Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Michael Johns to perform Free Concert in NYC!

Thank goodness for Twitter and Fresh 102.7! Otherwise, I might never have known about Michael Johns upcoming concert with Elliott Yamin, Brooke White, and Carolina Liar! NYC is being treated to a FREE concert in the park with some of today's Freshest music and artists, courtesy of Fresh 102.7! You can follow 102.7 on Twitter too!

Be sure to check out the 102.7 website for up to the minute details and listen daily to hear Michael Johns' "Heart on my Sleeve" from his new album Hold Back My Heart! When you click on the album link, you can download the single for FREE!

Fresh 102.7 is taking it live and outside again with Fresh in the Park!

We’re giving all of our Fresh listeners a FREE concert with no tickets to buy and no tickets to win! It’s New York’s largest outdoor Concert of the summer featuring live performances by Elliott Yamin, Brook White, Michael Johns and Carolina Liar!

If you want to be at Fresh in the Park all you need to do is get there! Bring the entire family and get there early. Don’t forget your beach chairs & blankets for a night of music and fun with Fresh 102.7!

Click here to check out photos from last years Fresh In The Park!

The following videos were from an interview and performance courtesy of Fresh 102.7, done on June 23rd to announce the release of his album.

Michael Johns interview and performance on 102.7

Monday, July 27, 2009

Michael Johns Hollywood & Highland Videos

A little over a month ago, Michael Johns performed several songs from his new album Hold Back My Heart in a live concert held at Hollywood and Highland. The concert was meant to celebrate the June 23rd release of his debut album and was in fact performed only two days after the album hit shelves nationwide. It's also available for digital download at and iTunes.

News of this concert was overshadowed that day, as we learned Michael Jackson had just passed away.  Now that a respectable amount of time for mourning has passed and some high quality videos of the performance have recently surfaced, I'm happy to share with you Michael Johns live at Hollywood and Highland, performed June 25, 2009.

My thanks to Lovinthefro09 for uploading most of the following videos. The first video is one posted by scoobyld, in which Michael Johns pays a stunning tribute to Michael Jackson, RIP the King of Pop. This was one of the first tributes to Michael Jackson to be posted to YouTube. All of the other videos, with the exception of "Hold On", are from the new album Hold Back My Heart, by Michael Johns.

Michael Johns - I'll Be There

Michael Johns - Heart on my Sleeve

Michael Johns - Feeling Alright

Michael Johns - Fire

Michael Johns - Fool's Gold

Michael Johns - Hold On

Michael Johns - Little Bear

Michael Johns - Hold Back My Heart

Michael Johns - To Love somebody

Michael Johns - Mountains

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Australian Michael Johns Hits Hollywood Video

In searching for more Michael Johns videos from the performance and Meet n Greet held at Atlanta's Tin Roof Cantina last Friday, I ran across this piece of a documentary called Australians Hit Hollywood. Now I knew he was part of the documentary, but I haven't seen any news or videos from the actual documentary itself worth watching until now.

Michael appears for a few seconds in this piece, but I can tell already, the camera loves him. Maybe that love goes both ways, as he looks completely at home and comfortable in front of the camera. Here's hoping they eventually become best friends. For now, I'm happy listening to his new album Hold Back My Heart. You can pick up your copy at stores like Walmart nationwide, or download it from iTunes and  :D

"The first few minutes of the documentary "AUSTRALIANS HIT HOLLYWOOD". A film about the ups and downs of Australians in the entertainment industry coming to America. Interviews with actors, directors, screenwriters, musicians, executives and reality stars."


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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Michael Johns Tin Roof Videos

The Buckhead boy who made it big on American Idol found a way to get back home last night, when he performed at a Meet and Greet held at the Tin Roof in Atlanta. Although he's a native of Perth, Western Australia, and now lives in Los Angeles, Michael Johns still considers Atlanta his "American Hometown".

He recently released his debut album Hold Back My Heart in stores nationwide, and has made the album available for digital download at iTunes and

Heart On My Sleeve

Never Tear Us Apart

Beatles Medley

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Michael Johns on Atlanta's Q100 & Tin Roof Appearance Tonight!

Just a reminder to all of you fans lucky enough to live in the Atlanta area, Michael Johns will be playing at his old stomping grounds, The Tin Roof tonight at 7 pm followed by a Meet and Greet with the fans!

If you missed the "Hot Aussie's" interview and performance of his new single from Michael Johns' debut album Hold Back My Heart, have a listen below.

