MOVING FORWARD - Local singer Randi Boulton has had a relatively quiet 2016 after several years of being extremely busy building her music career. She's happy with some of the changes and new perspectives on life that she's garnered along the way.

Local singer Randi Boulton reflects on a quieter 2016

Local singer Randi Boulton is heading into 2017 with a fresh take on life, what matters the most and the importance of keeping the right perspective.

She’s always been a grounded woman – immensely talented to be sure – but she also has a profound integrity. That sense of wishing to keep her feet firmly planted led, in part, to a quieter 2016 on the musical side of things.

But never fear – Boulton’s creativity is always simmering. Indeed – she’s been nominated in the Singer/Songwriter of the Year category for the upcoming Red Deer Entertainment Awards set for Jan. 14th at The Vat.

“I’ve been doing a lot of different things this year,” she explains during a recent chat. A bit of that was dictated by Alberta’s ongoing economic struggle – but Boulton also knew it was time for a bit of a break, too. She wanted to interpret her creativity in different ways. Just slow down and experience renewal after what have been some very busy years.

“I’m still maintaining my full time career which is fantastic but it’s just been a little bit less,” she explains. “But in light of that, I’ve taken on some different projects that I might not have taken on before, so change is good and I’m always willing to take myself into a new situation.”

She took up yoga and found an immense sense of peace by doing so. She has also played for a local yoga class. “I just get to play and feel that energy. So things like that have been really great.”

Her commitment to The Hub on Ross continues as well. Through 2017, Boulton will be appearing there the first Wednesday of each month.

“Anybody and everybody is welcome to come. If you are shy about music – just come and see what’s going on and just sing a little bit. Opening up one’s horizons a bit – that’s what it’s for.

“Music really just speaks to so many people. It’s a great venue for that.”

She’s also performed at the Ross Street Patio through the summer months, too. It’s these kinds of community connections that also bring plenty of joy and fulfillment. “With everything that’s been happening, I’ve kind of needed to step back because it’s been such a whirlwind. It’s been go, go, go. I’m not complaining – but this year has made me really kind of reflect on a few things.”

Helping with that calmer take was moving to a big old house with lots of character which she absolutely loves. “It’s got a huge yard, and every few nights there are deer in the back just hanging out. It feels like I’m in a forest but I’m right on the City limit line.

“It’s really helped open up a part of me that was closed off.”

She’s also adopted a more active lifestyle – complete with the aforementioned yoga, swimming and working out.

Meanwhile, from the start, Boulton has written and sang with a striking sincerity.

Her latest CD, Randi With an ‘I’, truly showcased her gifts not just as an artist but as a powerful communicator as well.

Sometimes Life was released a couple of years prior to that – featuring more of that same authenticity shining through at every turn. Through it all, she has a great sense of humour, and she’s a delight to watch on stage – not just for her vocal abilities but for how she connects with audiences. But as mentioned, it’s been a hectic few years.

So with the slow down across the province came the time to throw herself into things she really couldn’t have before.

“To be a well-rounded human being you have to broaden your horizons. You can get stuck,” she explained.

“I’m just trying to express myself in other ways. I’m still doing music. I love music and I always will be doing music. But I needed to step back and take a break. And the more I talk to other musicians, the more I realize they do the same thing.”

It’s also been a season of spending more time with family and investing in some old friendships, too.

Looking back, music has always been a passion. Her mom once told her she was singing before she was talking.

She started garnering serious attention at 12 years of age, when she landed first prize in a talent show with her mom. Boulton later won a songwriting contest at 14. That led into being selected to play for Showcase ‘98 in Edmonton.

“I’m just making lemonade,” she adds of living the musician’s life in tough economic times as well.

“All those things that I’ve wanted to do I’m doing. It feels really good. And it’s only going to make me stronger so that when I do get back into the writing process – I’ll have a lot to say.”

mark.weber@reddeerexpress.com.