Hitmaking Atlanta music producer Turbo hosts inaugural community event

‘Drip Too Hard’ producer talks ‘Turbo Day’ and collaborating with Young Thug
Producer Chandler "Turbo" Great produced the Grammy-nominated single "Drip Too Hard" for Atlanta rappers Gunna and Lil Baby in 2018.

Credit: @VisualsbyAP

Credit: @VisualsbyAP

Producer Chandler "Turbo" Great produced the Grammy-nominated single "Drip Too Hard" for Atlanta rappers Gunna and Lil Baby in 2018.

Turbo is one of the music industry’s hottest Atlanta-based producers. He has collaborated with Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, Lil Yachty, Lil Durk, and Young Thug, is responsible for hit records like Travis Scott’s “Yosemite” and Lil Baby’s “Close Friends,” and served as executive producer for multiple albums from Gunna.

His signature production style, which generally incorporates heavy bass, minor keys and up-tempo rhythms, is crafted with old-school cars as motivation.

“I always make sure I’ve got that bass, heavy and rattling in my music like I heard it from box Chevys and Crown Victorias growing up,” he said.

Today Turbo, a native of College Park, is hosting his inaugural Turbo Day event at Welcome All Park in South Fulton. The event will be part-carnival and part-block-party, with pony rides, a Ferris wheel, trampolines, food trucks, games and a school supply drive, all free to the public while supplies last.

Turbo Day will also be the soft launch for Turbo’s nonprofit organization, The Great Family Foundation, which he founded this year. Turbo says the organization’s aim is to support and promote the idea of keeping family at the core of one’s success.

“We should spend time together, have barbecues, go to our cousin’s graduation, or celebrate the kids getting all As and Bs. People should remember that the root of everything starts with your family,” he said.

The beatmaker said he originally planned to host the event during the summer of 2022 but was delayed in putting it together because he wasn’t familiar with the permitting process. He says South Fulton officials learned of the event before it happened and told him he needed approvals he didn’t yet have.

“We were two weeks out from what I was planning on doing, so we ended up canceling that year,” he said.

It wasn’t all bad. He says city officials offered to give him his own day when he explained the event. They made it official, and a year later they honored the producer by making July 8 Turbo Day in the City of South Fulton.

“Going through the process gave me an opportunity to connect with the city and organize something for the kids the right way, that hopefully can happen for years to come.”

Born Chandler Great, Turbo became interested in music production the summer before he entered high school, after experimenting with a voiceover program he found at his home.

He was introduced by a cousin to music production software like ProTools, and before graduating from Banneker High School in 2012, he’d learned how to make beats by watching YouTube tutorials.

He said learning that rappers like Ludacris also graduated from Banneker, and producers like The Dungeon Family and Jermaine Dupri grew up near his neighborhood, inspired him to focus his creativity on the music business.

“All I needed to know was ... that someone from my same upbringing became successful. It let me know that making it in music was possible,” Turbo said.

Turbo earned his first production placements in 2016, working with rapper Shad Da God, who happened to be Turbo’s neighbor and T.I.’s cousin. Through the connection he started getting booked as a studio engineer for projects affiliated with T.I., working recording sessions for rap collectives Bankroll Mafia and Hustle Gang.

He said the Bankroll Mafia project was the first time he became familiar with the role of an executive producer.

“I made the artwork, produced a few songs, recorded 90% of it, picked the songs, and helped figured out what was going to come out,” Turbo said.

Turbo was introduced to Young Thug while recording the Bankroll Mafia project. Gunna, one of Young Thug’s artists signed to his YSL recording imprint, grew up in the same neighborhood as Turbo.

Becoming the engineer and manager of Loud House Studios in 2017, Turbo kept running into Young Thug and Gunna around the studio, so they started regularly recording together. Gunna started bringing Lil’ Baby around.

He released “Drip Harder,” a mixtape starring Lil Baby and Gunna, in October 2018, featuring the single “Drip Too Hard.” The song, which featured cracking snare drums, bouncy bass rhythms and blues guitar riffs behind the rappers’ melodic verses, sold more than 10 million copies, peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100, and earned a Grammy nomination.

Turbo said the hit record, which helped turn the rappers into superstars and led to Turbo signing a worldwide co-publishing deal in 2019 with Warner Chappell Music, came from their creative chemistry.

“They were friends and two of the hottest artists coming out of Atlanta at the time, so it made sense. When people come to the sessions with good energy, it’s going to pour into the music,” Turbo said.

Producer Chandler "Turbo" Great is hosting an inaugural Turbo Day at Welcome All Park in South Fulton, Georgia on July 8, 2024.

Credit: @VisualsbyAP

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Credit: @VisualsbyAP

Young Thug’s May 2022 arrest and ongoing criminal trial is having a different sort of creative effect on Turbo. The producer says he misses working marathon sessions with the YSL rapper and their private conversations.

“Whenever we do music, we talk like humans — whether people believe it or not — about life, children or whatever goals we might have.”

Turbo says he has a hard drive full of original tracks reserved just for Young Thug whenever he’s released. “I know he’ll have a lot to say when he comes out, and I’m waiting on him. I got as much music as he needs as soon as he comes out.”

Another goal Turbo has is to develop and mentor talent not just as recording acts and performers but also outside of their musical careers.

“It’s an opportunity for anybody who’s around me or who I see fit to receive guidance through this industry,” Turbo said, adding that he defines success by being able to take care of his family and friends.

“When you get money, cars, and a house, you have to ask yourself how you take care of the people around you. As long as I can wake up and I’m loved, that’s all that matters to me.”

1-5 p.m. Monday, July 8. Welcome All Park, 4255 Will Lee Road, South Fulton. 470-809-7170.

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