Chris Jerry has wanted to run his own recording studio since he was 13 years old.
The Southaven High School graduate in 2006 said he fell in love with producing his own beats and mixing sounds from the moment his brother brought FruityLoops home, a computer music recording program.
“We had just bought a new Compaq computer and played FruityLoops for hours and hours trying to create drum patterns,” Jerry said. “I would spend hours on this.”
Jerry’s musical roots began when he was a teenager. He started playing the trumpet in the school orchestra, but then switched to drums because it was “cooler” and he “wanted to have the girls.”
After high school, he studied music at Northwest Community College. He sold his first “beat,” a hip-hop instrumental on MySpace, for $ 150 and that’s when he realized he could have a future in the music business.
“A guy contacted me on MySpace and I’ll never forget him,” Jerry said. “It was a hip hop beat that I did on the same program I used when I was a kid. I was so proud of it. It was a great feeling selling my first beat and realizing that other people saw the value in my music.
A year later, bored with college, he decided to join the Navy instead. He served as a boatswain’s mate aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman and served until 2014.
After the Navy, Jerry returned to college and studied computer science at Strayer University in Memphis and is currently working as a network engineer.
Jerry said that after college he was able to focus a lot more on his music. In 2014, he was invited to participate in the Memphis Music Town (MMT) Consortium, an effort to develop local musical talent and better promote the music industry in Memphis. The organization was founded in 2012 by David Porter, member of the National Songwriters Hall of Fame and legend of Stax Records. The Memphis native has been active in mentoring the next generation of Memphis musicians. Jerry participated in the Soulright Music Mentorship Program which helped him learn more about the music industry and allowed him to work with established professionals who have the tools to be successful.
A manager took him to Atlanta and introduced him to several hip-hop record label executives, which allowed him to work with hip-hop and rap artists like Waka Flocka and Mishon Ratliff, who appeared in the Lincoln Heights television show.
“Waka Flocka was really big back then,” Jerry said. “He acquired a few beats from me.”
Most recently, he worked as a producer on songs for Paul Wall, Lil ‘Flip and Cashis, a rapper who was featured on Shady Records’ album Eminem Presents: The Re-Up with Eminem.
“Over the years I’ve done things for some really good artists and big labels,” Jerry said.
Jerry recently opened his own brick and mortar recording studio called Slim Productions Studio at 9102 Millbranch Road in Southaven. The company is a full-service music production studio where musicians can input and record music, podcasts, videos, as well as mixing.
“You can bring your band in and we can record live sessions and create tracks for a record,” Jerry said. “I’m a music producer, so I can organize a session for someone. I can have a guitarist and build him a song from scratch. I can also do podcasts and pretty much set the stage for production and mastering of music videos. “
Jerry said starting his own studio has long been his career goal.
“It’s been a dream of mine to own my own studio since I was a kid,” Jerry said. “I’ve had one at home for years. I basically wanted to get out of my shell and eliminate foot traffic from my house. “
Jerry said he had already booked a few sessions and there was a great need in the area for a recording studio.
“In the hip-hop world in general, people need a place to record where they feel safe and where they feel like it’s a home environment,” Jerry said. “A lot of parents want their kids to try their hand at music, but they don’t know where to go. They don’t want to go to Memphis. And they don’t know what kinds of recording studios are out there. I want to be a studio where they can feel safe because Southaven is a safe city.