The process of choosing what career path to take is usually a long and rocky one. Some say “follow your dreams,” while others encourage doing what is practical or responsible. Pursuing a passion while also providing a comfortable lifestyle for a family is not a luxury many get to enjoy. Wayne Burton, however, shows that it’s not impossible with a little hard work and dedication.
Wayne Burton, an LDS singer-songwriter, writes his own music, holds performances and firesides and continues to release new tracks. His music has been featured on several different EFY albums and won several awards through the LDS church and other religious associations, gaining wide recognition. What many people don’t know, though, is that he’s also a family physician.
“I went to medical school just as I was wrapping up my second album,” Burton said. “I was thinking I would have it done before I started medical school, but I didn’t, so I was trying to juggle recording sessions while I was in my first month or two of medical school.”
Burton remembers balancing medical school and his music career. Along the way, there were a few times that Burton considered just pursuing music full-time because he really believed in what he was doing. However, as a new father, Burton realized that his family responsibilities came first.
“There are so many starving musicians out there. I thought, ‘I’ve just got to find a way I can do both,’” Burton said. “If there’s a will there’s a way. I quite quickly made the resolution that I was going to see it through on both sides.”
The artist has stuck to that resolution as he currently works as a practicing physician and continues to release new music. Although Burton began early on by writing love ballads, he now focuses on music with a spiritual message and bears his testimony through his songs.
Kristi Edwards, a fan who grew up near Burton in Canada and took piano lessons from his mother, appreciates the uplifting messages in his music and feels that it stands out from most other music today.
“Wayne’s music always speaks from the heart and has a message,” Edwards said. “He constantly tries to uplift and be positive with what he creates.”
Tecia Kearns, another fan, from Austin, Texas, loves how hopeful the words of his songs are to those going through trials.
“In ‘Times Like These,’ he says, ‘high above the heartache and far beyond the fear.’ Those are things that everyone can relate to,” Kearns said. “The words are applicable to pretty much any hard situation anyone goes through.”
In addition to writing music and performing his songs, Burton strives to give a boost to budding artists and be a good role model to them. Ammon Tuimaualuga, a member of the pop group Beyond 5, has had the opportunity of working with Burton and would also like to pursue music in addition to another career in the future.
“I admire Wayne for his incredible family and the relationships he has with his children,” Tuimaualuga said. “Being able to balance a successful career and continue to work on music is something I would like to accomplish as well.”
Burton currently lives in Alberta, Canada, with his family. In addition to writing music, he also holds firesides in many of the cities he visits, often centered on a certain theme or message. Many of his messages are especially geared to the youth, who he feels are dealing with many distractions in the world today.
“If you know the Savior loves you, that he’s there for you, that you can trust him, all the other details will work themselves out,” Burton said. “You don’t have to have any answer for everything. If you’re willing to put the work in, it’ll just build and build.”
To learn more about Burton and find updates about his music, visit www.wayneburton.com. For an excerpt of the exclusive interview with Burton, listen to the audio below.