Florida, USA based Randy Lance is the creative force behind The KromOzone Project. With hits like “Take My Love”, “Stay In Love”, “Emotional Rollercoaster”, and “Luv With U”, The KromOzone project continues to pump out energetic dance grooves both domestically and abroad.
Born in the Midwest, Randy graduated at Ball State University with a degree in film and broadcasting. He got an internship to work for ABC in Tampa, and was excited about moving to Florida because he was so enamored with the Florida sound. Before hitting the club music industry, Randy was producing Television for Ivana Trump and Suzanne Somers on the Home Shopping Network. He says however that he always did music on the side, playing by ear and also classical piano, as well as doing a lot of vocal competitions. Hired as an intern and working up into an editor, then as a Sales Producer for Home Shopping Network in North St. Petersburg, he worked there for about 5 years.
From TV to Breakbeat
He soon started doing musical ID’s – the stuff you hear between commercial breaks. One of the hosts, who was listening to this music one day, just stopped him and said “Randy, what are you doing here?” He said if he had my music, he would leave and hit the street. That’s what did it – and Randy started taking music seriously for the first time.
In 1995 he decided to seriously record his first album starting with the single called “Emotional Rollercoaster”. Starting in Tampa (because he was working with mixing jocks on WFLZ 93.3 on the weekend) His songs were played on the weekends, and they’d always say, “This is Tampa’s own Randy Lance.”
“It was just a big thrill for me, I couldn’t believe it. That’s how the whole thing started”, says Randy.
Stay In Love with The KromOzone Project (Connecting with the “Stay In Love” project with Mon A Q)
Working at Thoroughbred Music (now Sam Ash) as a sales person, two suits who had heard his music on the weekend show walked in and wanted him to remix something. They’d been trying to do dance music, but all the labels they had approached said that they needed a producer if they wanted it to work. He listened to their demo, a 13-or-so track CD of cuts, but out of the dance songs he didn’t think he could do anything with them, unless everything was reworked.
But the very last song on the CD was a ballad called “Stay in Love”.
The band who did the song hired Monique Smith to be their background singer, and while working on the project he nicknamed her “Mon A Q” just phonetically pronouncing Monique. The ballad’s melodies and chord progressions were simple – and it featured mostly her – he told them this was their strongest track. They gave him an ADAT tape and he pulled out her vocal and re-recorded the music.
The dance music version for “Stay in Love” was actually a KromOzone track called “I’m Gonna Make It”. Some time after completing the Ballad project, he took all the words that sounded cool, sped them up from 85 to 130bpm and pieced them together until they made sense.
Nothing happened for about eight months or so. A call from Monte Lipman at Universal Records called him about a hit of his “getting 65 spins a week on Power 96 in Miami”. It was a song called “Stay in Love”, a dance mix.
“This was the first time I’d heard about it. I couldn’t believe it. All my life I’d been so careful about copyrights, etc. I felt so stupid” says Randy.
The DNA Behind The KromOzone Project
A film and broadcast major with a minor in psychology, Randy was doing experimental music so came up with chromosome because it’s the genetic makeup of DNA. To make it “cutting edge cool”, he put Project on there because he could do anything with it – pop, dance or rock.
“Bach is my all time favorite composer. His compositions were very simple in melody, yet complex in timing. The right hand does one thing, and the left does another. They are both in perfect harmony, but each compliments on another. Breakbeat is an energetic funk. I just took both elements and merged them together.”
Tools of Choice
Randy states that he likes to use the least amount of technology as possible.
“I like to keep my set-ups really simple. I want to focus on vocals and music, not technology. I don’t want either to dominate the other. If you speak to a vocalist, they would probably say, I wish I could produce my own music because in my head, I know how it would go. Talk with the guys who produce music but can’t sing, they might wish they could because in their own heads, they know exactly how it should go. I’m one of the lucky ones that can do my owns beats, synths, and if need be, my own voice to go with my remixes, so that neither one dominates.”
Most of Randy’s sampling comes from Roland. and he loves his Korg Trinity.
“Most of my stuff is 85% Roland, 10% Korg and the rest is a mix, like Emu and Ensoniq. Roland is very articulated and warm. I sometimes use very heavy compression and Roland works well with that.”
Hands On Approach
Randy is a very hands-on artist when it comes to promotions, but it was never his goal to try and ‘do it all’.
“I wanted to be a band like Queen, be like Freddie Mercury and have my friends on stage with me. I have tried to make that work; early on I could never get anyone to ever show up. It was too difficult. Later on, it seemed a lot of people were ‘me, me…me!’ I sometimes get bummed out about the business. I feel a lot of love and emotion for music. I know for some it’s just a business, but some like me really do love it and it hurts when you get negativity on something you feel good about. When I am promoting myself, I simply know the job is getting done.”
Soon, contracts expanded to markets in Brazil, Germany and Canada
At first, distribution was through Ample Entertainment and Subsonic Distribution who sell directly to Transworld, Virgin, etc. Ruben Martinez (Amber’s Mgmt.) turned Randy onto a distribution network on the west coast called Bayside Distribution that would handle his new product.
“I’ve been lucky I guess, because many people have come to me instead of me searching for them. Your reputation in this business is like your credit rating. Don’t screw people over, it will come out eventually. (You know who you are).”
Outside the US, he licensed directly to Brazil, Germany and Canada for Sub-Publishing and Distribution. Brazil approached him because of successes on Power 96 in Miami and Flamingo Record Pool charts (thanks Richard) and Germany approached him because of Interviews and Reviews from Freestyle music web sites.