or looking to grow closer to God. These songs are near and dear to my heart
My favorite songs are probably “Alarm” and “Heart”. Heart was the most cathartic for me, which is probably why it’s a 6 minute song.
Q: Who are some of your musical influences and your favorite musicians?
A: I love the Beatles, Foo Fighters, the Who, Jalyn, Beach Boys. I can’t say that I see their influence prominently in my work, but I know that each of them has shaped the way I create in certain ways.
Q: For those looking to tap into their own creative energies, what words of encouragement and advise would you offer?
A: Be authentic. Follow your heart and strive to make beautiful works. Nobody else can create songs like you can. Whatever else, create art for the love of creating it. Every time we marvel at true beauty we marvel at the greatness of God.
Q: Thank you for sharing your inspiring talents! Are there any additional thoughts or comments you’d like to share with our readers?
A: There are so few Catholic voices in our media today, especially in the arts. Please keep all of us in your prayers, and wherever you feel inclined to help us continue what we do by sharing our work with your circle of friends/family and buying our music, know that it is greatly appreciated. Most of us are in an uphill battle to get heard.
For more information on Donny Todd and his music visit:
Copyright 2015 Lisa M. Hendey