The album is available for download at iTunes and, and the CD can be found on music shelves everywhere! I bought mine at Walmart. Picture of Michael Johns on Atlanta's #1 Top 40 Radio Q100 (photo and interview courtesy of The Bert Show)

His single, "Heart On My Sleeve" is available for free download at, Check out the entire album when you download the single. It showcases his talent and ability for singing any genre of music. There's something on the album for every type of music listener. With any luck, I'll be back with some video from today's interview or tonight's show later on. Enjoy!

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Party With Michael Johns at! is hosting an Exclusive album listening party for Former American Idol finalist Michael Johns new CD Hold Back My Heart! Clicking the picture below is your ticket to get there!

Come join the fun! It's BYOH. (Bring your own headsets)

Just Click on the picture below to get there!

Here's what Amazon has to say about the Hot Aussie:

Michael Johns, the American Idol wonder from Down Under, offers a strong release for his first album. Don't take our word for it. Check out the entire album for yourself at the Amazon Listening Party.

Since audiences first caught a glimpse of the six-foot-plus Perth native on season 7 of American Idol, and heard the soulful grit of his unbounded voice, Johns has seen a life’s dream come true — he’s finally made a career of music on his own name and terms. Look no further than the 12 songs that make up Hold Back My Heart for proof.

Recorded in Los Angeles and produced by Dave Cobb (Shooter Jennings), Johns’ debut delivers blue-eyed-soul as it’s meant to be heard — devoid of the typical glossy veneer applied to most modern albums, but heavy on vibe. “I really wanted to do a Stax record,” says Johns. “That blues-country feel, it’s a very American sound that I was going for.” And with seasoned players (among them Fred Mandel, Elton John’s longtime piano man) laying down tracks in a live environment, Johns achieved just that in record time. The result: swelling strings accenting the delectable pop of the album’s first single, “Heart On My Sleeve,” the Van Morrison-meets-Joe Cocker jam that is “Fool’s Gold,” the drive-it-home horns on “Feeling Alright” and “Little Bear,” and an inspired cover of the Bee Gees’ classic “To Love Somebody.” “This record came from a very natural place and it was the easiest I’ve ever sang in the studio,” he explains. “‘Fool’s Gold,’ for instance, was 100 percent one take. I’ve never had that experience as an artist. It was a joy to do it.”

Hear all the tracks as part of our The Michael Johns Listening Party. Be sure to pick up Hold Back my Heart today at

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Michael Johns Announces Album On AP!

This just in from the AP (Associated Press)! New video announces Michael Johns Hold Back My Heart album release! Way to go Michael! I didn't write this one, but I'm happy to share it with all the American Idol Michael Johns' fans.

The following is a Quote from the AP:

"Former 'American Idol' contestant Michael Johns releases new album, "Hold Back My Heart." Johns - one of the first non-US citizens to make the Top 12 - came fifth place in the seventh season of 'American Idol'. (July 15)"

Michael Johns To Perform In Atlanta!

Michael Johns announced from his MySpace blog today that he'll be doing an interview for Q100 this Friday, July 17th followed by a performance and Meet and Greet to be held at the Tin Roof Cantina starting at 7pm that night.

All of you Atlanta fans who are lucky enough to live in the area be sure to make plans to attend. As you know, Michael considers Atlanta his "American hometown". He'll be touring with Brooke White beginning in September to showcase his newly released CD Hold Back My Heart.

Click on the pic to view Q100's Website!

Be sure to listen to Atlanta's #1 Top 40 Radio Station Q100 now to hear Michael Johns' new single "Heart On My Sleeve"! If you haven't heard it yet, then by all means, tune into Q100's station and request it! You may also download the single FREE at!

Here's the news he sent out today!
From: Michael Johns- (MySpace)
To: Everyone
Date: 7/15/2009 9:15:30 AM
Subject: Atlanta Meet n Greet

Hey guys hope everyone's well? I wanted to let you know that Q100 is bringing me into Atlanta this Friday the 17th for an interview. I will then be at the Tin Roof Cantina at 7pm for a Meet n Greet and also special performance.

If you're in the Atlanta area or know people that are please come down. It would be great to meet as many of you as possible

Hope you're enjoying my new record Hold back my heart in stores, Itunes and amazon etc

Be in touch soon


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Request Michael Johns On Clear Channel

It's not often that an "Idol" like Michael Johns asks his fans to help out, so when he did, I was more than willing to offer whatever I can to help spread the word to all of his fans. Michael sent out a bulletin and a blog today, both requesting the same thing. Here's what he had to say:
Hey everyone,

Clear Channel has chosen me as one of their "Artists to Watch" but I still need your help. I would love it if you could spread the word about the promotion and request "Heart on My Sleeve" through their ON DEMAND service located at the top of the page.

Check out the page I'm featured on RIGHT HERE.

