Smokey Vibe

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Imagine it…..dim lit room and you are sitting at a table in the back.  Henny in your glass your gaze goes to the front of the room under a thin layer of smoke and hear the distant clink of other glasses and muffled voices as the band takes the stage.  A lone silhouette enters the spotlight, sits down and adjusts the mic. Testing one, two, three and with one last tweak of the six string, clears his throat and you hear the introduction…Helloooooo, I am Quinton Randall.

Hailing from the west side of Baltimore down Lexington Terrace, Quinton Randall has always had the influence of music in his life.  You could say it is what kept him sane and motivated to just continue living his life.  Patience that comes with age and musical influence is lifelong.  His choice of the guitar came one day while sitting in a rec center with Kevin Robinson who was helping him to record something for himself.  While there, he noticed that he would always play and practice his guitar and record and Quinton would just sit and watch.  One day Quinton asked Kevin if he would teach him how to play.  After a guitar was in hand, chord and amp supplied and as they say, the rest is history.  His inspiration to play is a form of therapy.  “Before anything, music was my therapist”, say Quinton.  “It was always there when I needed it and when I didn’t need it. I really can’t stress how important this was and still is to me. As I’ve grown, now I just love to perform and give an awesome show. In my head I don’t give shows, I give concerts. People that love music will always inspire me. Some folks would come to me and say “Hey man, listen to thing song.  I think you can really play and sing this. When I get folks coming to me like that it makes me feel good and I want to make them happy”.

His first original song was the starting point of believing he had something special.  Knowing his voice and ability to write would serve him for years to come.  Quinton says that the feedback from the people was beautiful.  “Seeing the growth in me and really taking that journey with me”, he says.  Some were pleasantly surprised with my voice saying that they didn’t think I could “sing”. It was a personal song and people related to it.  “I have what you would call a ‘whiskey voice’ because it’s smoky and rugged.  Blues is in everything that I do.  The way I walk, talk and think.  I live blues and blues lives through me”.  His vibe is passion and soul.  “Performing is what makes you different.  Tapping into it and letting it come out in front of everyone for them to see is all around inspiration”.

He notices similarities and differences in artists in Baltimore and the DMV.  He notices that the love and appreciation for music is very strong.  Some cities are a little spoiled and that makes it hard for those from out of town to connect with the audience.  Everyone has a story to tell and that is what excites Quinton.  “When you don’t know what to expect out of me when I step on the stage makes the love and just connecting all the better”.  He does feel that mainstream overlooks the underground artist because it is harder to negotiate with someone who is underground/independent.  “They understand what they are worth and will not let anything get in the way of damaging it.  Sometimes you have to compromise and put your pride aside and work within the system.  It’s all a chess match so to speak and that is why you have to educate yourself and be able to do it on your own”.

According to Quinton, there are too many to name for personal inspiration.  He narrows down to a select few the first being Carlos Santana.  He describes his influence as a molding experience into who he is and with just hearing the music to have a spiritual connection to it.  Jimmy Hendrix is another influence.  He is intrigued by how under rated a guitar player he was.  “People never quite gave him the credit for being up there with the greats in that category”, say Quinton.  Last but not least is his purple highness Prince.  He describes him as everything!  Knowing how to stay relevant and continue to stay true to the funk style is a testament to his greatness.  He spouts more names like Brooks Long (Singer-Guitarist) Alex Alexander (Poet-Singer-Photographer) Mosno (Singer-Guitarist) Kevin Robinson (Music Teacher-Singer-Mentor) Antonia Perdu (Poet-Writer-Awesome Human Being) and many more!
Quinton wants to reach everyone with his music, everyone who stays true to themselves.  He describes his songs as real life and thought provoking and it should take you on a ride further to find yourself.  He states that he has grown a lot from where he started, no different than the next human being but hopeful people will come to see that in him.  His advice for young artists is to stay humble.  Know why you want to do this before you make that commitment and that will keep you from getting discouraged when things get tough.  He also advises to be patient and go by what he calls the 3 P’s:  Patience, Practice and Persistence.

There is plenty in store for Quinton Randall followers.  His EP entitled “The Cleanse ”, a 6 song EP with lyric booklet and never before seen pictures and a behind the scenes DVD of the entire recording process are in the works.

 

Let’s have a big round of Baltimore Flavah! applause for Quinton Randall.

 

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