Working from his little studio in McComb, Antonio “Tony T.” Turner is the cerebrums behind the music of the absolute most sultry Southern soul specialists who pack scenes in huge numbers of individuals and gather downloads and sound streams in huge numbers.
Turner runs Vigor Records, which has a creation studio, recording studio and workplaces inside the noteworthy previous Kellwood material plant.
“As a producer I’ve built a network of DJs, promoters, record labels I’m in contact with,” he said. “Radio (disc) jockeys, they respect the music and a lot of times they’ll play it just because my name is on it.”
He’s worked with craftsmen from all over, including Arthur Young, a driver from Summit whose melody “Crazy 40” has had more than 1.5 million perspectives on YouTube in a half year.
Others in Turner’s creation discography may not be easily recognized names however they’re unquestionably no joking matter to the aficionados of Southern soul, a melodic type that mixes down-home, old-school blues with current incorporated music creation.
Turner has composed and recorded music for Omar Cunningham — “he’s a blues-slash-Southern soul legend,” Turner explains — Bigg Polkey — “he’s one of the top artists in that genre now” — and DJ Trucker — “he does millions and millions of streams and he has millions of followers,” to name a few.
“And countless others, man. There’s so many more I’m working with right now,” Turner said. “We do all of the rap artists in the area. We do most of the gospel artists in the area.”
Turner, 35, experienced childhood in Woodville and got into music when he was 13.
He began playing guitar prior to being selected to play console with Gloster-based gospel bunch The Veal Brothers.
“They had an opportunity for a keyboard player, so I taught myself how to play keyboard,” Turner said.
He visited with them and joined the gospel bunch Castro Coleman and Highly Favored in 2006. Turner proceeded to play bass and keys for Coleman’s forray into blues, a chance that prompted overall openness.
“We traveled the world together,” Turner said.
He likewise showed up close by Coleman for a little job in the James Brown biopic “Get On Up,” featuring the late Chadwick Boseman as Brown. In it, Turner filled the role of Brown’s bassist, Bernard Odum.
Turner has been working in the old Kellwood building — presently known as the McComb Business Mill — for about a year now. He’s in good company in his work, however. Gloria Thompson is Vigor Records’ chief, Reginald Magee is the top of its gospel division, Stacy Beal handles showcasing and Lisa Wright is the marketing expert.
Furthermore, in the previous year, his work has gotten a lot of recognition. He won the 2020 Golden Triangle Producer of the Year Award and the King Russell Underground Southern Soul Award, which he gladly shows over his 32-track blending board.
He additionally was named last year for the ZBT Awards, the Jackson Music Awards, Premier Gospel Awards and the Gulf Coast Gospel Music Awards.
Turner’s way to deal with music creation, similar as the Southern soul sort itself, is a mix of old and new customs.
A tune starts with the performer singing or murmuring a thought for a song.
“Normally the artists come in with a song idea. They pitch me the idea and I start playing it from scratch,” he said.
After the artist belts out a couple of bars, Turner plays a song on his console.
“A lot of times artists might come in with just a chorus or they might just have a melody,” he said. “If I don’t like it I won’t even record it. I’ve developed a keen ear to what most people like.
“I’ve to got try to bring their vision to life because all they have is a melody.”
Turner delivers the instrumentation on the synthesizer and his five-string bass, and once in a while he utilizes live performers to get the tune ready.
“I layer all of the tracks myself,” he said. “Sometimes, depending on the production, I do have other musicians who come in and play on tracks also.”
Right now, he’s working with around 40 craftsmen.
“We’ve got artists flying into Mississippi to record,” Turner said.
The majority of them post their melodies on the web, and Turner assists with the video creation perspective, as well.
“I do everything from making sure the photo shoots look right, making sure the album cover looks presentable,” he said. “It doesn’t just stop in the studio.”
YouTube and Facebook are the two greatest stages his specialists use.
“It buzzes faster because of the fan base that’s already there,” Turner said.
Income comes as advanced publicizing dependent on the quantity of streams, he said.
As well as running the account studio, Turner additionally is the head of music for four diverse houses of worship — Take Dominion, Union Missionary Baptist, New Dimension and God’s Tabernacle in Pine Grove, Louisiana, which keeps his Sundays occupied.
“And after that I’m back in the studio on Sunday evenings,” he said.
While working the faders in the creation corner is an unexpected job in comparison to his previous existence as a visiting performer, Turner feels like he’s hit his melodic step.
He’s been the place where different craftsmen need to be, and presently he’s attempting to get them there.
Turner said Southwest Mississippi is overflowing with generally undiscovered ability that is certain to keep him recording for quite a while.
Individuals like Young, the singing driver from Summit, have the stuff to become showbiz royalty, Turner said.
“He should be doing this for a living,” he said. “I think it’s challenging, but I think the ones that really want it, you’ve got to hit the road.”
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A maker companion from Alabama as of late welcomed him to the Grammy grants show, and Turner said he’s unquestionably going. It’s his life’s main goal to return, not as a visitor but rather as a candidate — best case scenario.
There’s a lot of ability here to get him there, he accepts.
“This area, it’s got some talented folks. I really believe in the musical talent of these artists in this area,” he said.