We're trying to get the single all over radio so this would be HUGE!

Thanks so much and see you on tour!

Now being the faithful little Michael Johns fan that I am, I clicked on the "RIGHT HERE" portion of his blog and bulletin to follow through with his request. It did indeed take me to the Adult section of the site. When I got there, I noticed that Michael was on that page, but under their "Recommended" artist section instead of "Artists to Watch". He's the nice looking fellow on the far right, bottom row.

The picture above will take you to the's Adult page.

I also went to the On Demand section just as he asked, but couldn't find how to request an artist or a song. I was able to find his music by entering the On Demand section, then finding a Search button on the very far right of the iheart radio player, I entered his name and then clicked on select. I got to "Heart On My Sleeve" from his new album Hold Back My Heart easily enough, but I don't know if that constitutes making a request, so I fired off an email to the site. I asked them flat out how to make a request on their website (and requested the song via email too). They're supposed to answer within 12 hours, so I'll let you know how that goes.

If you click on the picture below, it'll take you directly to his page, which looks something like this.

Michaels page

One of Michael's fans also suggested that those who have Twitter accounts can make their requests by tweeting @iheartradio and @NEWArtists - Please play Michael Johns - "Heart On My Sleeve" . No worries my Twitter friends, I'll do it from a Twitter account no one knows about instead of bombarding you like I did on the AOL "All Twitter Request" radio station. :P

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Video With Michael Johns Featured On The Ontic's - "The Great Divide"

Michael Johns co-wrote and does lead vocals on "The Great Divide - (theme from The Wanted)".  Two of Michael's best friends, Jeff Foxworth and Rye Randa, formed The Ontic and score for the new series "The Wanted".  The series begins at 10pm on NBC  Monday, July 20th!  Rye Randa's interview explains scoring for the series.  "The Great Divide" in its entirety can be downloaded from now, and is also available for download from iTunes!  Read the Rye Randa interview at the following link!

Rye Randa Discusses Scoring For NBC's New Series The Wanted

Listen to more music from The Ontic at

The Wanted, NBC Premieres July 20th

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Rye Randa and Jeff Foxworth (The Ontic) Score For The Wanted!

Rye Randa Discusses Scoring For NBC's New Series The Wanted

In researching a story I planned to do about the general state of corruption I see in the music industry today, I've been engaged in ongoing conversions with someone I consider to be a musical genius. If you read "Rye Randa – Musician Extraordinaire" and subsequent articles I've written about him, you'll know the person I'm talking about and why I consider him to be genius.

Rye Randa, and those with whom he collaborates, continue to evolve artistically, ever taking music in new directions. He surrounds himself and his craft with people of similar musical brilliance; those that can understand the level of excellence required in writing and performing alongside him. I'll get to a couple of those other wizards a bit later on. Let me first set the scene for this interview by explaining how I got word of his latest venture.

Rye RandaAs already mentioned, I was researching an article regarding corruption in the music industry, a story that I planned make public at some time in the very near future. Rye was recounting a personal experience about one of those people who'd displayed questionable ethics and broken some promises. It was a story that I would've been more than happy to include in the piece.

Rye informed me that one of his friends at Dateline was also considering investigating the person behind his complaint. Hmm. Dateline is much bigger than me personally, and has endless resources at their disposal with which to do an in-depth investigation.

That doesn't mean I won't do the story, it just means I've put it on the back burner for the moment, and here's why. That story can simmer back there for a bit, and it might even work itself out, assuming the subject of that piece doesn't cook up some new excuse for not following through with an agreement.

By now, I'd been distracted by this new venture anyway. In the midst of telling me what happened to him, Rye landed the following bit of news in my lap, causing me to refocus my efforts and spread much happier news instead. Here's a quote I found smack dab in the middle of the evidence he'd been sending for the "corruption in music" story:

"On a more positive note, I wanted to let you know about a new series that Jeff (Foxworth) and I are scoring. It's called The Wanted and premieres July 20th on NBC. We're still awaiting confirmation on the time slot, but 10pm was the last I heard. We've branded ourselves as a producer-writer team called "The Ontic" and will be launching very soon. This is a really exciting venture for us and we hope it leads to many more projects to come... AND, if that weren't exciting enough, Michael Johns (American Idol Season 7 finalist) co-wrote and sang the theme song for us! It's called "The Great Divide" and will be available on iTunes in the very near future. We're also shooting a music video this week, which will be available on iTunes as well."

Now Rye very well knows that if he gives me just a piece of news this huge, it has the exact same effect as switching on and personally jump-starting my question machine. I no longer take pity on anyone who is fully aware that I'll bombard them with questions when they share their news with me. However, he does still retain my unending respect and gratitude for his willingness to put up with the onslaught of questions from people like me.

