D BOY FRESH
At the intersection of talent and hard work, you’ll find Grammy nominated, multi-platinum producer Drumma Boy. A child musical prodigy, Drumma Boy has built a solid reputation as a consistent hittmaker. His resume reads like a Who’s Who of music, and includes names like Young Jeezy, Nicki Minaj, Usher, T.I., Kanye West, R. Kelly, Lil Wayne, 2Chainz, Drake, August Alsina and Wiz Kahlifah. With musical influences that range from German composers Ludwig van Beethoven and Johann Sebastian Bach to Jazz icons Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis to more modern producers like Quincy Jones and Raphael Saadiq, Drumma Boy’s unique approach to music production is undeniably fresh and innovative. His fearless technique, that seamlessly blends hard-hitting 808 bass and classical chord progressions, defies boundaries, and has made him one of the industries most sought after producers. Yet it is his unparalleled work ethic, passion and conviction that have effectively distinguished him from his peers.
Born Christopher Gholson in Memphis, TN, Drumma Boy has music in his DNA. His musical roots predate the platinum plaques and his now household name on the Billboard Charts. His mother, an opera singer, and his father, a music professor and critically acclaimed clarinetist that was the first African-American man to hold the 1st chair position in the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, instilled a love and appreciation for music within him at a very young age. “I had a recorder in my hand at age three,” recalls Drumma Boy, “and by five, I had stepped up to the clarinet.” A classically trained musician, Drumma would fall in love with urban/soul music after being introduced to Curtis Mayfield and other greats from the 70’s era by his mother. While a freshman at University of Memphis, the ambitious producer would shop his homemade tracks to local prominent emcees like Gangsta Boo and Tela, and by his junior year he was traveling to Texas to work with hip hop legends Scarface and Bun B (of UGK), quickly becoming one of the most sought after producers in Hip Hop. In 2003, Drumma Boy founded Drum Squad, an umbrella company that encompasses Drum Squad Productions and Drum Squad Records, and in 04 he left college to pursue his passion full-time in Atlanta.
In 2007 Drumma Boy catapulted into the national spotlight with “Shawty” for then Hip Hop newcomer Plies. The song would go on to dominate the charts and sell millions of copies, and make him one of the most sought after producers in urban music. His initial hit making wasn’t limited to Hip Hop, Drumma would create timeless music for Usher (“Stranger”) Goapele (“Right Here”) and Damien & Stephen Marley (“On de Grind”) later that year.
In 2009, he’d earn two Grammy Nominations for production on T.I.’s “Paper Trail” (Best Rap Album) and Young Jeezy’s “Put On” (Best Performance by a Rap Duo) featuring Kanye West. The following year, Drumma Boy was hailed #2 Producer of the Year in Billboard Magazine while the New York Times named him one of the four hottest producers “driving the city” in Atlanta, describing his sound as “a busy bee swarm of synths overlaid with brash bass injections that’s equal parts Memphis and Atlanta.” In 2011, his production on the Waka Flocka Flame’s platinum smash hit “No Hands,” featuring Roscoe Dash and Wale, earned him the accolade Best Club Banger at the BET Hip Hop Awards, a nod for Best Collaboration at the 2011 BET Awards, and an ASCAP Award for Most Performed Song.
Ever evolving, Drumma Boy is quickly expanding his brand’s reach beyond record production. Taking advantage of Atlanta’s growing film scene, he produced the musical scores for “Chapters” and “Blood First,” and was music supervisor for the movie “Holla II.” In 2013, the enterprising businessman added fashion designer to his repertoire with the launch of his urban men and women’s clothing line Fresh Phamily, which he launched during the 2013 BET Hip Hop Awards and was also featured in the Wall Street Journal. He also opened “G Factory,” a 20,000 square foot creative space in Memphis for film and TV show production, artists and painters to hone their skills. He was most recently named National Brand Ambassador for California based sparkling wine company Moreno BHLV, where he will appear in commercials and at events on behalf of the growing brand. Drumma Boy also lends his musical talents to NBA team Memphis Grizzlies’ talent department, producing their live halftime shows. The star also finds time give back to his local community as well as communities around the world via Drum Squad Foundation. www.drumsquadfoundation.org
Never too far from his first love, music, Drumma Boy seems to keep a smash hit on deck. 2014 saw the release of “Me Okay” produced for Young Jeezy’s highly anticipated album “Seen It All,” August Alsina’s “No Love” (featuring Nicki Minaj), and newly released “Freaky Shyt” on Chris Brown’s “X” album. He’s also in the studio putting the finishing touches on the conclusion to his trilology project, “Welcome II My City 3,” scheduled for a 2015 release, and working on new music for Angie Stone and Wiz Khalifa.
As he enters this latest stage of his career, Drumma Boy emerges as The Conductor –organizing and directing the very tempo, sound, and output of the various industries he is involved in.