THE KROMOZONE PROJECT
Who are Randy Lance & Elle? Could you tell us a little bit more about ?Randy:
Born in Cheektowaga, NY but raised in Indiana in the US. Realized at age 9, music was my calling… despite the fact that I couldn’t play any instruments or sing at the time. So, I began teaching myself to sing, play classical piano, program synthesizers and drum programmers, write songs and arrange them etc. which has lead me to owning my own independent record label and striking a distribution deal for international sales with radio airplay.Elle:Vivacious, sexy, hardworking, giving… there are so many, I cannot list them all. 🙂
When did you get into the music business?
Randy: I had taught myself to play classical piano (mostly by ear) at age 9, began programming synthesizers by age 15 and singing by age 17. I grew up on a farm so I didn’t have alot of access to technology and the expense of it. This made me concentrate more on the quality of my ‘skills’, rather than relying on great sounding equipment.
Elle: Since I was 2 years old.
Which have been your mains influences (artists, music, etc.)?
Randy: This is a difficult question. Many songs over life inspire a producer until his/her style becomes a “patchwork quilt” of elements. “Don’t go” by Yaz, the groups Kiss, Queen, early Depeche Mode, Ann Wilson of Heart’s vocals…
Elle: Everyone from all walks of life. Gospel music is a big influence.
Why did you stop working for Phat Cat Records?
Randy: First, I only signed a ‘single’ deal for the song “Take My Love” with option for more if both parties wanted to continue. I believe someone should seek a record deal when they have taken their own music as far as they can go with it successfully. Many industry professionals turned me down because my music was too “sugary or happy” and they didn’t think it would sell. So it’s been a tough path for me to get my music out there.
Marco Navarra (of Phat Cat records) is from the Tampa area where I currently reside and was recommended through mutual industry friends we have in common. I was a little reluctant to sign any deal but he assured me that if either party wanted to go their separate ways following the single, they could. Basically, I did. Marco didn’t think “Take My Love” was strong enough for a single in the beginning and said he needed more proof that just a “kid raving about his own music to be interested”. I had seen people running to the dance floor screaming, so I knew it could go somewhere. In the meantime following the single deal (signed June 15, 1998), I realized I had made enough contacts to test the waters on my own with new material without having to run it by industry professionals. It’s kind of my way of letting the fans decide if they like my new songs or not, instead of a good song never making it out of the gate because it did not impress some industry higher ups. I feel this is how songs should be signed anyway.
Who are your partners in the business?
Randy: Randy, Randy and Randy. (Ha ha). Here’s a numbered list of what I do:
1. Come up with a name for a song and album. Get a visual image in my head of the feeling I want the music to give the listener.
2. Write the words.
3. Compose the background music with synthesizers, drum programmers, etc.
4. Print out lead sheets for Elle to take in studio.
5. Play the song and sing the song as it should be sung by her. She copies and sings exactly what I sing and then ad libs at the end of the track for possible use in the song.
6. I take her digitized vocals and process them onto the music track.
7. Next is hours and hours of mixdown, volume, panning, EQ, compression etc.
8. Finish all songs for a CD single or album and send to Mastering Plant in Miami.
9. Mastering plant sends mastered DAT (Digital Audio Tape) to the Pressing Plant.
10. I get with a Graphics Designer and together create the layout for the product. I tell him what emotion or feeling I’m going for with a few elements and he creates an image.
11. Press 2,000 vinyl records for Record Pools and DJs (Record Pool: an organization in a particular region that collects data from 25 to 125 dance clubs, monitor which songs hit from all record labels, major and minor, and report charts to radio and internet. I give these away for free in exchange for info on my releases to see if a track tests well.
12. Monitor all info on website and seek publicists, radio promoters, booking agents etc.
13. At the same time, send copies to distributors, trade magazines and Billboard reporters.
14. Fill purchase orders from distributors and collect all review and interviews from trades -this is where Francis fits in 🙂
15. Hopefully get picked up by major radio promoters to get nationwide airplay, contact booking agents and give info for shows (length, content, contests, giveaways etc)
And while all of this goes on, start thinking of new songs, stage show setups, videos, etc. So right now, it’s all me but I am receiving professional assistance as The KromOzone Project keeps growing! All of this from just a concept in my head.
Why did you choose Elle to be your leading vocalist for The KromOzone Project?Randy: I wanted to find a female that had some soul, looked really good, could sing well and had a very good attitude and personality. She was recommended to me through a producer friend (Dave Constanza). She’s beautiful, talented and is dedicated to the music. I knew she was “the one” to make it all come alive!How many years have you been working and knowing Elle?