I immediately went into research mode again, this time scouring the web for any information about NBC's series The Wanted, just so I'd have an idea of what type of program we were talking about, and what kind of questions to ask. The first mention of NBC's new series that I found on the internet was from a press release provided at National Terror Alert, a very heavy duty website. There may have been other sites that posted news of the series before this one, but this was as far I needed to look before finding out just how important the program will be into the very distant future.

The WantedThe Wanted looks to be the epitome in reality TV, focusing on the very real threats of terrorists and what it takes to track them down in the modern age. The series follows a former Navy Seal, a former U.S. Intelligence official, and an Emmy award winning journalist as they zero in on war criminals worldwide. For more information on the series itself, you can find it at their website or watch for the trailer on NBC.

As you probably know by now, I'm here to cover the music part of the show. The following questions and answers are what flew back and forth so I could deliver the full story of scoring for the series, courtesy of Rye Randa, one half of The Ontic, a.newly formed writer-producer team

After watching the trailer for The Wanted on Direct TV via a link provided by Jeff Foxworth, the other half of The Ontic, I was a bit confused to find another song being featured at the end of that particular trailer. I asked Rye if the theme song for the series was still "The Great Divide" or if it had been changed to Midnight Youth's "The Calvary". Here's what he responded.

"The Great Divide" should be available on iTunes any day now. It is still the main theme song for the show and will be used in most if not all NBC trailers. "The Cavalry" is a fantastic song by our friends Midnight Youth, which was used in the Direct TV trailer, and possible future promo, but not as the theme.

Can you tell me more about scoring for the series and how it differs from scoring films?

Well, as you would imagine, a series can be quite a bit more work than a film, just in the sense that there is a larger demand for material. Each episode is like a movie of it's own, requiring the same amount of content in a much shorter timeframe.

Where did you come up with the name "The Ontic"?

In short, the word "Ontic" means "pertaining to that which is real" or "having the status of real and ultimate existence". However it's meaning is a bit complex, and is open to many possible interpretations. That's why we like it so much! Since it's a word you don't hear very often, we hope people will be intrigued enough to look it up and come up with their own interpretation of how the word applies to us and to our music. Kinda fun right??

(Writer's note: He was right in assuming not knowing what the term "The Ontic" stood for would make people go and look it up. I did, before he could even respond. (Sneaky devil) The actual definition can be both as complicated as you choose to make it, and simple enough to be subject to individual interpretation. I like his description the best so far. I even found a website that offered "The Ontic Principle". Interesting stuff!)

Did being nominated for "Best Original Soundtrack" at the X-Games have anything to do with you landing the scoring job for the series?

As you may already know, "The Wanted" is co-executive produced by our very good friend Charlie Ebersol, who also produced "Don't Look Down" and "Ithuteng". Charlie, along with his brothers Willie and Harmony have always expressed their belief in us, and the work we do. So we hope this is just the beginning of a long and prosperous relationship.

When told the original video shoot for the video didn't happen that week, I asked what would it take to get the three artists to sit down in front of a video camera (preferably switched to the on position), record one of their jam sessions, and call it a video?

In fact, we just received word that they will be cutting a "Music Video" with footage from the show to use for promo.

Please tell me the video trailer they're doing for this will include the entire song. Is it being created to air on video channels like VH1 and MTV? Did they also tell you when we'll be able to see it?

My understanding is they will use it as a promo piece to advertise the show, but it will not a typical "music video" that you'd see on VH1 or MTV. My guess is that it will be a 60 second promo spot.

How long in advance do you receive the Episodes for scoring?

Well, in this case we did not receive any completed episodes before our work began. Due to the real-time nature of this show, the filming process has continued up until the very last minute (even for Episode 1). So although some of the music was scored to picture, much of it was created during the editing/ shooting process, before picture was locked. For particular scenes we would be given various musical references and ideas that would help point us in the right direction.

What additional duties does being "Music Editors" for the show add to what you already do?

As Music Editors, we're responsible for making sure all the musical transitions are smooth from scene to scene. We create what are called music "stems" that are broken down into various groups such as drums, strings, guitars etc. These separate groupings allow us to get very intricate with the edits and create the most seamless transitions.

Is the music being recorded in your studios or on the set?

At our studio.

What can you tell me about Ear Candy Music?

Earcandy is a music publishing company and library, and is the executive music producer for the The Wanted. The company is run by Harmony Lucas (Charlie and Willie's brother). Harmony is also the music supervisor for the show. He's not only a great friend of ours, but he plays an intricate role in making sure all musical needs are being met on time, and provides a channel of communication between us and the producers.

