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Local Music Mondays is a weekly segment produced by WUKY's DeBraun Thomas. Check here for archived episodes, extended interviews, and extras.

Local Music Monday: Ma Turner

photo provided

This week DeBraun profiles singer-songwriter Ma Turner of the group Teal Grapefruit.

Ma Turner is a native of Louisville who has been part of the Lexington music scene since 1992. Music has been his passion since he was a child, acting out concerts in his back yard. As he got older and went from acting out concerts to performing live, Turner says that even his musical beginnings were focused primarily on original music.

“I took some guitar lessons, I learned some basic riffs that were popular at the time, grunge bands, alternative rock or whatever, but I was never really interested in playing other people’s music, cause I was writing songs before I ever sung or played an instrument, like lyrics poems and things like that, so it was just a matter of having a vehicle to do that.”

After graduating high school, he toured with different bands around the country. Turner moved back to back to Lexington has been part of many different projects. While this is a common trend in Lexington, Turner says as an artist, it is something he says that he does out of necessity.

“I certainly have a steady stream of ideas constantly, and I don’t really let the volume affect me, it’s kind of like just like throwing something to the wall and seeing what sticks, it’s a combination of that and what my tastes are at the time, I like a lot of different kinds of music and I would say that some of those genres don’t really fit with others, but that doesn’t stop me from doing it.”

That steady stream of ideas continues to flow into new projects. While he has scaled down the number of projects he’s in, Turner currently is focusing on the band Teal Grapefruit in addition to his solo material. As he continues to create, Turner says his solo material will have him evolving into a new role as an artist.

“Playing solo live is really hard, number 1 because I get really nervous, number 2, it’s kinda boring, cause I like to jam, I like that energy, but also with like the music that like, electronic music and house music, techno, it’s more of a production role where I’m just crafting, my wife, Erin Reynolds, I’m just gonna have her sing all of it, cause it’s house and you gotta have that powerful female vocal and we’ve always wanted to do something together and this is the perfect opportunity to craft and manipulate an album, a concept, a sound, and not even really have to, like, be a face for it or anything like that.

Ma Turner performs with Teal Grapefruit in addition to performing solo. Teal Grapefruit will be performing at Al’s bar on August 29th. More information about his projects can be found here.

DeBraun Thomas fell in love with radio at a young age but only had interest in working in radio after learning Funk musician Sly Stone got his start in radio. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Thomas moved to Lexington in 2009 to attend the University of Kentucky and pursue a career in radio. Thomas joined WRFL in 2009 and through the UK school of Journalism, Thomas had 2 features air on WUKY. In October of 2012, Thomas began interning at WUKY and produced the Unghosting of Medgar Evers. In August of 2013 Thomas became a staff member at WUKY and since that time, Thomas regularly produces the weekly segment Local Music Mondays which highlights local musicians in Lexington. Thomas hosts the Crunkadelic Funk Show which airs Saturday nights at 9pm and also produced a documentary on the 50th anniversary of the March on Frankfort. In addition to producing and hosting a radio show, Thomas also explores his other passion as a musician in Lexington.
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