David Pic Conley is the founding member of the platinum R&B recording group Surface. Born in NJ, David started his career after graduating high school when he moved to Los Angeles. David was a member of Port Authority and Mandrill before forming Surface.
Conley was born in Newark, New Jersey. Shortly after graduating high school Conley purchased his first instrument, a flute, for $10 with the idea he sell it for double price. It was fate. Conley took the flute home and instead started playing it. Teaching himself how to play he has never put it down since.
Taking a leap of faith Conley began his professional career when he moved to Los Angles with David Townsend. It was there he joined the group Port Authority in 1976. After an un-released record with 20th Century Records Conley left the group to join Mandrill in 1977. In 1978 he made his television debut with Mandrill performing on the popular show Soul Train hosted by Don Cornelius. Conley released only one album with Mandrill, New Worlds, in 1979. Conley left the group and after a short hiatus Townsend and Conley collaborated on the beginnings Surface… Read more
When Conley became the founder of the Multi-Platinum Soul/R&B group Surface in 1983 the original group consisted of Conley and Karen Copeland. Townsend collaborated by writing and producing. In that same year Surface released their debut single, Falling in Love performed by Copeland, which peaked at #84 on Billboard’s Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 4 weeks. In the U.K., the song peaked at #67 on the U.K. Singles chart. In addition Surface recorded 2 more singles with her; When Your Ex Wants You Back and Stop Holding Back. After Copeland left the group in 1984 Bernard Jackson and David Townsend replaced her by becoming the Surface we know today. More success came in 1985 when Conley became a staff writer for Screen Gems BMI. Shortly after in 1986 Surface landed a record deal with Columbia leading them to release their debut album in 1987. The album peaked at #55 on the Billboard 200 and #11 on Billboard’s R&B Albums chart. In 1989, Surface released their sophomore album, 2nd Wave which peaked at #56 on the Billboard 200 and #5 on Billboard’s R&B Albums chart. The album was certified Platinum by the RIAA. The single Shower Me With Your Love peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100, #3 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart, and became Surface’s second #1 R&B hit, topping Billboard’s Hot Black Singles chart for a week in July of 1989, staying on the chart for 20 weeks.
In addition to Conley’s long and accomplished career with Surface he has written and produced songs for some of the greatest artists of yesterday and today. Some include; Aretha Franklin’s Grammy nomination title track What You See Is What You Sweat, Gwen Guthries #1 single Aint Nothin Goin On But the Rent, Issac Hayes’ album U-Turn, Jermaine Jackson’s #1 single Don’t Take It Personal, Rebbie Jackson’s album R U Tuff Enuff, New Edition’s Lets Be friends, Immature’s Pay You back, Victoria Beckham and Damon Dash’s This Groove, and so many more. He has also worked with Stanley Jordan, George Benson, O’Town, Tyrese, and the list goes on.
Conley is also a certified audio engineer and graduate of Institute of Audio research N.Y.
Currently Conley is in the process of completing his smooth Jazz album while promoting his new rising artist Yaygos from Las Vegas. Conley’s album is his rendition of R Kelly’s Step In the Name of Love.
“Despite being legally blind I never let anything prevent me from moving forward and closer to my goals. I’m keeping my eyes ahead of the game, my mind on the highest of highs and GOD regardless of these trying times. I challenge anyone with any kind of disability to do the same.”
Biography courtesy of David ‘Pic’ Conley
00 – Intro – Surface – You Are My Everything (2nd Wave, 1988)
01 – Surface – Happy (Surface, 1986)
02 – Resurface – Where Have You Been (Promo, 2015)
03 – Resurface – Say I Do (Promo, 2015)
04 – Resurface – Dance Heart Break Away (Promo, 2015)
05 – Resurface – Super Star (Promo, 2015)
06 – Resurface – Diamonds And Pearls (Promo, 2015)
Background music during the interview:
Surface – You Are My Everything, Re Surface – Super Star (Promo 2015), Surface – Falling In Love, Surface – The First Time, Surface – A World Of Our Own, Surface – Closer Than Friends, Surface – Never Gonna Let You Down, David ‘Pic’ Conley – Happy