Since tracking down terrorists is the subject matter of "The Wanted", it has the potential to be an unending series. How many Episodes are you aware of so far?

At this time 6 episodes are in production with the potential for more. Of course, an "unending" show would be very nice.(he smiles)

Did the Ebersol brothers share with you their inspiration for the series?

I think the goal is to be of service to the world-community while creating compelling and informative television in the process.

How does the subject of the series inspire or affect the songwriting for the series?

Once you see the show you'll understand why there's no lack of inspiration. The subject matter is very serious.

Do you have the capacity to score for more than one series or movie at a time?

This project has been very demanding, and has taken a majority of our time for the last 8 months. However, we have taken on other projects as well. The bottom line is that we're very passionate and love what we do, so we don't mind working around the clock when necessary.

That passion and love for their craft is highly evident in every piece of music I've heard from these artists. "The Great Divide" theme song has smash hit written all over it! It fully captures the intensity, excitement and drama of what is certain to be NBC's new hit series The Wanted. The song is made of soul pounding classic rock in its most raw and exquisitely powerful form!

Jeff Foxworth and Rye Randa are the artists-writer-producers that make up the newly formed entity called "The Ontic". Collectively, they bring highly acclaimed experience in scoring to everything they create. These are the same guys, who along with Michael Johns (latest release story here), co-wrote and performed on the score for the Shaun White documentary soundtrack Don't Look Down - The Height Of Competition.

That brilliant soundtrack was nominated for "Best Original Music Score" at X-Dance 2009 for their excellence in artistry. Add to that bit of genius Michael Johns co-writing and laying down incredible vocals for the new single "The Great Divide", and you've got a smash hit on your hands! Look for NBC's new series The Wanted and trailer video coming out soon. The series airs on NBC beginning July 20th at 10PM!

I could apply many of the principles and definitions I found when I looked up the term "The Ontic" to this newly formed entity they've so named and created. At a website called Larval Subjects, the writer gives what he or she considers is "The Ontic Priciple". But before actually giving their thought on the subject, explains the simplicity of the principle in this way.

"This thought, though it will no doubt sound disappointing, almost banal, once I formulate it as a principle, was one of those moments where you feel as if you’ve been struck by lightning, blinded, or hit in the gut with a sudden philosophical idea where everything feels as if it’s being drawn together. Or perhaps again, it was the flash of a fundamental commitment, a drawing of the line, that you were trying to articulate all along."

Here's the theory that writer came up with:

The Ontic Principle: There is no difference that does not make a difference.

That principle, though simply put, is truly profound if you think about it long enough. Although I could apply that principle to the writing-producing team of the same name, I still prefer Rye's explanation of "The Ontic" as an entity. You'll recall he said the word "Ontic" means "pertaining to that which is real" or "having the status of real and ultimate existence".

My take on the description is even simpler than his. With the word "it" meaning any entity, and the word "is" defined as existing, I would define "The Ontic" in its most basic form as "It is". Or perhaps in this case, since it is the two talents combined who properly formed "The Ontic", it might be more appropriate to say "They are", although the combined entity in the end, is one.

You see? I told you the definition can be as complicated as you choose to make it, or as simple as I choose to use the thought process. In either case, I'm thankful "The Ontic" is real, ultimately exists, and by applying higher standards of priciples to the projects they champion and to which they lend their talents, they choose to make a difference in the world. It is the difference between excellence in artistry and the "it'll do" mentality of other artists too often seen today.

Their new single "The Great Divide - (theme from The Wanted)" can be heard and downloaded now at, and is now available on iTunes as well. Do yourself a favor and go have a listen. I bought mine a couple of days ago and quite honestly, can't stop playing it!

Now back to researching the other story. I'm better suited to telling about other people's experiences and seeking justice for them, than I am at providing philosophical thoughts or hunting down fugitives. I don't have the type of courage it takes to make the same difference the men on "The Wanted" make in our world. Instead, I'll stay at my keyboard and write of their courage, while I take solace in the philosophy that states, "There is no difference that doesn't make a difference."

Cheers and best wishes to those men who do have that kind of courage, and to "The Ontic" for making a difference in our lives.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Rye Randa - Musician Extraordinaire

Interview: Rye Randa, Musician Extraordinaire

The first time I ever heard of Rye Randa was while watching Shaun White's documentary "Don't Look Down" as it was broadcast on ESPN Classic. It's not as if Mr. Randa is an unknown it the music industry. As a matter of fact, he's one of the most respected producer/songwriter/musicians in the business.

