Orlando Turner, better known as Big O, is an American hip hop record producer and mixing engineer currently living in London, UK. He began to make beats at the age of 13 and has been creating music ever since. Big O’s latest release is the 20 track instrumental beat tape entitled “Between Memories & Choices”. Hip-hop is easily the most important new musical genre of the past 3 decades – the level of its impact and influence can’t be overstated. What began as an underground movement is now the sound of the mainstream. Because of its popularity, there’s a staggering number of producers working in the hip-hop market.
The fact is, anyone can throw together a kick, snare, hi hat, bass line, sample or synth lead and call themselves a “producer.” The problem, on the other hand is that most of these guys simply aren’t talented. Their beats downright suck. This being the case, you’ll need to know what you’re doing if you want to have a chance of standing out.
This is where Big O comes into the picture. His music stays simple and clean, but it has all the basic elements needed to make a positive impact – groove, dynamics, layering, separation, personality and subtlety. Grab any track off this album and you’ll recognize those qualities somewhere.
Take the single “Good Ol’ Dayz!” and the first thing that hits you is the groove. Hip-Hop has its roots in funk and jazz, hence Big O infuses the beat with rhythmic push and pull. He also adds enough instrumental contrast which ensures dynamics and makes the beat sound emotional.
Layering sounds is another art that serious producers spend years cultivating. Amateurs either layer thoughtlessly, layer too much, or don’t layer at all. Big O gets it just right as his tracks never overwhelm or underwhelm with just enough instrumentation to give the beat interest and momentum, and plenty of space for an emcee to lay down complex lyrical narratives.
Not all things need to be upfront and clearly audible on every beat. Sometimes a little something happening — small moments or instruments that just add some flavor but maybe aren’t super obvious — makes the difference between a bland production and an interesting, unique production with depth. There are a number of track on this album that contain these moments, among them “Hard Work Pays Off”, “A Young Boy’s Imagination”, “It Matters To me” and “Is This Where I Belong”.
The point is, Producers discover through their personal aesthetics what they like, and incorporate these things into their style. Understanding what other producers are doing to get their sound is important for growth, but making it your own, is what the game is really about.
On “Between Memories & Choices”, Big O finds his own thing in smooth and soulful organic sounding, retro soundscapes! His goal is to use the entire range of human hearing, from the bass frequencies up to the sparkly highs, all wrapped in a warm blanket of sound.
More About Big O: At the age of 20, he moved from Birmingham, AL back to Atlanta, GA and at the age of 21 he moved to Orlando, FL to attend college. A couple of years later, he moved to Miami, FL to work in live audio. He then moved to The Bay Area to continue working in live audio until he moved to Los Angeles to work on his very first independent film titled “Love, Art & Celibacy.”
He now resides in London, United Kingdom and he continues to further his music career. Big O has a smooth, chilled experimental and soulful production style. Sometimes Big O uses samples from artists such as Billy Paul and Black Ivory. The Instruments Big O uses are a Drum Machine, Turntable, Keyboard and Sampler.