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Randy Seedorff: “Maybe one of the most subjective things with people is their music”

Maybe one of the most subjective things with people is their music. I am grateful that we are part of a society where freedom of expression is encouraged. This allows for songwriters of multiple genres to produce and perform their songs. Personally I am a diverse listener that enjoys variety in music. I am a […]

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Maybe one of the most subjective things with people is their music. I am grateful that we are part of a society where freedom of expression is encouraged. This allows for songwriters of multiple genres to produce and perform their songs. Personally I am a diverse listener that enjoys variety in music. I am a songwriter so I am always interested in what the writer of the song is trying to communicate through the lyrics. Songwriters and film makers are all about telling stories. We can learn a lot just by listening to each other’s songs.


As a part of our series about rising music stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Randy Seedorff. In 1992, Randy Seedorff joined the popular Kansas City based bluegrass group, Greenside Up as its lead singer and guitarist and performed with them until 1999. During that time, he fell victim to an armed robbery that profoundly changed his life. The experience turned his full attention to both his life and music, and he rededicated himself to serving God. Randy founded the group Soul Purpose in 2010. They released their studio album “Rearview Mirror,” produced by Larry Gann of AweStruck Studios in 2014. Randy released his 7 track EP, “Elevate,” in 2017. The first two releases from that project reached number 1 on Christian Radio Charts. Randy serves as pastor of worship and discipleship at Trinity Church of the Nazarene in Independence, MO. Soul Purpose plays frequently at churches, festivals and other events, bringing the love of God, through the vehicle of music to as many people as possible.

A prolific songwriter, Randy is a member of both ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) and GMA (Gospel Music Association). All his original music is published by Danjartay Music. Randy has artist endorsements with Petersen Tuners, G7th Capos, and Reverend Guitars.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

My earliest memories are from the small town where I was born in Northeast Iowa. My folks had both been farmers all their lives and moved to town just before I was born. We moved to Independence Missouri when I was 6 years old so my Dad could find work. I grew up with 7 brothers and sisters in a 3 bedroom house with 1 bathroom! We never had a lot of money or nice things, but we always had each other. I really didn’t appreciate how much my parents sacrificed to have a large family until I had children of my own. Our house was always a buzz of activity!

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

My mother and my Uncle were both country music artists. My Uncle Ken, Aunt Mary, my sisters, and my cousins could all sing. When we came together for family gatherings the instruments would come out and we would have a singalong. It was great fun and that was how I learned to sing.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

I was playing guitar and singing with the bluegrass band Greenside Up at a festival in Lebanon Missouri. We were playing in a late afternoon slot that the promoter needed to fill on short notice. That time of day at a festival the crowd would usually scatter and head back to their campers for dinner. But the longer we played the larger the audience got. There was a swell of activity as sound guys and light men started showing up. We finished our set and as we were walking off stage Allison Kraus and her band were getting off their bus. It was cool that we were able to be on stage just before someone of her stature in the music industry.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Wow! It’s hard to pick just one mistake! LOL! I remember back when I first started leading worship that I had an opportunity to lead at a men’s retreat. It was a big auditorium and it was completely full. I checked and double checked my rig during sound check and everything was perfect. When I started to play for the service I had absolutely no signal from my pedal board! I unstrapped my guitar and found that someone had unplugged my power source and plugged in a fan in its place. I could have made an apology for the delay but I went on like nothing had happened. The lesson I learned from that experience is that we have to anticipate that unexpected things will happen when we play live. It is one of the exciting aspects of live performance.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

My wife Maria and I are booking a series of concerts for the incarcerated. This is a ministry that we believe that God will use in important ways. When an offender’s life is changed it also profoundly affects the family of that individual. The goal is to help break the cycle of behavior that got them into prison in the first place. We are also collaborating with a friend who is leading a camp for teenagers who are called to be worship leaders. It is really cool to be able to pass on some of the key concepts of this craft that I have learned over the past 20 years. We are also very excited about the release of our new EP “Begin Again”. It is a combination of original material and favorite covers.

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

Maybe one of the most subjective things with people is their music. I am grateful that we are part of a society where freedom of expression is encouraged. This allows for songwriters of multiple genres to produce and perform their songs. Personally I am a diverse listener that enjoys variety in music. I am a songwriter so I am always interested in what the writer of the song is trying to communicate through the lyrics. Songwriters and film makers are all about telling stories. We can learn a lot just by listening to each other’s songs.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Work on developing your songwriting. The music industry revolves around well written songs. It’s important that we take great care in developing and practicing our craft.
  2. Do something musical every day. If you want to be a music professional it takes work and practice. When you see someone performing seamlessly on stage you better believe that represents hours of effort in the practice studio.
  3. Take care of yourself physically. Exercise and diet were not a big priority for me when I was younger. I traveled a lot with my corporate job and neglected my health.
  4. Make your spiritual formation a priority. When I gave my life to Christ that became the most important thing in my life. My faith guides every part of my life.
  5. Make an effort to collaborate with others. Some of the most important breakthroughs for me as a songwriter and musician have happened when I was working on someone else’s project. I also enjoy going to jam sessions and hanging out with other musicians. There is so much we can learn from each other.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Some of the things I have already mentioned are very important for me. I believe that everyone needs some silence and solitude in their life. As a people we are addicted to words, and devices. I think burn out happens when we try to cram too much at once between our ears. Sometimes we need to retreat, shut out the noise, and listen to God speak. Nothing is more soothing for me.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

In my view forgiveness is really lacking in our world right now. I suppose I always knew, but this last year with Covid-19 pandemic it has been effective in making me somewhat complacent about not reaching out as much as I should. Community together has always been a core thing…something that I valued in my life. Reflecting on this thought I realized the motivation had been zapped away for so long. Loving our neighbor as our self is something we can all do. That is a movement that would change our communities, and the world.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

There are a great many people who have helped me on my journey. At the top of that list is my wife Maria. She is an amazing partner in our ministry and does so much behind the scenes to make things operate smoothly. Another person would be my friend Shane Rootes. Shane is an artist from the UK born and raised in South London. Shane helped me develop relationships with instrument and gear companies in the music industry which resulted in endorsement opportunities.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I believe with all my heart that, “You’re Never Too Old to Dream!” In my view it takes a lifetime of learning and experience to develop the gifts and graces for music that make a career. Every artist develops over space and time and some end up doing their most significant work in the later stages of their career. I study the Bible a lot and guys like Abraham, Moses, and Noah got started late in life. Think about Tony Bennett, and Les Paul performing into their 90’s. Betty White continues to have a stunning career as an actress and comedian. “You’re Never Too Old to Dream!”

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

I believe that Steven Curtis Chapman is one of the most influential songwriters in the history of Contemporary Christian Music. I would really enjoy having a conversation with him about his life and career.

How can our readers follow you online?

https://randyseedorff.com/

This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!


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