I have to admit the only reason I watched the Shaun White snowboard documentary was because I'd heard Michael Johns had teamed up with two others (Rye Randa and Jeff Foxworth) to score the soundtrack for the film. Suffice it to say, I was completely blown away by the music and could not wait to find out when to expect a release date in order to purchase a copy.

Being the nosy little Michael Johns fan that I am, I just had to know more about his collaborations, and what other music Rye and Michael may have teamed up on together. It helped me immensely when one of my fellow IDF forum members mentioned they'd seen Rye Randa listed as one of Michael Johns' top friends on his MySpace Music page.

I proceeded with all due haste to that place, and followed a link to Rye Randa's own MySpace Music page. What I found while diving into each scrap of information I could find about Rye impressed me so much, I felt he'd more than earned an article of his own.

I took a chance and decided to ask Mr. Randa if he might add me as a MySpace friend. I didn't really expect a reply after learning all there is to know about him. I assumed he was too big, or too busy to add a run of the mill, relative unknown like me, but still I figured it wouldn't hurt to give it a try.

You can imagine my surprise when I logged on and found, not only had he added me, but he'd also replied to the message I sent along with the request to be added. The message I offered was simple enough and heartfelt, as I told him how much I'd enjoyed not only the documentary score, but also the incredible music on his website.

Since I already knew of his previous works with Michael, who currently has a new single scheduled for release in November, and a full CD expected out by February, I asked Mr. Randa if he was in any way involved in that project.

The following was the exchange of emails that took place in response to my first question. With great pleasure, may I present:

Rye Randa…in his own words.
Date: Sep 30, 2008 1:15 AM

Thanks Rebecca! Glad you like the music.

To answer your question, it's too soon to tell, but there is at least one song we've collaborated on that could make the record. We shall see...

Take care,
I blinked a few times and rubbed my eyes before looking back at the screen. The note was still there, and it was quickly apparent I wasn't just seeing things. Having already heard some of his music, I cannot begin to tell you how excited I was to hear this tidbit of news. Without giving it a second thought, I fired an email back between turning cartwheels across the room. Mine went something (exactly) like this…
From: ultimat1
Date: Sep 29, 2008 11:29 PM

Oh my God! That's wonderful news! You are an incredible talent. I've done a bit of research on you since learning of the documentary. I'm also a writer for BC Magazine and another website featuring Michael Johns and his most talented collaborations! With your permission, I'd like to do a feature on your musical career. Let me know if there's anything you'd like the general public to hear. Thanks so much for the add! I'm truly honored. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that your song makes it to this album!!!
Now you must keep in mind, I was completely taken aback that he'd bothered to answer the first time, so I assumed that was the last I'd hear from Rye Randa, musician extraordinaire. I was just happy to know that he'd heard how excited I was to think he might be involved with the new CD.

Never in a million years, did I expect that he would agree to the feature article I'd proposed. I can't even put into words how honored I am to offer you the following correspondence I shared with Rye Randa...who now also holds the distinction of being my very first celebrity interview.

I asked if he could provide me with a Biography so I'd have a place to start. He sent the following Bio as found on his website, and added a few updated parts. I've left it just as he sent it, since even I can't improve on an hugely impressive history his career has already written.
When it comes to music, there isn't much RYE RANDA can't do! From singing and writing to producing and engineering, he truly does it all...

Rye's life-long passion and gift for music can be traced to his mother, Tina Dispoto, who was one of the CRYSTALETTES, a successful vocal trio whose songs topped the charts in the 60s. Rye himself began recording and performing at the young age of 14. His appetite and innate creativity inspired him to learn a number of instruments on his own including guitar, bass and piano. As a natural progression he then began to write and record his own material.

After attending the University of California in Irvine, Rye returned to Los Angeles to focus solely on music. It wasn't long before his song "LITTLE TOO RIGHT" became the #1 SONG out of 30,000 at and "OVERGROUND" went on to win FIRST PRIZE out of more than 33,000 entries from 50 countries in the USA SONGWRITING COMPETITION. The very same song was subsequently recorded by the legendary pop trio THREE DOG NIGHT and became one of only two new cuts on their 2004 release entitled "THREE DOG NIGHT: 35th ANNIVERSARY HITS COLLECTION" which features the GRAMMY-WINNING LONDON SYMPHONY.

In 2006 Rye partnered with talented guitarist, songwriter and friend Jeff Foxworth (Dave Stewart, Kara DioGuardi, Weekend Excursion). The two joined forces to form a dynamic producer-songwriter duo, and have been quite busy ever since. Current album projects include Three Dog Night, Bonnie Somerville (Garden State), Rachel Fox (Desperate Housewives) and Rossif Sutherland to name a few. Also Rye and Jeff recently signed on to score the exciting new NBC reality series “Echo Ops” which debuts in 2009.

