by Schondra Aytch
De’juaine Motley grew up in the church, but he doesn’t define himself by the church.
A musician, vocalist and pastor, Motley (who popularly goes by D’Mott) spreads the message of God’s love through his music. Recently cracking Billboard’s top 10 Internet gospel charts with his soulful single “Angel ” from his highly anticipated project Unbothered, D’Mott’s unconventional rise as a recording artist is a testament to his message about ultimately leading his life with love.
“I hated church growing up,” explained D’Mott. “I had to be at church everyday, I had to clean the church…I loved God, but I hated church.”
Growing up in a musically-inclined Christian family, D’Mott struggled with acceptance. Playing the guitar, drums and singing at an young age in church sparked his interest for music, but he admits he wasn’t the best musician. Recounting moments where people in church doubted his ability to play music, he briefly shifted his attention towards sports as a teenager before experiencing his unexpected beginning as a professional drummer – a moment he credits to “luck.”
“There was a group coming to Buffalo on New Years Eve, and every musician in the city [was] playing. So I was the only guy available. I ended up getting that gig and the rest was history,” D’ Mott recounted.
Starting his career touring with a gospel group named UNEEK out of Rochester at 18 from that first gig, D’Mott began networking with people in the industry. Touring with a plethora of r&b talents since then, the rising musician has shared the stage with top 50 acts in gospel like Marvin Sapp, Mary Mary, Tye Tribbett, and Ben Tankard just to name a few. His most memorable accomplishment during this time was recording 2 songs on Earth, Wind and Fire’s last studio album Now, Then and Forever in 2013.
“I believe that [playing] drums was a setup for me not to get incarcerated or not to die in the streets because I kind of gave up on life…At that time, I believe that God gave me that miracle of me playing for those artists because I would’ve quit.” D’Mott explained.
Thankful for his success but eager to form a deeper relationship with God, D’Mott took a 5-year hiatus from music to focus on his family and ministry in 2011. As a married father of 6, the gifted musician started the Remnant House Outreach Church (RHOC) – a church that doesn’t subscribe to any denomination and doesn’t take offerings, but focuses sheerly on love.
“I want people to understand love is love,” explained D’Mott. “It’s not about fighting the gay community. It’s not about fighting democrats or fighting republicans or the new independent parties. It’s not about what pastor is right. It’s not about what denomination or organization you’re with. It’s not about having beef…It’s about bringing the love of the land into its proper context.”
Eventually channeling his message of love into new music, D’Mott’s earliest efforts back into the industry as not only a musician, but a vocalist showed major promise. Scoring a feature for one of his original songs “God Is The Way” in the christian documentary The Scroll and dropping a series of singles and projects laid the foundation for his most recent work Unbothered.
Released on March 17th of this year, the 7-track project is a unique integration of r&b and pop sounds that lays the groundwork for D’Mott’s sonic interpretation of romantic love.
Assisted by a handful of featured Buffalo-based talent like Rod Bonner, King Shad and YNX 716, D’Mott sings about marriage, relationship woes, staying in love and embracing family. With his single, “Angel” making waves on the national gospel scene, the resurging artist is excited that so many people are receptive to his music.
“I thought that people were gonna crucify me for doing this r&b album, but ironically enough…it’s charting and mostly church people are adapting to it,” D’Mott explained.
Bringing inclusivity and transparency to the Christian world through his music and leadership, D’Mott is one to watch. With his eagerness to spread God’s word, his message of love continues to reach new levels.
Learn more about him on his website: https://dmottmusic.com
You can listen to D’Mott’s Unbothered on all streaming platforms and watch his new music video for “Had it All” on YouTube