Stacey Randol

7 Feb

“Holding a true, stable balance in life is something I find important.

One day, I was searching for new music that would instantly get me out of my funky mood. I needed something that could pick me up and make me feel as if everything in life was going to be okay. I stumbled upon Stacey Randol’s music, and it was exactly what I had been searching for. Her music is full of joy and pulls you into a sunny, tropical place, making you forget all about the drama. Personally, her music makes me want to hula on a beach, which I’ve never done, but listening to her music makes you feel as if you could do it and actually be great at it. Stacey is currently living in Nashville, pursuing her dreams of having her music heard. Growing up, she sang in church, grew up listening to The Beatles and The Beach Boys, and aspired to one day hear her songs on film and T.V. Now 25, Stacey has a beautiful debut album, Steady Rhythm, under her belt and continues working hard on new music and making her dreams become a reality. Here is a Q&A with Stacey which dives deep into her life as a musician. Big thank you to Mike Vial for coming up with such awesome questions.

Q. Steady Rhythm appears to be a perfect title for your record’s sound and the lyrical themes. What lead you to choose this title for your first release?

A. There were a few reasons why it felt right to name the album ‘Steady Rhythm.’ The track “Steady Rhythm” itself has the overall presence and energy I wanted to let the listener hear right away. It’s a fun, colorful tune, so it only made sense to make it the title track. Some of the other songs on the album touch more serious topics, but I still wanted the overall mood to be positive and relaxed. And then there is the obvious, the fact that I love percussion and rhythm! I’ve really always wanted to be a drummer—deep down. Haha. I just love groovin’. But besides the musical connection, the title also represents how I like to live my life. Each word holds meaning of stability and constancy. Holding a true, stable balance in life is something I find important.

Q. There are some lovely accompaniments, electric guitar fills, string arrangements, and full band performances on your record. Who are some of the musicians that perform on Steady Rhythm? How did their involvement in the recording process come about?

A. Yes, I couldn’t have done the album without the help of everyone involved. A guy I met in Nashville, Tyler Cain, produced the album. Not only did he produce, but he played a lot of instruments on tracks as well—from keys, to guitar, to percussion. He’s a very talented musician. Then I had my regular band in the studio with me. I went to college with the bass player, Clint Van Grevenhof. Clint also played steel drum and piano on a tune. Then the other two members are two brothers I met when they moved to Nashville in the fall of 2010. Michael McBurnett played electric guitar and sang backup vocals. And Samuel McBurnett is the drummer boy. They all have great skills, great ears, and understand where I want to take my music. Then I had a few others join in. The string player, Zach Casebolt, laid down beautiful violin tracks that really spruced up the tunes. Then I had a flute and saxophone player come in. I went to college with both of them as well. Amy Marx charmed us with the flute and Doug Neff swooned us with the sax. They are all awesome individuals and wonderful friends of mine, so that made the entire experience that much better. So grateful for them all.

Q. “Wallflower” has a reflective tone and sense of vulnerability. Are you the wallflower, or the life-of-the-party at social gatherings?

A. I’m definitely not a wallflower. And I didn’t write this song about anyone that I know in particular. I created her character in hopes that every girl might be able to relate to a piece of who she is. Overall, she is a silent, aware, focused, easy going, yet confident individual who is comfortable inside her own skin. And even though she has seen tough times, she “grows and goes.” I hope every woman has that in her. I feel the music itself fits the meaning of the tune perfectly. The piano makes you feel like you are just walking through another day, doing your normal thing, not worrying about yesterday or tomorrow.

Q. You mentioned in an interview for Ellasode that your early vocal instructors said you were “too young to sing a song” like “Cry Me a River.” Do you agree that age is important for conveying emotion when singing?

A. That’s something I go back and forth with. There is a time when ‘convincing’ matters and there is a time when it isn’t that important. Of course, a 35 year old singing “Cry Me A River” is more believable than hearing a 15 year old sing it. However, I do think certain younger singers can switch to the appropriate mature mentality and be able to pull off a deep, meaningful song like “Cry Me A River” – if you are looking for the ‘convincing’ factor. That said, I think it’s important for younger kids to start singing jazz, blues, etc. even if they can’t relate to the true meaning. Learning the emotion of sound itself versus lyrics is just as, if not more important in my opinion. There’s a time and a place to be convincing, but I think it’s valuable for youth to learn from the greats way before our time and to hear their sound — even if we may not understand what the lyrics really mean.

Q. I love the energy in the 1944 photo you reblogged on Tumblr a few weeks ago. How does jazz influence your live music performances?

A. Yeah, you just want to be in that room when you look at that photo. I love old timey memorabilia in general. I would say the only real jazz influence in live performances would just be the tone of my voice though. Although I learned a lot about music through jazz, it’s not my music’s main factor. It is webbed together with so many other different influences. From rock ‘n roll, to pop, to folk… to beachy. For any live performance, I want to show the audience a good time. One of my favorite things to hear after someone has seen us live is that we made them feel like they need to be on a beach with a Corona in hand. I dig that!

Q. Your bio mentioned music has offered opportunities to travel to Italy, China, and across the United States. What’s one of your favorite places you’ve visited during your tours?

A. Yes! Those opportunities came about when I was in college touring with groups. China, of course, was the most culturally different, so that was great to experience — music, food, education, everything. Italy was the most beautiful though. I studied music in a small village called Urbania for a summer. We sang in castles in the countryside. When will I ever be able to do that again? And the colors of Venice are forever in my mind. Although, Italy was my favorite place in general, some of the most awesome musical experiences happened right here in the U S of A.

Q. There are videos of your performances at coffeehouses and bars on Youtube. Which type of performance do you prefer, intimate settings or rowdy clubs?

A. Definitely more of an intimate setting rather than a rowdy club. As a singer-songwriter, I want to get everything across to the listener. Not only the music itself, but also the lyrics. Plus, my music isn’t really the type of thing one can get rowdy to, haha. With that said, I do love playing venues where people get up and mingle some, laugh, and dance along.

Q. How did you ring in the New Year? Were two bottles of champagne enough? (I chuckled when I read your tweet!)

A. Ha! Let’s just say … they got the party started. And I shared my bubbly! I went with a few friends to a Nashville bar/venue called The 5 Spot. They had 1920s live music playing. Great atmosphere!

Q. Now that we’ve survived celebrating the New Year, what are some of your music and life goals for 2012?

A. I will be writing a lot this year and I would love to get out on the road a bit at some point as well, but my biggest goal for 2012 is to really zero in on music placements for tv/film. That’s a dream of mine.

Q. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring one of your songs to listen to, which would it be and why?

A. Haha … well that would be annoying, but I suppose if I had to choose, I would have to say “Steady Rhythm.” After listening down to the whole album a ton when recording/mastering you get tired of hearing them again and again…and they get old. “Steady Rhythm” never really rubbed me like that though. Maybe because it has happy rhythms and makes me feel like I should be on an island anyway.

Take a listen to, The Investment, a beautiful song that gives me chills every time I hear it.

Purchase Stacey’s music here. You’ll adore each song! Look out for “Better Together” on an upcoming Sounds That Matter playlist for Valentines Day!

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