Last year Rye and Jeff teamed up with their good friend Michael Johns (American Idol Season 7) to score the documentary film “Don’t Look Down” for the Ebersol brothers. The film chronicles Olympic snowboarder and skater Shaun White. “Don’t Look Down” airs January 2nd, 2009 on ESPN, and will be followed by a DVD release, as well as a Soundtrack featuring several bonus songs not heard in the film.

With more than a decade and a half of experience under his belt, Rye has written, produced and arranged over 300 records for numerous songwriters, artists and bands.
But we can assure you this is only the beginning…
I followed up the Biography he'd sent with these questions, hoping to put some of my speculations to rest:

Q. - Are those release dates for the Don't Look Down soundtrack and DVD pretty firm?

Rye: ... My understanding is that they will be released in conjunction with the air date of the film. But I could be wrong!

Q. - It is also rumored that you helped Michael Johns with the "River Of Life" project. Are there any details that you would like to share about that collaboration?

Rye: ... Yes, I produced, engineered and played bass on that song. We recorded it for a documentary film called "Ithuteng" about the South-African Ithuteng Trust School for young teens that have basically been failed by the system in the post-Apartheid region of Soweto. One of the students, Lebo Kgasapane (the singer on "River of Life") passed from AIDS before the film was completed. We literally built the song around a short audio clip of Lebo that was recorded during the filming process (this is the actual voice you hear in the song). It was quite a touching experience for all of us. It was also a really wonderful experience to record the Dorsey High School Choir at Hollywood Sound. Those kids are very talented.

Q. - Of course, everyone would love to know which of your songs might end up on Michael's CD.

Rye: ... Unfortunately I can't say. It's top secret! But I can tell you that his CD will be off the hook. The tracks I've heard so far are insane! Plus there are some very big players involved. All in all I'm positive it will be a huge success.

Q. - Michael has mentioned the following people are involved with the new CD. Diane Warren, John Shanks, Ken Andrews, Matt Mahaffey, Linda Perry, John Legend, and of course, now we know about you. Do you know whether or not Cee-Lo Green and Mark Ronson are on board too?

Rye: I believe there will be some collaboration with Cee-Lo Green. Not sure about Mark Ronson.

- Some of the questions come from Michael Johns' fans at IDF ( - Michael's section on the board and home of The Aussie Posse forum.). You are rapidly gaining a fan base here at the IDF site as well! One of the members wanted to ask how long have you known Michael Johns?

Rye: ... Michael and I met in 2006 during the Ithuteng project. So about 2 and a half years.

Q. - How many tracks have you and he collaborated on in the past?

Rye: ... including the Lebo song and all the Shaun (White) stuff, probably around 30 tracks or so. Give or take.

Q. - Do you have plans to help or perform with Michael on future albums or projects?

Rye: There has been talk about us performing some of the Shaun songs live at the X Games, but that remains to be seen.

Q. - Are you signed now with a label, and if so, with whom?

Rye: ... No I am not signed. I've been quite busy with producing/writing/scoring for the last few years. As a result my own music has sort of been put on the back burner. But I always try to write and record whenever I have free time in between projects.

Q. - Are you currently working on a solo album, and if so, do you have a title for the album or a release date that I can share with the readers?

Rye: ... Like I said, it's slow moving, but yes I will release a solo album. Hopefully within the next year...

Q.One of our members noticed Kara Dioguardi is in your top friends on MySpace. What connection do you have with the new 4th American Idol judge.

... My writing/producing partner Jeff Foxworth used to play guitar in her band called "Platinum Weird" with Dave Stewart. So Jeff is the connection. Her songwriting career is definitely something that I aspire towards. She's had something like 60 of her songs on platinum selling albums! Quite remarkable…I have tremendous respect for her accomplishments.

Q. - Are there any other personal tracks or websites you can share in addition to the play list on MySpace? (Other than this one

Rye: ... wow, I forgot I had those tracks posted on my homepage! There are probably quite a few links out there that I'm unaware of, but other than that, it's just MySpace right now. However, I have a designer currently working on my official website, so hopefully that will be done very soon.

Q. - Do you know whether or not Michael's unreleased songs could legally be used in a fan video competition?

*Rye: ... Hmmm, which songs are you referring to? I'm not an expert on legal stuff, so I couldn't really say.

*(writer's note: To be fair to Mr. Randa, I didn't really expect he would be able to answer that question. I only hoped he'd ask Michael that question for me, since they are friends. Let's just say I was pushing my luck just a bit. lol)

Q. - Do you have any music videos for your music? Do you have any live performance videos I can share?

Rye: ... not at the moment, but stay tuned!

