While the modern hip-hop crowd knows Atlanta as the center of Krunk Nation, the Southern city is increasingly making its claim as the unofficial hub of the underground soul movement, with one talented soul singer after another claiming that town as home. And while India.Arie, P.J. Morton and, most recently, Anthony David, have made names for themselves around the US and Europe for their brand of melodic acoustic soul, Randevyn is proof that there's still more great Southern Soul to come.
Randevyn was a well-known church singer in his hometown of Newport News, Virginia by his early teens. He had been trained since he was a child by his father, who was himself a professional singer. In high school he was mentored by the late Rev. James Moore, and the relationship led to Randevyn becoming a lead tenor in the Colorado Mass Choir directed by Stellar Award winner Joe Pace.
As a young adult, Randevyn decided to pursue a career in music and moved to Atlanta, where he began working with a multitude of future stars ranging from India.Arie to Floetry to super-producer Rodney Jerkins. Teaming with manager Sincere Johnson, Randevyn recorded his debut album, SolTrain, which documented in part his life as an aspiring musician working a regular daily job in Atlanta. The disc was released in August 2005.
He followed SolTrain nearly four years later with The Randevyn Project, an ambitious project that abandoned the urban sound of his debut and instead hearkened back to the pop singer/songwriter sounds of the 70s. It was a risky creative move for the young singer, but was a worthwhile project that received much deserved attention.
by Chris Rizik