Label Focus: T's Box w/ Terry Hunter Interview | News | MN2S

We talk to Chicago DJ Terry Hunter about his record label T’s Box.

 
With releases from Jennifer Hudson (a Grammy-nominated song), Chantay Savage, Jon Pierce, Estelle, and Mike Dunn, T’s Box records is one of the most esteemed labels to come out of Chicago in decades. We spoke to founder and label head Terry Hunter about House ‘N HD’s T’s Box release ‘Theme of Life’, but he also told us more about his role at T’s Box and the label’s upcoming releases.

Aside from the brand new ‘Theme of Life’, there is one recent release T’s Box release Terry is particularly proud of. “We’ve just recently done the official remixes for Jill Scott,” he tells us. “The response has been amazing for that.” He’s right. The Remixes went to number one on the Traxsource Top 100, and the opening track ‘Can’t Wait’, found its way into 17 DJ Top Tens on Traxsource, and climbed the platform’s Soulful Essentials and Hype Charts.

Watch the original ‘Can’t Wait’ here:
 

 
Download the remix on Traxsource.

Terry explained the story behind this collaboration, and how it came to be released on T’s Box. “We did one remix and they loved it, so we ended up doing three more remixes. I was talking to Jill’s manager, and the record was going to come out on Atlantic Records.” Terry says Atlantic had their own plans for The Remixes, but once he explained to them that T’s Box would help them reach a house-loving audience, they knew it was the right choice. “I told them, ‘Look, we did it with John Legend and Marsha Ambrosius. Let me get the groundswell started and we can put it out on T’s Box, distributed by MN2S.’ They loved the idea.”
 

 
Terry Hunter has a new EP of his own due out on the label in the not too distant future with the title Imagine No Music. Terry explains the concept: “I think sometimes people don’t respect music like they should. Sometimes you have to have something taken away from you to realise how much it was worth. I don’t have the power to take music away from anyone, but I can send the message: imagine no music.”

The EP is yet to be released, but Terry has been sending the message worldwide. “I was travelling around the world DJing, and I was just sitting at the airport wearing my ‘Imagine No Music’ t-shirt, and people were stopping and saying ‘Wow, I can’t imagine that. Where can I buy that shirt?’ and I was like, ‘I forgot I had this shirt on!’” The Imagine No Music EP, Terry tells us, will be accompanied by a line of merchandise. Guests will include Chantay Savage, Terisa Griffin, Estelle, Byron Stingily, Hanlei from Rhemi Music and, if all goes according to plan, R. Kelly, who Terry assures us is a big house music fanatic.
 

 
Also forthcoming from T’s Box is a compilation of all the label’s hits from over the years, to be available track-by-track, or in a version mixed by Terry Hunter himself. As well as this, records from Mike Dunn, Paris Yvette, and of course the House ‘N HD album are on the way.

With this jam-packed schedule of stellar releases in mind, we ask Terry how he juggles his roles as label head, producer-remixer and DJ. “I see myself as a DJ first,” he says. “Producer-remixer second, and label head in between all of those.” He reconsiders. “Actually, if I could share the number one spot, I can’t do a one, two, three. It’s all one thing. One hand washes the other. I’m a DJ first because that’s how I came up in Chicago, that’s how I was introduced to the world. Then I fell in love with producing, and the label helps situate everything.”

“Your records are your calling card,” he continues. “That’s how it goes nowadays. Your records keep your name out there in the world of DJing. So I think DJ, producer and label owner all go together. It’s just how the industry is being practiced.”

Terry has one more thing to say about the industry. “I’m just so sick and tired of all the different genres of house. They really separate us. At the start it was just house music and techno. Now we’ve got soulful house, afro house, deep house, disco house—it’s just house music! There are two kinds of music in this world: good music and bad music.” On T’s Box, with Terry Hunter at the helm, you know you are getting good music.

‘Theme of Life’ by House ‘N HD is out now. Download it here. Read the first part of our Terry Hunter interview here.

Book Terry Hunter now to get the T’s Box label head in behind the decks at your venue.

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