Many hope ‘Uptown Funk’ Grammy win will strike right note for Memphis music industry
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — On music’s biggest night and on its biggest stage, the biggest award, the Grammys’ Record of the Year, went to the Memphis and Royal Studios recorded hit Uptown Funk.
Memphis producer and Royal Studios co-owner Lawrence Boo Mitchell was at the Grammys to hear his name called as a winner.
“It feels great, man. I feel I had to do this one for Memphis,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell was still in Los Angeles earlier in the day but told WREG by phone what the Grammy means to him.
“Well, I think I almost jumped in to the air. It’s one of the most magical career moments of my life. I’m really blessed,” Mitchell said.
With Mitchell bringing home a Grammy for Record of the Year, the question now is: How will the city capitalize on it and keep making hits?
That’s because many say Memphis’ music industry isn’t on the level of where it was decades ago.
Still, Nashville producer Hamilton Hardin recently moved to Memphis to work with legendary songwriter and producer David Porter.
“I think [the Grammy is] big for Memphis. It gives validity and credibility to the rich history that’s already been established in Memphis,” Hardin said.
Porter said Memphis has the musical talent and, once again, a major Grammy to help strike the right note and promote local music.
“It speaks to the energy of what can happen now given the exposure, given the energy. It is still being done in Memphis,” Porter said. “The most recognized organization in our industry, the Grammy organization, recognized Memphis as being the place currently that sonically and sound wise and that has an incredible impact on music.”
As for Mitchell, he’s got a message for the rest of the music world.
“Memphis, Tennessee, is still relevant. The magic still happens here. We are like the cradle of civilization for modern music,” Mitchell said.
Other Memphis Grammy winners include Stax records alum Mavis Staples, University of Memphis student and singer-songwriter Jason Isbell and local engineer Matt Ross-Spang.