Josh Randall, aka J Rand, wanted to be a big music star, and you could say he’s on the right path. The 28-year-old Delray Beach native has played his cards right, hooking up with the right people in the industry and making all the right moves to get noticed.
Randall got his start as (yes) a wedding singer, as well as writing songs for a variety of local and national acts before signing a deal with Interscope Records and releasing the club hit Up Against the Wall. J eventually parted ways with the label, moving over to Nontra, putting out the single Ride, featuring Flo Rida and T Pain, which led to a 2013 appearance on The Tonight Show.
Summer 2015 has been good to J Rand; his new R&B single Gold is currently in the blowing-up stages.
We spoke to the hip-hopper on the rise, who attended Atlantic Community High School in Delray Beach and then got some thespian training at The Acting School of South Florida in Hollywood.
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What inspired you to write “Gold?” Some of the lyrics are a little, um, risqué?
I wrote it about a girl that I was dating. To be honest, I really just wanted to impress her with the song, and I didn’t have any intentions for anyone to hear it. I felt like singing and rapping when I heard the instrumental and just wrote it on a long car drive, then recorded the vocals for her that night in the studio. This wasn’t intended to be a single, it’s just a song we threw up on SoundCloud, and the reaction was immediate.
People really love the record and started doing their own versions so we just ran with it. The lyrics to me are, of course, very personal, but they represent being in love and experiencing another level of appreciation for your significant other. There’s always that one that makes you feel out of your comfort zone, and it’s golden.
Where did you shoot the video? We can see lots of palm trees.
We actually shot it in the Fort Lauderdale condo of the CEO of my label Nontra Records. Everything we’ve done thus far has been spontaneous with promoting this song so we didn’t even really have time for a proper location scout. We literally decided to shoot the video two days prior. I’m gonna be honest, rolling around the bed with a beautiful girl with everyone watching was a little weird, but luckily I think the visuals came across genuine.
You seem to be very active, Internet wise.
I’m a big advocate of social media because its a great way to keep in touch directly with my fans and gives people countless avenues to discover new music. We haven’t even really brought Gold to radio yet and its already got millions of loops on [Twitter owned app] Vine and has been blowing up on this great new app called Musical.ly. I love being able to give my fans that kind of immediate access to me and my music.
Who is the inspiration in your career?
Definitely my mom. She has a lot of class and raised me right. I’d love to give her the world one day. She inspires me to work hard every day.
You have been compared to Justin Timberlake. Are you cool with that?
Yes! He never does wrong. He somehow skates seamlessly through each genre of entertainment, whether it’s music or comedy, and it always works for him. He is the blueprint for an all-around entertainer.
Who are you listening to these days?
My playlist is embarrassing and nostalgic. A lot of stuff from the ’90s, which is most likely why my music leans a little toward that time. I’m currently listening to some old Eminem and Jon B.
What are some of your favorite places to hang out in South Florida?
Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach is my go-to, but I also love to head to South Beach and rent the bikes there along A1A. It’s just an experience to just ride at night with that party atmosphere on the other side.
What is your dream project?
I’d love to do something with Ariana Grande. I think her voice is amazing, and I feel like we would have a great back-and-forth.
You had small parts in “Spring Breakers” and “Rock of Ages.” Any juicy stories from the set? How is acting different than music?
I had an awkward encounter with Selena Gomez in my underwear and got to hang out with Tom Cruise. No complaints on my end. Acting is great because you get to become someone else, but music is my true passion. Since I was young I always loved performing and creating songs, and that has never really left me. Acting is me interpreting someone else’s words and bringing them to life. Music is me telling my story and sharing my experiences. Both are great.
Any advice for performers looking to follow in your footsteps?
Your career ends when you say it does. There’s no expiration date to making music. As musicians we are all one late-night recording session away from a hit. Always chase that dream.