Orlando Turner, better known as Big O, is an American hip hop record producer, recording and mixing engineer and DJ representing the UK. He began to make beats at the age of 13 and has been creating music ever since. He has worked with artists such as L.O.U., P-Rawb, Skyzoo, Bizarre Ride and Maze Rockwell to name a few. A traveler from a young age Big O has moved between Atlanta and Birmingham, before transferring to Orlando to attend college at Full Sail University. He eventually got promoted to The Bay Area in his audio job and then made the jump to Los Angeles to work on and independent film titled time titled “Love, Art & Celibacy”. Not done yet, he now resides in London, United Kingdom and he continues to further his music career.
In 2017 he released his debut instrumental album “Between Memories and Choices” as well as an EP called “The Light of Day”. A now bounces right back in 2018 with the 16 track album entitled “iNSTABiLiTY”. The instrumental album kicks off with an excerpt from the “Kraftwerk & The Electronic Revolution” documentary about the German electronic music scene.
The excerpt explains the concept of creating something new for the audience. This is a theme held very dear by Big O, who attempts to do just that with this album. “iNSTABiLiTY” can be considered a concept album to all intents and purposes, as it describes an unstable, yet fearless young man who cannot stay in one place and is completely uncertain about everything that life has to offer. Yet he is willing to take on every challenge that presents itself.
While G.O.A.T. debates in hip-hop are often reserved for rappers themselves, there are countless producers and beat makers who deserve praise for doing with sounds what emcees have been doing with words.
A magician on his equipment, Big O can be praised for his loosely quantized drums which maintain a natural groove, his manipulation of resonant basslines, the use of spine-tingling synths and not least his masterful sample chops.
Big O’s beats are hard enough for the streets, energetic enough for the clubs, and soulful enough to humanize the craft. Throughout the album we can experience Big O’s thrilling and unpredictable trajectory.
Whether through ambitious maximalism or aggressive minimalism, he is creating soundscapes that are determining moods which match those of its creator. Bursting with unorthodox drum patterns, quirky sampled elements and funky melodies that reverberate from your head all the way down to your toes, many of these tracks lay the foundation for Big O’s personal sound.
With each passing week the production side of hip hop music becomes increasingly accessible through both digital and analog software and devices. The result is a massive glut of beat makers floating around the web. The problem with setting yourself apart from the masses is to understand that the software or devices cannot do that.
It’s the beats you have inside your head that do, and the ability to transcend machines. Machines come and go, creative art endures. The best producers don’t just lay down tracks, they create emotions and moods.
In this aspect, Big O is a sound visionary, furthermore he has a large template to work from, as he is able to equally manipulate sample-based material – evident on ‘iMPERFECT VOYAGE’, ‘MY PLACE iN THiS WORLD’, ‘MY LiFE’, ‘NO LOVE iN THiS HOUSE’, ‘SPiTTiN’ GAME’, and ‘THROWiN’ DiCE’ – as he does original tracks, built from the ground up, and notable in the remaining 10 tracks on the album.
And at the end of the day, the result is that “iNSTABiLiTY” is packed with sonic elements that create dense narratives, without almost uttering a word. As he tells his story, Big O takes the beat-driven framework of hip-hop and manages to simultaneously tie it to R&B, ambient, chill, pop and soul music. Expect to hear a lot more from him in the next few years.