Producers determine more than a sound. They define eras and dictate the tone for generations. Turbo sets the pace for hip-hop’s future. With numerous multiplatinum certifications, over one billion streams, and multiple top tens under his belt by 2019, the Atlanta producer’s signature style resounds through everything from the triple-platinum Billboard Hot 100 smash “Drip Too Hard” by Lil Baby and Gunna to Travis Scott’s platinum-certified “Yosemite” [feat. Gunna & Nav].
Emerging to the forefront of the culture and noted for “sonic brilliance” by Billboard, he continues to push himself and the genre, as a whole, forward.
“In 2050, I want you to be able to listen back to what I’m doing now and remember exactly where you were,” he says. “I aim to create music that lasts beyond today. I’m trying to make something that will give you a great feeling over and over again. I put my all into it. I take my time. Quality and thought are the biggest things for me. My music should ultimately bring you back to your best memories.”
Speaking of memories, turbo took the first step on this journey as a kid in College Park, GA. His mom worked in the technology sector, so spare computers lined their house. One day, he stumbled upon acid recording software on a dusty old machine. Entranced by the wave forms, he learned the ins and outs of the software Fruity Loops and immersed himself in Youtube tutorials. Picking up Pro Tools, he adopted a palette for southern hip-hop a la Lil’ Jon, T.I., Young Jeezy, Outkast, and Gorilla Zoe as well as Neo-Soul from Erykah Badu and KEM. In high school, he developed an impressive level of recording proficiency and charged neighbors and classmates $20 to record their songs in his basement.
Dropping out of college, he met Shad Da God and commenced working together. His first placement would be Hustle Gang’s “Mi Familia” [feat. Shad Da God, T.I., & Kap G] from the popular 2013 Hustle Gang "Over Errrrythang" mixtape. At the same time, he became an in-demand engineer, overseeing the 21 Savage & Metro Boomin banger “Ex Bitch” [feat. Future].
However, his creative kinship with Gunna ignited a string of successes. He went from producing “Beat the Case” [feat. Offset] on "Drip Season" to handling four cuts on the seminal 2018 breakout "Drip Season 3". Capitalizing on this momentum, he executive produced "Drip Harder"—the blockbuster collaboration between Lil Baby and Gunna. On the tracklisting, he personally crafted the triple-platinum “Drip Too Hard” as well as the platinum “Never Recover” [feat. Drake] and “Close Friends.” The record notably bowed at #4 on the Billboard Top 200. This run continued as he co-executive produced Gunna’s full-length debut, "Drip or Drown 2", which debuted at #2 on the Top 200. Along the way, he also co-produced the game-changing “Yosemite” and Shy Glizzy’s “Do You Understand” [feat. Tory lanez & Gunna] in addition to choice cuts for Young Thug, 03 Greedo, and more.
With an immediately recognizable sound, he draws on airy guitar and delicate piano tempered by skittering beats and cinematic sensibility. You know it’s Turbo when you hear it.
“I just try to hold my own in any situation,” he goes on. “I want to show people what I’ve got. I follow my own mindset. I’m not trying to repeat anybody else or myself. I approach each situation creatively with what I feel.”
That honesty is why we’ll be listening to Turbo’s music for a very long time to come.
“More than anything, I hope you feel the moment,” he leaves off. “When you hear ‘Run that back Turbo,’ you might take it all in from the melody to the beat. Hopefully, you’re telling your kids about this music some day. There would be nothing better than that.”