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INTERVIEW: Ranzel X Kendrick

Hi Ranzel, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

 Hi VENTS! I’ve been great. Making lots of music, trying to get the Texas Series Trilogy out in 1-year.

Can you talk to us more about your song “Where The Wind Blows”?

Gladly, I love that song.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Not so much one particular event as much as just my lifestyle.

Any plans to release a video for the track?

In fact, I have a teaser video ready for release. It’s from a freestyle Frisbee toss late one night at 4th & Brushy downtown Austin. We were in the streets by a cool new place “The Hostel.” The vid should be coming up on YouTube soon.

The single comes off your new album Texas Paintbrush– what’s the story behind the title?

One morning I found a paintbrush lying across the strings of my nylon-string Takamine, that was lying on the kitchen table. It looked cool, so I took a picture. Gave it to my talented friend Sandy Perwein, and said, “Turn it into art. I want to use it for the cover of the first album in my Texas Series Trilogy: Texas Paintbrush, Texas Sagebrush and Texas Cactus.

How was the recording and writing process?

The album draws from old songs, and new songs. What I love about music is writing the next song. So the writing goes way back, and not far back at all. The songs were recorded at Cheatham Street in San Marcos, Texas. Last full project recorded there before they closed, made it kind of sentimental. With a couple live cuts with “Sugar Buzz” – Rebecca White, recorded at a private party in Woodland Park, Colorado.

How has your upbringing influence your music?

When my uncle Roger Miller won more Grammys in one night than anyone before. That changed things. Grammy.com lists him 2nd behind Adele, but ahead of Michael Jackson. That was a pretty major impact, but I didn’t realize it at the time. Got a guitar. Thought I could play and write songs. So, I started writing and playing.

Would you call this a conceptual record?

It was a challenge to go from a guitar & vocal cut, to full blown production with Toshi Yanagi of the Jimmie Kimmel Show on another cut. But my favorite part of the Paintbrush CD is that it flows so well. Somehow we did it. Blending a variety of soulful songs between two Texas Roots bookend-cuts. So, I’d say its a little more free than a conceptual record.

What role does Texas play in your music?

I’m a Texan. I grew up riding my cross-Arabian/Indian pony “Smokey” bareback. No saddle. Learned how to keep my balance, play the guitar and sing a song at the same time!

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

It’s a funny thing. But I would say Jimi Hendrix is the biggest part of that answer. Because when I would listen to Hendrix, the main thought that would go through my mind was, “Where is he drawing from, inside himself, to do this?” Then Clapton, and so, so many other artists before me. I didn’t want to play like them. I didn’t want to learn how to play their songs. I just wanted to know how to find that place inside me, like I could hear they had found.  The inspiration is always out there, good, bad and ugly. But also, sensitive, powerful and fun.

Any plans to hit the road?

I’m a wandering spirit moving with the whispers of the wind… Nobody knows where I’m coming from, or where I’m going. So, I’m playing all across the map but not in a conventional way. Today you don’t have to hit the road to cover a lot of ground.

What else is happening next in Renzal X Kendrick’s world?

I’m not getting married, I’m not traveling to Russia or China. But I am wrapping up the next album: Texas Sagebrush. And I’m loving it! Also throwing a Private / limited-Public – Unofficial SXSW event. Should be up on Eventbrite under Ranzel X Kendrick and Riverboat. Anyway, it’s a St. Patty’s/Spring Break gig on Town Lake downtown Austin, Texas. Only 100-tickets available to the public. (7:00 to 11:00) Under the moon and back. Soft release party for the Sagebrush album / Featuring Avant Agency delivering the vibe in fashion.

Thanks for the interview and good groove to all of you w/ VENTS!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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