David Upton is a recording artist and an active worship leader. He has served for many years as a worship pastor and music director for Saddleback Church, in Lake Forest, CA as well as touring around the country leading worship and performing concerts.
Starting at an early age, David found himself witnessing the inevitable consequences of life choices when he lost his father to a drug overdose at the age of 8. Despite his environment, David was a blessed child, often shielded from many of the negative things that most would expect, growing up in a lifestyle of family addiction. David also found himself in his teenage years, struggling to find his way and locking arms with all the wrong people, but was led out of this lifestyle before the consequences were too great for him to bear.
Serving in the U.S. Marine Corps gave David the discipline and ambition he needed to succeed in life, but he learned very quickly that success wasn't going to be enough to satisfy the deep longing that he had in his heart. Life's ups and downs led him to a very significant turning point in his life, where he was able to merge his musical talents and strong communication skills with ministry. He joined the ranks of Rick Warren's Saddleback Church as a worship leader and began his journey into music ministry. The years at Saddleback Church brought him close to many of the world's most renowned musicians, song writers and performers and formed him into the artist and leader that he is today.
Throughout the years, David has been engaged in deep dialogue, musically and personally, with thousands of people and in his words.... "EVERYONE IS IN RECOVERY FROM SOMETHING ... I WANT TO HELP THEM RECOGNIZE IT AND POINT THEM AT THE CURE --> JESUS HAS A WAY OF TAKING CARE OF THINGS FROM THERE!"
Musically, David has recorded many different styles of music, since he loves all these styles and enjoys the challenge of blending them all together, despite what record critics and traditional label executives typically suggest. Much of David's musical tastes fall somewhere between rock-n-roll and country, but he sees the genre and musical aspects as a vital part of the background, rather then the focus of his energy. David considers the music as the colors that make the message more consumable. The beats, grooves, musical parts, instrumentation and production mix are the elements that give life to the lyrics and message that he has to share. He has been fortunate to be surrounded by such great musical and production talent and that allows him to focus his energy on the message that he's trying to convey.
His latest recording project was accepted with great favor as it climbed the iTunes charts breaking into the Top 50 as a pre-order and without the assistance of a major label. Entitled "UnRaveled", this project was written and recorded with some of Nashville's most notable songwriters and musicians. This new project presents a potent blend of musical styles (definitely country, with just enough rock-n-roll soul blended in) with targeted lyrics aimed squarely at the hearts of those who have been hurt or those with habits or hang ups that are keeping them from their best.
Most recently, David has been very focused on the ministries surrounding his Unraveled project and is actively booking events where he can take this "Soundtrack for Recovery" and share it with everyone that he can. This current mission often leads him to a place where he is playing concerts to convey this important message in the various recovery groups and he has been blessed to share his music and his testimony with many of the different organizations around the country.
Prior to the UnRaveled project, David released two EPs under the Indie Record Label, Right Path Productions (led by his wife, Sabrina and built to support the "music business" advancement of artists that have a ministry heart).
His first EP, entitled "UnShackled" released in 2008 and it was an eclectic freshman outpour of worship music that also included a blend of David's deep and smokey vocals. For this project, David focused on honest and passionate lyrics wrapped up in an Alternative Southern Rock vibe that will touch every heart. Musically, this project was an intentional blend of country, blues and rock roots with a soft piano ballad and was produced by Keith Everette Smith in Southern California.
In his second EP release, David Upton certainly unleashed his modern-rock influences. "UnLeashed" displays strong, unapologetic musical tips of the hat to the likes of Nickelback, Red, Creed, 3 Doors Down and Daughtry, as he wraps his faith-inspired message in a common sounding, yet pleasing brand of gritty and melody driven rock. All in all, this project represents a very personal view into the heart of David Upton, yet wraps these heartfelt lyrics in a modern rock package produced by multi-Dove Award winning producer - David Garcia. This project brings a solid and relevant record that wont disappoint the rocker, yet still gives the spiritually hungry a full dose of encouragement and inspiration. David's sophomore project was the direct outpour of his time spent leading the "Overdrive Venue" of Saddleback Church. This venue was a rock-n-roll music venue, providing the pastoral messages of Rick Warren to those that had a rock-n-roll heart... a sort of "House of Blues meets Saddleback Church" (earplugs optional, but available).
Off stage, David is married to the love of his life and perfect partner of 25 years, Sabrina, and they have two sons that bring both challenge and inspiration at every turn of their life. Like many (if not most) of the human race, David's life is a blend of what God intended and plenty of the consequences caused by following what the world had to offer. David is blessed to have a network of great friends and family that support his ministry and his ministry tribe is enjoying the front row seat view of God's handiwork.