Randy Seedorff has been writing and performing for over 30 years, with his interest in music starting at the young age of 11 when his mother gave him his first guitar. A veteran singer, and songwriter, Randy comes from a musical family with a strong heritage in country music. In 1992 Randy joined the popular Kansas City based bluegrass group Greenside Up as its lead singer and guitarist and performed with them until 1999. During that time he fell victim to an armed robbery that profoundly changed his life. The experience turned his full attention to both his life and music, and he rededicated himself to serving God. Randy founded the group Soul Purpose in 2010. They released their studio album Rearview Mirror, produced by Larry Gann of Awe Struck Studios in 2014. Randy released his 7 track EP, Elevate, in 2017. The first two releases from that project reached number 1 on Christian Radio Charts. Randy serves as pastor of worship and discipleship at Trinity Church of the Nazarene in Independence, MO. Soul Purpose plays frequently at churches, festivals and other events, bringing the love of God, through the vehicle of music to as many people as possible. A prolific songwriter, Randy is a member of both ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) and GMA (Gospel Music Association). All his original music is published by Danjartay Music. Randy has artist endorsements with Petersen Tuners, G7th Capos, and Reverend Guitars. Randy’s new single, “Family Tree” is out on MTS Records.
- Which did you discovered first – your faith or music?
Randy Seedorff: I believe that God has given each of us spiritual gifts to be used for the benefit of His Kingdom. Early on I realized that music set off something deep down in a place inside me where nothing had before. God through the work of the Holy Spirit used music to draw me to Himself. When I gave my heart to Christ He began to open up opportunities for me to use those gifts and graces He had given me for ministry. The discovery of music in my life started me on a journey of faith that continues today.
- When did you start making music seriously?
Randy Seedorff: Being part of a musical family was a great way to grow up. We had our ups and downs like any family but we loved and enjoyed being together. I had two brothers and five sisters and a bunch of cousins, Aunts, and Uncles. When we gathered together we would bring out the instruments and have a great time singing. I was middle school age when my mother loaned me one of her guitars so I could learn to play. That was the point when I started having a desire to grow as a musician and singer. I believe that every musician meets people on their journey that encourage, challenge and move them forward. They strike up a friendship and start collaborating. This started to happen with me as a teenager.
- How do you prioritize or divide your time between being a musician and a pastor?
Randy Seedorff: Vocational pastoral ministry is something that God calls you to. Living the life of a pastor is like no other I know of because that calling is for life. My pastoral role isn’t just lived out in the life of a community of believers, although that is a significant part of it. My life as a musician has grown out of my calling to lead worship. I believe that being a pastor and a musician both have important roles in my life. In the rhythm of pastoral ministry needs can arise quickly and unexpectedly. Those responsibilities takes priority in my life and scheduling.
- Who were your first and strongest musical influences that you can remember?
Randy Seedorff: My uncle was the first musical influence I can remember. He could play almost any genre of music on the piano. Stride, Floyd Kramer, Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis, Gospel, Honky Tonk, he could cover it all skillfully. He would sit next to my mother on the piano bench and they would sing and play duets together. I learned to sing harmony by listening and singing along with them. The joy in that music set off a spark in me.
- What do you feel are the key elements in your music that should resonate with listeners?
Randy Seedorff: Many of the songs that I write come from Scripture and have a positive message that applies to life. I’m hopeful that our music will help others look up, and away from the troubles and circumstances of life and hear some hope and encouragement. Even though we have all experienced some very difficult times lately, our windshield is bigger than our rearview mirror.
- What’s your view on the role and function of music as political, cultural, spiritual, and/or social vehicles – and do you try and affront these themes in your work, or are you purely interested in music as an expression of technical artistry, personal narrative and entertainment?
Randy Seedorff: I’m not interested in writing anything with a political theme. I think there are more than enough of those opinions to go around in the current culture. I have always worked to write honest authentic songs and make the best quality recordings of them I can. I hope the message of those songs will speak for themselves, and reflect a positive message.
- If I was to turn on your media player right now, which artists/songs would I be most likely to hear on your recently played list?
Randy Seedorff: Wow that’s a great question! I am a diverse listener by nature and enjoy a variety of artists and genre’s. Right now I am listening to Brian and Jenn Johnson a lot. They are connected with Bethel music and are writing some amazing worship music. I have also been enjoying Keith and Kristyn Getty another couple from Belfast, United Kingdom. On the country side I listen to Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, and Brad Paisley. I enjoy Bluegrass music and listen to Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, Allison Kraus and Union Station, Tony Rice, and many others. Like I said diverse.
- Could you describe your creative processes? How most often do start, and go about shaping ideas into a completed song? Do you usually start with a beat, a melody or narrative in your head?
Randy Seedorff: The song writing process for me begins with being a lifetime learner. I read a lot, and often times this will spark an idea lyrically. At times you get inspiration from something someone says in a conversation. Listening well, observing, and then taking note of what you see and hear. It’s important for me to either journal what I am thinking, or record it on my phone so I don’t lose it. I do something musical everyday which includes picking up a guitar several times a week. My process usually begins with a hook and evolves from there. The inspiration for a song can come from something unexpected. I try to be ready to capture them when they happen.
