DayOne — including Shelly Justice, left, founder Darin Scott, Natalie Kaye Robertson, and Patrik Wayne Robertson — plays conferences on Fridays and Saturdays, then leads worship on Sundays.
LOS ANGELES — There are no Billboard charts for Darin Scott’s musical niche, but if there were he and his group, DayOne, just might be at the top.
“I don’t say this in a bragging way, but I think we’re pretty much the No. 1 corporate band in the world,” Mr. Scott said.
The former Toledoan and the son of the Rev. Tony Scott, pastor of the Church on Strayer, Mr. Scott is marking his 20th year as founder and leader of DayOne, a group that has made corporate events and business conferences its bread and butter.
But the corporate shows are just one side of DayOne. The other is ministry, which is why Mr. Scott got into the business in the first place.
“On Friday and Saturday night, we’re strictly an entertainment act,” he said. “On Sunday mornings, we have an optional worship service, and we see well over 90 percent of the people return on Sunday morning. We sing praise and worship songs, share our testimony, and give altar calls. I’ve seen over 1,000 people accept Christ at one time.”
The group has become so successful that Mr. Scott was regularly turning down requests for corporate events. Then he got the idea of “cloning” his band to meet the demand, booking two — and now three — conferences at the same time.
Today there are three DayOne groups — Mr. Scott refers to the clones unofficially as DayTwo and DayThree — traveling simultaneously, entertaining clients with musical medleys by Earth, Wind & Fire, Abba, Motown, Whitney Houston, and other mainstream favorites.
“If you’re an artist and people are coming to see you, that’s impossible to pull off,” he said. But for a group with no celebrities, the audiences enjoy the shows by the original or clone DayOne groups “as long as you are giving people what they want,” Mr. Scott said.
On an average of 35 weeks a year, Mr. Scott, 43, spends most weekdays at home in Nashville with his wife, Bronwyn, and their two daughters, Isabella, 8, and Abigail, 5, then jets off to corporate events on Thursday night. He said he racks up about 150,000 air miles a year.
“It’s like my work week is reversed from the normal work week, but I couldn’t ask for anything better,” he said.
His father said that when Mr. Scott was at Lee University and said he wanted to drop plans to be a chiropractor and instead pursue a singing career, he warned his son that 90 percent of music groups fail.
“He said, ‘I know, Dad, but I feel the Lord is calling me to do that.’ And he’s had quite an interesting career. I’m proud of him,” Tony Scott said.
Darin Scott also runs a recording studio in Nashville.
“We have to do two new projects every year, a worship project and a motivational project, so it made perfect sense to start our own studio so we wouldn’t have to keep paying recording costs,” he said.
A friend in Toledo donated the money to buy recording equipment 15 years ago, saying she wanted to “bless my ministry,” Mr. Scott said.
“We have a fully staffed studio, almost 2,000 square feet, with full tracking rooms,” he said. “We can do an orchestra in there. We have the latest equipment. That’s what we do during the week — produce records, sing on other artists’ recordings. … For every artist in Nashville who has made it, there are 100,000 who are looking to make it. There’s a constant flow of musicians making recordings.”
DayOne also runs several mission projects, including an orphanage in Haiti and helping children in Honduras, and it helps with the Noel Project at the Church on Strayer.
Looking back on his 20 years with DayOne, one memorable highlight was performing before 20,000 people in an arena in Seoul in 1998, Mr. Scott said.
The low points usually involved bus breakdowns, leaving the band stranded on the roadside and hitting Mr. Scott with a $30,000 repair bill.
“I remember being on the road on Highway 81 in Virginia, and just hearing this ‘clank, clank, clank,’ and the motor goes dead,” he said. “We were out in the middle of nowhere, 12 of us, and we’re all toting our luggage down Highway 81 to the nearest exit, which is miles away, and I’m thinking, ‘I don’t know if I can do this anymore.’?.”
The lone original member of DayOne, Mr. Scott has performed in 13 countries on five continents, including his favorite, Australia, where he met his wife.
He said he often stands in awe of the talent of the artists standing beside him on stage. “I’ve had some amazing people with me who are so committed, true professionals. They’re world-class singers. I’m not a world-class singer, I’m an administrator. I get us on the road, get us gigs. But sharing the stage with these amazing singers, it makes all the bad times, all the bus breakdowns, worth the struggles.”
He said he has no plans to retire from the circuit.
“When I’m off the road for a little break, I get to about day 10, and I’m just ready to go again. I love to travel. I love getting on my airplane, putting my headphones on, and getting away from everything. I absolutely love it. I love what I do, and I’ll do it as long as God has me out here.”
Darin Scott and DayOne will perform at the Noel Project at 10 a.m. Saturday at SeaGate Convention Centre and at 6 p.m. Saturday and 9 and 11 a.m. Sunday at the Church on Strayer, 3000 Strayer Rd., Maumee. More information is available online at DayOneMusic.com.
Contact David Yonke at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6154.