When you first hear the last name Gill, I'm sure you're thoughts will jump to Johnny Gill, the lead singer of New Edition and the successful solo artist. However, the Gill family certainly wasn't a one trick pony, as Johnny's brother Randy showed he's got his own tricks in the R&B industry, working in the successful R&B group II D'Extreme and today, moving into his own solo career.
As a member of II D'Extreme, Randy and his groupmates combined strong gospel roots with soulful R&B singing. They presented a squeeky clean image and before they even scored a deal, they were able to make headway with their hit song "Cry No More," which reached #6 on the R&B charts. The group had three other singles that charted: "Up On The Roof," "Let Me Love You," and "If I Knew Then."
Today, II D'Extreme is back in the studio working on a new album, and what's more, Randy is preparing to unleash a new solo record. Celebrating their return to R&B, Randy Gill recently sat down with R&B Haven to trace back his own career, to reflect on II D'Extreme, and to discuss the R&B industry today.
Interview with Randy Gill of II D'Extreme
On Randy's Family and Solo Career
Your family has a rich musical background with you and your three brothers performing as a gospel group when you were younger. What made music such a strong foundation in your family?
Well, I gotta say God, who put the music in us, then our parents, who saw the gift God gave us and helped so much to keep us focused on the things we loved and that was making and singing music.
How did Johnny's entrance into New Edition affect your musical pursuits?
It helped a lot, I'm not gonna lie haha. Just knowing he's doing what we all loved and he stayed with his dreams that really helped my music pursuits.
Have you ever considered forming a group with Johnny a la K-Ci & JoJo?
Hey, that could be a great thing since we all sung gospel together back in the day, I'd love that! But we never talked about it. I'll never take it off the table if they ask about that, I'm all for it.
You have plans for a solo album this year, which you've been calling Gillology. Have you ever considered doing a solo album in the past? What led to this project finally coming to light?
There've been times I thought about doing a solo album, but never, and I mean never, leaving my group. Just bringing some different stuff from II D'Extreme, I have another side of me that I wanna show - not nasty, but lets say sexier side haha. I wanna keep IID clean and bringing love the way we know how as IID. I will bring my other side out on this new solo, some of it is on my Myspace page. You be the judge.
How far along is your solo album?
I'm not sure. I keep going, then I stop. I'm just writing until I feel this is it. Then I'm gonna take the leash off and let it go.