Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Artist Spotlight - Randy McGill

Randy McGill is a drummer, organist, bassist, and producer who performs with unmatched dexterity. Born on August 14th, 1981 in Houston, TX, McGill was exposed to music right from childhood. Though he was exposed to all genres of music while still a child, McGill was fascinated with gospel, r&b, jazz and rock, especially the drumming aspect of it. McGill would spend time playing on whatever surface that would produce a percussive sound. His mother and grandfather were impressed by their sons’ interest so they purchased him a set with only one stipulation, “all practicing to be done outback in the shed,” McGill happily recalls. From then on, there was no stopping him. 

McGill has been described as “a charismatic drummer whose playing techniques of drumstick twirling and cross-over strokes make him stand out from the pack”, while lauded in JAM magazine for his “forward energy and abundantly attractive ideas”. 

“His playing is always tasteful whether it be in forceful, intense situations or in quiet, supporting roles. His sense of time is intriguing” notes the Lawrence Kansan. 

Randy is noted for expressing the desire to “give the world someone who has endured and persevered through life’s trials and can still completely leave it all on the stage when I perform. I want people to experience a musician who is real enough to express the joys, pains, and emotions of life through the gifts in which God has given me.”


1.) What made you want to get into the music business in the first place? Did anyone influence you to do music? If so, who? Influences? Role Models?

I've always loved music since those days of hearing it in church growing up. I've just always been drawn to it. As far as influences go, I'm a big fan of funk and fusion music from the 70s, groups like Earth, Wind and Fire and Parliment all the way to Average White Band and Frank Zappa! 

2.) Unfortunately the music industry is full of talented individuals who just don't get any recognition for their talent and/or work. What do you plan to do to make sure you stand out and get noticed?

Though that's tough, the beautiful thing about my genre is if you just keep grinding and putting out music that speaks to the people you're gonna get noticed, especially if you're social media savvy, but in the meantime I plan to keep doing shows and connecting with people who can take me to that next level.

3.) Would you rather be on a major label or would you rather stay independent? Why or why not?

I just want to get my music into as many peoples ears and hearts that I can. Again my genre is a little different; the "major" labels are mainly comprised of musicians like myself who have been down the path I'm going but there are definitely perks to being independent. So at this point all I want to do is work and have people love it lol!

4.) Do you think that the traditional music industry model as we know it is dead? Why or why not?

I wouldn't say it's dead as there are artists that come out all of the time in the traditional manner and gain success but I will say like any living thing it's evolved and you've got to do what it takes to evolve with it.

5.) How do you think the internet and social media affected the music industry and how musicians are able to market themselves?

It's the best thing since sliced bread to musicians like myself. I've been creating music and gigging for a long time and I've never been able to connect to musicians and fans so quickly! With that being said it's literally a whole world out there so it can be like throwing a pebble in the ocean. But with proper planning, good product and a little faith the sky's the limit. 

6.) What is the most difficult thing you've had to endure in life and has that had any effect on your path to becoming a musician?

I didn't grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth in Kansas City. I'm a product of the "crack era" as are most of the people my age who grew up in urban areas. If you grew up in the ghetto in the 80's you'll know exactly where I'm coming from. There were many nights I didn't know what we were going to eat or where we were going to stay. I know about running extension cords from the neighbors house lol. But the beautiful thing in that is all of that comes out in my music so it's the reason I'm the musician I am.

7.) Artists who try to make music for the general public and make more money are usually seen as "sell-outs." Do you see it that way and if so, what do you plan to do to make sure you make music that is true to your brand and make a good living at the same time without having to "sell out"?

If you're doing jazz or neo-soul for the money you're crazy lol! It's definitely a vibe genre, we can spot a phony or fake from a mile away. It's also a genre where the fans will still come out to shows and support the artists. So as long as you're good and coming from the heart you'll always have somewhere to play. 

8.) When you do music, what would you like your listeners to get out of your music?

I want them to feel my passion. I want to take them on a musical journey that will allow them to forget about all their problems even if it's just for a moment. I want them to get that if I can follow my dreams and passions, so can they.

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