Local singer Randi Boulton has a fresh, invigorated perspective not only on her profound artistry, but on her life in general.
Boulton, a gifted artist with a voice that never wavers in its raw, emotional and powerful delivery, slowed things down a bit in 2016 and the period of rejuvenation has served her well as she looks back. She’s also gearing up for a show at this year’s Westerner Days – she performs July 21st on the ENMAX Centrium mainstage.
“It gives you time to recoup, re-evaluate and re-energize,” she says, recalling that quieter space of time. “You don’t really get a break, so you kind of burn out.”
That’s not to say her passion for making music faded one bit.
“I wasn’t losing the joy of doing it. I still loved doing it, but the pressures of recording and writing – I didn’t even have any time to write because I was so busy,” she recalled. “On one hand you want to be busy, but on the other hand you’re so busy that when you come home you don’t have energy to write a song.
“So I did some landscaping for my parents, and I did a lot of things that I said I would do and hadn’t gotten to, including visiting a friend in B.C. It was good, because when you are too busy you also miss out on family time and lots of different things. Those things are very important, and I realized that you need time for yourself, time for your family and friends – and all those things that are important.”
These days, Boulton is now happily back in the full swing of things.
“We are writing, we are going to be recording. We have all these cool ideas we are working on bouncing back and forth.”
Another highlight of late is that Boulton won a recent vocal contest put on by local entertainer/producer/artist extraordinaire Curtis Labelle.
“It’s super awesome, and I also got some recording time out of that as well,” she said. “So I can’t wait to go and utilize that.” But perhaps one of the brightest moments this year came during a stroll down a Las Vegas street.
“We went to Vegas for my friend’s 50th birthday and we were walking down Fremont Street. There was a busker rapping and another one playing guitar. We were there for about 25 minutes or so, and I’m thinking these guys are really good!”
Next thing she knows, her friend makes it known to these guys that Boulton can indeed sing.
“I don’t have that personality to say, yes, give me the mic so I can sing,” she laughed.
But sing she did (while playing guitar), and the crowds gathered were treated to a fabulous, fired-up performance with a little help from the rapper, too.
Boulton ended up busking on Fremont, and, “It was a magical moment,” she said. The posted video landed upwards of 30,000 views on facebook. It was absolutely an affirming and personally powerful moment. “Vegas has a special place in my heart with the arts, the culture – and the weather! Who knew that going to Vegas would be so good for my career, too.”
From the start, Boulton has always 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.
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.
These days, she’s excited about what lies ahead – particularly with a new project in the works.
For the writing process this time around, Boulton said the team threw off the pressure and allowed them to write whatever ‘came out’. Experimentation with various genres has also been a focus, and there is no doubt some terrific cuts that have been surfacing.
“I love all kinds of music, and there is this pressure to fit into a box. I get it, if you are going to be marketed, then you have to fit into the box. But I’m lucky enough in my own career that I can still have those freedoms.
“I’m also collaborating with a bunch of people which is really exciting, because I’ve never really done that before.”