I thanked the gentleman again for his time, and must say I'm still a bit stunned that someone with his magnitude of talent took enough interest in one of his fans to respond. Garnering every bit of my gratitude for taking that time, I decided to try and do something as thanks to him in return.

I wrote a quick note to Mr. Michael Johns and asked if he had any comment he'd like to share regarding Mr. Rye Randa. I wish you could see the smile on my face as I copy and paste what he sent in return. Here's yet another gentleman's response to the simple request of a fan.

Michael Johns MySpace Music

----------------- Original Message -----------------

From: Michael Johns

Date: Oct 9, 2008 12:44 AM

"He is an Artist and a genius! He is a dear friend and anyone who gets to work with him will be a better musician for doing so."

Michael Johns
Now it seems I owe Michael Johns my thanks as well! (Thank you Michael!) While I'm doling out thanks, may I just add a few names of the IDF Aussie Posse who sent questions for me to ask Rye. IDF members Feelingdizzy, Ainn, and BlueMonday provided some of the questions for this interview. They have my gratitude.

Please enjoy the following tracks of Rye Randa's music.

Here's the latest OFFICIAL WORD!!!

I received this from a website I'd requested information from months ago:
This message is to inform you that a DVD for ESPN SHAUN WHITE: DON'T LOOK DOWN (2008) will be released on January 6, 2009. If you would like more information, click on the link below or copy the address into your web browser.

You can also sign up to be reminded when it's actually released.
Thanks to the heads up from BlueMonday, we have a new Rye Randa video just in time for the Christmas Season.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

American Idol Finalist Michael Johns - In Tribute And Honor (Video)

(Video courtesy of Cast TV)

In continuing coverage given by news sources from all over the internet, Michael Johns' renditions of "The National Anthem" and "God Bless America" in Anaheim on July 4, 2009 is earning praise. By all accounts, these were some of the best performances of the songs ever heard.

Major League Baseball teams across the nation dedicated themselves to raising awareness and funds for ALS to commemorate Lou Gehrig's farewell speech 70 years ago. Michael Johns was there to pay tribute to America on her birthday, and to further his support in the fight for a cure of ALS.  In honoring others, he unknowingly (and deservedly) earned honor from The Angels for himself.

Here's an excerpt taken from an article posted at their website.
In an effort to raise awareness and financial support for organizations leading the fight against ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, the Angels will have American Idol Finalist Michael Johns sing the national anthem before Saturday's game against the Baltimore Orioles.

Johns, an avid supporter of ALS research, has been involved in certain organizations to help the fight against ALS.

In December 2008, he released the song "Another Christmas," with 50 percent of the proceeds going towards ALS research.

"Michael Johns embodies the spirit of this day," Angels entertainment and production manager Pete Bull said. "He loves America and the opportunity he had with American Idol was able to show what we can provide as a nation. He truly loves our country."
The feeling is mutual. Our country loves him as well. Cheers Michael Johns, our "Aussie-American", and thanks once again for everything you do for your fellow man.  Now that the Fourth of July has passed, we'll look forward to your upcoming tour.  Best wishes on your new album Hold Back My Heart.

That's an unusual name for an album from someone who so often gives of yours. :D

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Michael Johns To Sing National Anthem July 4th

Listen and order at AOL, and Wal-Mart Click on the pic for!

It was announced in an article from, that American Idol finalist Michael Johns will be performing the National Anthem to offer his support in finding a cure for ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). His first tribute for the cause was offered when he dedicated all proceeds from his single "Another Christmas" to various charities, one of which benefited ALS.  That contribution was meant to honor the passing of Nancy O'Dell's mother to the disease.  News of that gift can be found at

This Independence Day, Michael continues his reputation for giving of his time and talent by singing at the following event.  Here's an excerpt from the article "Major League Baseball clubs hold special on-field ceremonies on July 4th to honor 70th anniversary of Lou Gehrig's farewell speech" from  Please read the entire article at the SOURCE.
In addition, individual Clubs will support the ALS cause on July 4th. For example, American Idol Finalist Michael Johns will perform the National Anthem prior to the Baltimore Orioles vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim game; the Philadelphia Phillies have raised over $865,000 for ALS this year alone; and the Minnesota Twins are one of many Clubs that have donated a suite for ALS families.
Michael Johns' debut album Hold Back My Heart can be downloaded or ordered online at both iTunes and   You can also pick up your copy at retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target and Best Buy everywhere!  The album features the hit song "Heart On My Sleeve", which is being offered for free download at  Look for the CD to be displayed along with other American Idol stars.