- What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your career or life so far, and how did you overcome the event?
Randy Seedorff: In 1993 I was the victim of an armed robbery at the restaurant I was managing. The robbers forced their way into the back door and overpowered me forcing me to open the safe and hand over the contents. I was then tied up face down on the floor with a gun at my head. Just before they planned to execute me as I lay praying on the floor God intervened. There was a honk on the horn of the get a way car, and they left without shooting me. That experience caused me to rededicate my life and music to God. The recovery from that was difficult the scars from it still remain. I have a song on my new album that was written for those who have, and are experiencing PTSD. I realize looking back that even though I thought I was alone and forgotten, that God had never left me or forsaken me. That moment of realization was very healing for me.
- What would you consider a successful, proud or significant point in your career so far?
Randy Seedorff: In 2019 I had the opportunity to go on tour with Shane Rootes and lead worship in some of the cities of Northern England. It was my first time in the UK and the people there were so wonderful and welcoming. I can’t wait for the opportunity to return and reunite with my friends across the pond.
- Do you have a personal favorite track amongst your compositions that has a specific backstory and/or message and meaning very special to you?
Randy Seedorff: I have several favorites from the catalog of music we have released so that is a difficult question. I released the song “From the Inside Out” in 2017 on my album Elevate. The song was written from Ezekiel 36:24 which says that God can take a heart of stone, and turn it to flesh. The transformation of the heart that happens when God begins to work creates new life and freedom. “From The Inside Out” is one of my favorite songs to perform. I love singing and playing the song live with my band Soul Purpose.
- With social media having a heavy impact on our lives and the music business in general, how do you handle criticism, haters and/or naysayers in general? Is it something you’ve had to deal with, and do pay attention to it, or do you simply ignore?
Randy Seedorff: One of the things I love about living in the US is our constitutional right to free speech. It is great to live in a country where we can express ourselves freely. In my view music will always be subjective. If you took a poll of 50 people you would get 50 different opinions about what they love in music. There will always be those who may disagree with the message of your music or the way you present it. Dealing with criticism can be a motivation to improve your craft as a singer and songwriter if you receive it and learn from it.
- Which aspects of the current modern music scene excites you most, and which aspects discourage you most?
Randy Seedorff: I am enjoying the creativity in music these days. A great many of the songs that are currently playing were written through collaboration with multiple songwriters. I think this adds an element of fellowship to the songwriting process. The pandemic has put a real damper on live performance and the businesses that operate as live venues. This has moved a great many artists to livestream venues. It’s great that this is available, but it just isn’t the same as hearing a band or artist in person.
- If you had a choice to go on tour with any acclaimed international artist in the near future, who would you choose, and why?
Randy Seedorff: I have been a Steven Curtis Chapman follower for many years. He is my favorite Christian artist and it would be an honor to share a stage with him. My wife and I saw him on his solo tour last year with just him and his guitars, no band. I especially enjoyed the part of the concert when he took requests from the audience. He has wonderful gifts and graces for ministry.
- Could you tell us something about your latest EP project, and what fans can expect to hear?
Randy Seedorff: “Begin Again” is scheduled to be completed and ready for release in early February. It is an 8 song EP with a collection of original material and some favorite cover songs. I was recorded, produced and engineered by Larry Gann at Awestruck Studios in Kansas City Missouri. This album is a journey back to my roots musically and has a bit of a country flavor. The original songs were inspired from life events, observations, and great memories. We seasoned in some favorite cover songs as a tribute to my wife and family, with our own twist of course. We are excited to hear feedback about our new release “Begin Again.”
- What has been the response so far, from critics and fans, to your single “Family Tree”?
Randy Seedorff: We are very pleased with the response from fans and critics so far. We are thankful and humbled that the press and reviews have been very positive.
- Creative work in studio environment, or interaction with a live audience? Which of these two options excite you most?
Randy Seedorff: I love the creative process in the studio. What you are creating is a collaborative effort in every way with the musician’s and the engineer and I enjoy that. Being in front of a live audience is so special, a privilege in my view. I enjoy seeing the response when people acknowledge that they get what you are trying to communicate through your music. I have been honored to enjoy that experience with some very talented musicians and singers over the years. I am truly grateful to all of them for their contribution, our musical collaboration, and our friendship.
- What’s your favorite motto, phrase or piece of advice, you try to live or inspire yourself by?
Randy Seedorff: Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” My life is a faith journey.
- How essential do you think video is in relation to your music? Do you have a video you would suggest fans see, to get a better understanding of your craft?
Randy Seedorff: If you go to our website at randyseedorff.com you can see our video of “From the Inside Out.” I hope your readers will find it to be inspiring.
- What do you find most rewarding about what you do both as a pastor and a musician? And do you have a specific vision or goal set in your mind that you would like to achieve in the near future?
Randy Seedorff: Seeing people take a step toward God brings me great joy. In difficult times people seem to either run from God; or run to God. My wife and I believe that music evangelism is our calling. Our hearts and minds are open to wherever that takes us in 2021 and beyond.