After Hours with Cade Episode 11: FYU-CHUR
LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - On After Hours with Cade, I sit down with local artists to discuss Lawton and Southwest Oklahoma’s impact on their career and how it’s helped shape their artistry.
For this edition, we slightly changed it up. Rather than visiting with another local artist, I spoke with Andrew “FYU-CHUR” Jackson, a local producer and owner of FYU-CHUR Recording Studios in Lawton.
Born in Norman and raised in Lawton, FYU-CHUR is an Oklahoman through and through. Growing up, he took an interest in football before slowly transitioning into music in 2001.
“When I used to listen to music as a child, I didn’t know what this was, but I used to say, ‘Oh, this song could have went better if it sounded like this.’” FYU-CHUR said. “Or, “if they would have moved this part here to this part, it probably would have been better.’ In 2001, my future wife passed away. Her name was Aaliyah, and she was my favorite r&b singer.”
After inspecting her music and realizing most was produced by a single man, Timbaland, he was invested in becoming a music producer. Some other producers inspiring him were Pharrell, Quincy Jones, Jimmy Jam, and Terry Lewis.
FYU-CHUR said when he initially started the recording studio in 2011, there was a level of demand for quality producers that wasn’t being met.
“I was noticing that all the music coming out of this area, it was a lot of complaints about the quality, to put it in layman’s terms. The quality wasn’t as good as it could be. So, after I landed a placement with Joe Budden, I decided to use that kind of notoriety and opened up FYU-CHUR Recording Studios. My goal was to provide a highly professional sound at lightning speed for an affordable price. That’s the void I wanted to fill,” said FYU-CHUR.
He said he wanted to bring it to a point where you could no longer tell that the music from Oklahoma was simply local artists due to the production. His vision was to bring the industry to Lawton, a challenging feat to achieve for just one man.
“It’s kind of hard to bring the industry here if you’re not in these people’s faces. So, the face-to-face connection is kind of what’s missing versus just doing everything over the internet. Once I work with artists in the studio, pretty much from that point we work.”
His goals now? The Grammys.
“I want to become the first producer to have a number one in all genres in different countries. I want to make an impact, so I’m a student of all-world music. I love it all. My goal now is to expand and help other people from the area get in the door,” said FYU-CHUR.
The Southwest Oklahoma music scene is bursting with new, undiscovered talent ready to be molded into something extraordinary with just a little help, and that’s not a mystery for FYU-CHUR.
“It’s a lot of people that is going after their dreams, and I love assisting in that. I’m very passionate about that. I love to see somebody come in who has never even been in a recording studio before and had this dream in their head. Then to see them go on and do shows here in [Lawton] and in Atlanta, Dallas, New York, and everything like that. I really take joy in that and being a part of bringing their dream to life,” said FYU-CHUR.
Despite being 12 years into the game, he says he learns from newer artists all the time just by picking their brains and learning how they approach their style while providing necessary tips on trying to break into the industry.
One thing he wants to see more of, though, is originality. “I tell artists, ‘It’s only going to be one you,’ we already have an Eminem, Lil Wayne, Bon Jovi, whoever that you’ve looked to, and it’s okay to be influenced by these people.”
“But eventually, you have to come into your own because you being yourself is what’s going to separate you from everybody else. So just really grasping your own identity, and not necessarily just focusing on doing what’s ‘in at the moment’ or the ‘hot style at the moment.’ That is something that I would urge all artists to do. Look at your history,” FYU-CHUR continued.
In order to have greatness and longevity, it’s essential to study those who came before us, something he’s worked hard to do.
“You got to be a student if you really want to do this. There’s a lot of people that want to do it, so you have to be willing to put in the work that the majority aren’t willing to do,” said FYU-CHUR.
FYU-CHUR has worked with big-time names, such as The Game, Joe Budden, and Kevin Gates, but being from Oklahoma has come with its own specific challenges.
“Sometimes they have a preconceived notion of what it may sound like, especially when I first started the studio. ‘Oh, you from Oklahoma,’ then, when they hear the music, they’re shocked. And in this music industry game, it’s about who you know.”
“So, you may not be the most talented, but if you know the right person, you can ‘get on,’ you know. Unfortunately, right now, Oklahoma doesn’t have a lot of the who’s who in the music industry, but we’re going to change that,” continued FYU-CHUR.
FYU-CHUR doesn’t like to take a lot of time off from the studio, working to produce at least 100 songs each month. For the rest of 2023, he plans to continue working on expanding his brand into the international market.
“I’ve teamed up with my cousin in Hamburg, Germany, who’s running a station out there. We’re actually helping artists get exposure in the German market. We have artists already here, going out there to do an interview for them and their listeners and play their music over the airwaves.”
“He has about 1.8 million listeners throughout the European Union. So, it’s really just bringing exposure across the pond from artists here to over there. I also go live every Friday to release music or do impromptu sessions and creations. And just continue to help to build exposure and team up with people in the industry. Hopefully, they’ll eventually bring bigger opportunity here to this area,” continued FYU-CHUR.
Dabbling in almost all genres of music, he says he has a vision of making a show where he can introduce people to all different types of music from different cultures and bring the world of music under one umbrella.
But before he does that, his next primary goal is to win a Grammy and help people turn their dreams into reality.
“Nothing is impossible. You can’t tell me anything is impossible because even at the time when I opened the studio, a lot of people would say, ‘Oh, this is not a music market. There may not be enough artists to sustain a living.’ But, if you do your research, it can be done.”
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