Recently, I had the pleasure of re-connecting with Randy Hall. He’s a singer, songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and artist that’s been perfecting his craft his entire life. Born in Chicago, Randy’s first instrument was piano, but he soon turned to guitar and never looked back. Randy studied the finer points of music in a trilogy of institutions: The Berklee School of Music in Boston, Vanderbilt University in Nashville and The Chicago Conservatory of Music. Honing his abilities not just as a player but also as a singer, composer and arranger of rhythm, strings, horns and vocals made him invaluable in his illustrious career that followed.

randy-hall-2Musicians don’t come more stellar, multi-faceted and gifted than Randy Hall, an ace guitarist, vocalist, composer, arranger and performer. The Chicago-native has been a highly coveted musician for several decades and a chart-topping R&B star in his own right and as a supporting player for an impressive, genre-defying resume of artists that began with The Staple Singers at age 15, The Dells, Ramsey Lewis, Roberta Flack, Diana Ross, Snoop Dogg, Dave Koz and – most definitively – the man who launched Hall as an international player with whom to be reckoned: the legendary Miles Davis.

In 2020, after decades away from recording his own music, Randy Hall has made an astounding return with two runaway hit singles on the U.K.’s Six Nine Records label. Hall recalls, “A year ago, a guy named Neil Pounds with the label Six Nine Records in London reached out to me on Facebook asking if I had any old songs lying around that I might like to put in the marketplace. I thought about it, went into my vault and sent him ‘How Do You Want Your Love’ which I co-wrote with Kevin Toney (founding keyboardist of the `70s soul-jazz band The Blackbyrds). Neil got right back to me and said he loved the song and wanted to put it out. I said, ‘Cool, let me put a new mix on it.’ Neil said, ‘No-no, mate. I want to put it out just like it is!’ I was shocked but a week later, the song was burning up the soul charts in the U.K. I had no idea I had that many fans there that remembered me. It went on to #1 in Paris, Germany, Brazil – all over. I’m considered old school now, but they really love the sound of my music today.”

Randy Hall 3For a follow-up, Randy came back with another song from his archive entitled “A New Way of Love,” a song that channels the arranging mastery of the iconic Barry White with a building block intro, female background vocalists and some sophisticated harmonic surprises in the bridge. It, too, flew to #1 on the international charts, prompting Randy to set his sights on the American market.

His current single is “A Beautiful Dream”. That’s where we pick up his story.

The music business has changed a lot over the years over the years. How would you say it has changed for you since you were with a major label to now that you’re doing the independent thing?

I’ll tell you right now it seems like the age thing doesn’t matter much as much. I remember  when I was in my 20’s, I was scared to turn 30 years old. Record executives started calling you old when you turned 30. Unless you were a white star, or a label president or something like that.  Things are different know. I look at Charlie Wilson, Will Downing, Babyface is back with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis… many of my contemporaries are making great music and we’re on the radio and that’s a cool thing.

I don’t know if the consumer has changed so much, they’re still looking for good music. Would you say that the business is better now or is it easier for artists because there are so many outlets?

Randy 2Well it’s easier for independent artists. The digital age means there’s many more independent stations, internet stations and outlets for good music around the world. They didn’t have that when I was coming up. Like there’s Soul Café Radio on the net. They play mostly independent artists. Back in the day if you were not on terrestrial radio nobody knew who you were. I know when you’re dealing with the UK and over in Europe and around the world, they’re listening to digital radio and streaming that’s the best way to get the exposure. In the states, while streaming and digital are growing, terrestrial radio is still the king. Especially for my genre of music. Especially if you really wanna do big things in music, make some money and sell some units but it’s changing over and I see a lot of big stars wanting to not only be on the radio but online too. The audiences are increasing too!

Yes, but its also about catering to a niche. People are tuning into a particular source because that know what they’re going to get. They are looking for a specific kind of sound and when they find what they like they become loyalists.

Tell me about “A Beautiful Dream”?

A Beautiful Dream was written by Zane Giles and I. We recorded it here in Las Vegas. I just wanted to do a song that was very empowering to women. Basically, what I’m saying in the song is think about our moms, aunties and our sisters… And a lot of them are single women and have had to struggle to raise families. They’ll take 2 coins and rub them together and make a meal. And no matter what they’ve gone through, they kept it going and kept the family together. Because it doesn’t matter where you are financially, just you being a mom or a dad, really keeping it together and striving and you know you get your bag when you get your bag, then you are beautiful dream.

Once we get past this COVID thing, you’ll want to get back out there and perform right?

The great thing is that now I get to work here in Las Vegas. I’m working, I’m just blessed that I might be in a small minority or musicians that are still working.  My records have done well over in the UK. I compete with the big-name artists over there and I do equally as well. I’ve had 4 or 5 number one songs in the UK and two number ones on Chris Clay’s Soul Café Radio. I’m doing well all over Europe. Once things open up again, I think it’s gonna be harvest time.

Thanks Randy, we wish you continued success!

Randy Hall’s “A Beautiful Dream” is streaming now on digital platforms including Pandora, Spotify, Amazon, Tidal, iTunes and wherever you consume music.

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Randy Hall “A Beautiful Dream”