Randy: I have known “Elle” for 2 ½ years now.
Why did you accept to work with Randy Lance?
Elle: I saw something in his work that I haven’t come across in music before…
Your voice is incredible, how many years of practice did you need to get to this level of quality? Did you take some singing lessons?
Elle: I’ve taken very little voice lessons, but mainly my voice is a gift from God.
Why have you chosen the name “The KromOzone Project”?
Randy: I was a Psychiatric Major in College studying the chromosomes, DNA and genetic make-up of individuals at the same time I was experimenting with music. Later on as music became more dance oriented, I took the word chromosome and altered it (genetically) to KromOzone and added the “project” because I wanted it to be an on-going project of music through the years and possible
What are your thoughts on the album “Love & Energy”? Are you proud of it?
Randy: My songs are like pictures in a photo album… or like my children, love them all! Never sure which one’s will be the breadwinners, though.
Elle: I’m very proud of the album and extremely happy to be a part of it.
Even if your album is mainly Freestyle oriented, there are so many different genres of Dance music in it. Why?
Randy: I actually come from a rock & roll background. I don’t plan a song to turn out a specific way. As I’m composing from melodies and rhythms inside my head, the pieces just fit together. I let the reviewers, interviewers and fans decide if they like it and what style it is. Usually works out better for the music that way.
Why are “Stay In Love” and “Take My Love” not on the album?
Randy: Because they are old songs. “Stay In Love” (1996), “Take My Love” (1997). They will be on The KromOzone Project’s greatest hits eventually, but it wasn’t fair to my new material to attach dated stigma from these previous hits. I am confident of my song writing and producing abilities that I don’t feel I need to constantly use these two songs as “crutches or training wheels”. A new millenium needs a new sound, and I gave them “Love & Energy”.
Why is “Energy” the first single release?
Randy: Good motto and positive message to start the millenium out for us. And I usually like short titles for my songs, so “Energy” seemed powerful and could relate to many different people for different reasons.
Many songs about love will soon follow. National radio airplay for “Energy” however will begin Summer 2000.
Why is Planet Rock your favorite style of Freestyle Music?
Randy: Clean, crisp, strong, uncluttered, EQ’d perfectly and I love Electro. Planet Rock is the Grand Daddy Beat of the Electro Freestyle. It always makes the girls move. It even makes me move!
Most Freestyle fans now think that Planet Rock beat is boring and a little bit obsolete. What do you think?
Randy: For the most part, they may be right. However, what is tired to some…is brand new for someone else. I’ve heard a lot of retro songs come back into rotation these last few years and I feel this is due to a lack of interesting NEW songs being released by the majors. So, on a couple of tracks, I give the feeling of RETRO, but with a brand new song. Killing two birds with one stone, if you will. (Psychology…)
What do you think of the Freestyle scene and market?
Randy: It’s sad to see a decline, that’s why I’m hitting it hard to radio and clubs in the US. Poor production and repetitive themes in writing has “deadened” alot of it for the industry as a whole. This doesn’t really affect me though. If I want to write Freestyle, I’M GONNA WRITE FREESTYLE! 🙂 )
Elle: I like it!
What would you change in the Freestyle industry today?
Randy: Make more of it! Shower the record pools and mix shows with it. I sell a good number of records and make good money for live performances. Many are amazed at this because some radio “toppers” are getting less attention and money even though they are on the air in good rotation. It’s not about who pays who get chart action or radio airplay, not for the new generation. Everything’s changing. Major labels will see a big change coming and producers with their own labels making hit music, like myself, will be entering the big league…while not selling out their soul!
Elle: Do not have a comment.
What advice or message would you give to future artists?
Randy: Vocalists: Be faithful and loyal to your writers and producers. This is not the 80′s anymore where it’s cool to screw people over.
Producers: Don’t strive to be successful only for “Fame and Fortune”. People in the industry sense greed and will shy away from you. Be honest, relax the ego a bit, and then work hard to produce some killer tracks!
Elle: Always works hard and put your best foot forward, never give up on your dreams.
Do you have any particular message to give to the Freestyle community?
Randy: Freestyle to me is Good Beats, Good Melodies and a heavy dose of Love! Those who feel it know what I’m talking about.
Elle: Keep supporting it!
What is Randy Lance’s best quality?
Elle: Very hard working, believes in what he does and I like that drive! And the best quality of all is that he’s a good person.
What is Elle’s best quality?
Randy: Beautiful, talented and dedicated to the music!
“The Kromozone Project”
Interview by: Francis Tanneur