Trailblazer & Stellar Award Nominee, Randy Weston Talks About Newest EP “Hush” & Faith Evolving
Randy Weston is an all-embracing curator. He leads by powerful example while using different tones of funk, R&B, pop instrumentals, and vocals, to spread the gospel. He torches the world with good vibrations and uplifting music.
Fans compare Randy and the Judah Band to Kirk Franklin, and that’s a compliment given by the elders otherwise known as generation X; however, Randy is so much more than that. He’s a different type of minister that spreads love and light, while cultivating an evolution of businesspeople, where he edifies and enlightens the millennials, evoking the power player and point guard within everyone.
“I told God, I’ll do whatever He asks me to do as long as I can be myself while doing it. I don’t want to be pigeonholed into being a version of somebody that God didn’t create me to be. He’s letting me be who He created, and I’m at peace with that.”
Randy works in partnership with the National Down Syndrome Society. He’s also a strong advocate for the less fortunate where he does community work in addition to donating to those causes. He's a modern-day hero that continues to defy the odds and push through obstacles while pursuing the sonic thing that he loves the most, his ministry and music.
Tell me about your newest project?
Hush the EP is all about Faith. Every single song on there is about believing in God and His work and trusting what He said he would do, and it comes to pass. The whole Hush campaign is geared towards that and, it just started with God checking me on my own faith. I’m worrying and wondering, “When are you going to do this, I thought you were going to do this?” He spoke to me and said, “Hush! I been God for a long time, and I don’t need your help in this year," so that’s just what the whole project is about. It’s just hushing anything that is an enemy of faith.
What led you ultimately into music?
I don’t think I chose it. I think it chose me. I think that just because of the way I came into music and the ministry, I don’t remember my life without it. I started playing instruments as a toddler, and God has directed it [my path]. Of course, I’ve made my mistakes and bumped my head. In obedience to Him, and surrendering to Him, He has taken us places that I never could have imagined, dreamed or even asked for, so I think it chose me more than I chose it.
What’s your favorite instrument to play?
Today? It depends on what day it is. You know, on certain days, different moods kinda put me in different spaces. I’d probably say that I still enjoy playing the bass guitar probably the most—I probably enjoy it the most.
You are influenced by Fred Hammond, Michael Jackson as well as James brown. You have a whole little soiree of artistry; so, how did you make it your own?
Those are just to mention a few, but really, [I like] every kind of music that I would come in contact with. I would say that within genres, I love them all equally as in regards to, not necessarily the messaging, but in regards to the sound, and all the uniqueness in each genre. I love them all equally. I don’t like funk any more than I like folk, or more than I love country. I love them all equally. I have been exposed to those. Even though it's not in the best way, it’s God’s business to me that I’ve been exposed to so much and played so much, and heard so much, that it’s part of who I am. I don’t try to be different. I don’t try to be eclectic. It’s just… I love them all the same.
Speaking of the entire band, how did you come about that?
So, the concept, it was never supposed to be what it is now. I was going to write the music, and I was going to do one concert with some of my singer friends and musicians. We were going to do one and that was it. We didn’t have a name or anything. I was just showcasing some of my regular music, because no one was doing original music. Everybody was at a concert singing everybody else’s music. I’m like, “Well, we got song writers right here, including myself.” That’s what the original intent was supposed to be. After that, people started inquiring and asking us to come and do a concert, so I said, “Well, this is the thing, now.” God gave me the name Judah Band. Obviously, Judah and its implication on praise in the bible and then band, I chose it that way so it will be very clear that it’s not just a singer. We have musicians playing behind us, but we’re all one, musicians and singers. We make up Judah Band, so that’s where that came from. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. God put me in a bunch of extra stuff.
With all your happenings, tell me about everything else you have going on.
There is a lot that I manage. I am a young adult pastor at All Nations Worship in Chicago, so that is a journey in itself that I’m enjoying helping millennial come into their Christ identity. I am one of the spokespersons for millennial voter registration, here in Indianapolis. I have another business venture that I do, rental properties. There is a lot that God has entrusted me with. I’m doing everything I can to be the best steward that I can. Aside from that, I mentor those around me as well as still learning from those who come before me.
Why is it so important for you to influence the millennial's?
I think the millennial's, we are the bridge generation. Honestly, I think we’re the generation that understands what it’s like to be told to do something and not have any information, and we do it because we are told to do it. We also understand the necessity for just knowing, requesting and finding out for ourselves.
What does generational wealth mean to you?
I think generational wealth is like, you mentioned the word intentional. It’s an intentional process that we steward regarding everything. It’s not just money. Wealth is a lot of spaces. Wealth comes in a lot of different frames and things like that. I think generational wealth is the ability to see something that can bless or be a blessing to not just myself, but everybody and everyone connected to, and that comes around [me]. I hear people talking about generational curses, but generational wealth is just as or more prominent than generational curses are. It's all intentional and stewarding everything we have and making sure that it lives beyond ourselves.
As far as your projects go, what is your favorite?
That’s like asking someone which one of their kids do they like the most. If I gotta pick one, I’ll just go with Promises. I really love country music. If I had it my way, I’d do more of it, but Promises, is a little country song. I really love it. I love the drive. I love the twang. That’s The one I probably must choose since you’re making me.
You’re a cancer survivor... When were you diagnosed and what type of cancer was it if that’s not a too forward question?
I won’t get into the details of the tumors and stuff like that but, I just came out of clinical protocol last march. It was a difficult and trying time for me, but it was Gods will. I am grateful that He trusted me with that affliction. It saved my life. It saved my ministry. It’s a daily thing. Every day, I wake up and I think about it at the beginning of my day. I’m grateful for it because it causes me to re-calibrate what’s important. God knew that He really needed to show me myself. When you’re moving around a lot, you can escape some stuff. I think even with this quarantine, its causing people to face themselves. When you’re told you gotta sit down and you can’t move around, you gotta look at it. God showed me myself and it wasn’t all pretty, but He worked it out of me. I think the same thing is happening to the world right now. I think its multiple things that He’s doing within this crisis just like with my cancer. I think that He will do anything to save his own.
With everything else going on, can you tell me about your philanthropy efforts?
I’m a part of National Down Syndrome Society. That is something that I hold dear. It’s something I’ll be part of, hopefully my life here. I had a friend growing up, my best friend had Down Syndrome. His name was Emerson. He was my very first best friend, so I always had a heart for those who are mentally handicap or different things like that. I think it’s important that everybody, as it pertains to philanthropy, everybody should be a philanthropist. What you do and how much you get, and all that is different; however, there is something that touches our heart that we are passionate about whether its’ domestic abuse or whatever. The world would be instantly better if everybody just gave back, whatever it was that they could give back. Regarding my philanthropy, that’s one of the things that I find the most joy in, and how I can find a way to be in it. That’s just something that I’ll continue to do.