Thurman B. Thornton II, is a contemporary gospel singer from St. Louis, Missouri who has won awards such as the 2013 PrayzeFactor People’s Choice Award, 2014 Music Love Award for Christian Video of the Year and the 2014 Rhythm of Gospel Award Winner for Contemporary Male Artist of The Year. Thurman contributes his talents and gifts to God, but states his influences are James Cleveland, Marvin Gaye, Vanessa Bell Armstrong Carl Thomas, Dave Hollister, Patti Labelle, & Darryl Coley. This week, we interviewed Thurman in order to learn more about his battle with depression and his upcoming CD release.
LK: What is TBII and what does that stand for?
TBII: TBII is actually my name Thurman B. Thornton II.
LK: Tell us more about the TBII Ministry
TBII: In addition to writing my own music, I also serve on the Praise and Worship team and my church, “Blow Your Trumpet Ministries” under the leadership of Pastor and Prophet Marcus O. and Co-Pastor Madelyn Mickles.
LK: When did you begin to sing publically and when did you realize that you had a gift?
TBII: I started singing at the age of five and I come from a long line of singers. Singing is in my blood. My mother and father were both singers. It was always so funny because we even had a dog that would bark in key. So it was kind of inevitable that singing would come down to me. I remember singing in choirs, local talent shows and a kid. I also had the opportunity to sing with my high school and college choirs. Although church has been the main influence of my singing, I’m also inspired by artists such as Nat King Cole, Janis Joplin, and Aretha Franklin.
At the age of 21 years old, I began to take my gift more seriously and really started to pursue music about 5 years ago.
LK: What is the testimony behind your ministry and why you started it?
TBII: Well my journey in this music industry is definitely interesting. The testimony behind my music career actually was pushed after the deaths of my brother, my mother and my father in 2009, 2010, and 2011. Music was my outlet from the pain that I was dealing with. Some of the pain I couldn’t verbally release so I would sing as a form of relief.
In 2011, I wrote a song called “More” which was not only my desperate cry to fill voids in my life of missing my relatives, but it was also my attempt to start a new career in singing. When the song came out and actually gained attention, I signed my first record deal and I started working on what would have been my first album. The first album never happened. Two years had gone by 2 singles were released, but the album never came to fruition.
I parted ways with the record label and was back to square one in the music industry.
After that experience, I had pretty much given up on the music industry and music in general and was feeling like I would never record again. GOD wasn’t having that. The Lord came to me and said” how are you not going to tell me what you are or are not going to do with the gift I gave you?” Basically the Lord checked me and put me back in my place.
LK: After your experience, how were you able to return to music? What gave you that push that you needed?
TBII: This is when the testimony began. After my experience with the record label I was still wondering how to get back into the industry. God sent Vinnis Bryant to me. I called Vinnis up and I told him this idea for a song I had been singing around the house consistently for awhile called “Fresh Start.” I recorded some raw vocals of the chorus at my house and sent it to him and about a week later he had the track done. Hallelujah! Then I went into the studio and recorded the son from beginning to end in one session. That is when the fire started to return to me about my singing and the gift. The song reminded me that even though I had endured a lot of turmoil, trials and tribulations, God never left me, in fact He waited for me to get it together so that He could reset me for the next chapter of my life.
We recorded the song in November or December of 2013 and released it worldwide on January 14th, 2014. Here’s the crazy part about the “Fresh Start” single, it took off to the point to where I went on my first ever solo tour for an entire year traveling the United States on the strength of this song.
LK: What did you learn from your experience with the music industry?
TBII: I realize more now than I did before that everything that I’ve experienced in my 30 years of living
God brought me out of my situations in order for me to turn around and help someone else. My life went from depression, to suicide attempts and to drugs. I have done it all but God healed me from it all. So now it’s officially my duty to tell my testimony and be an example of what true healing and deliverance looks like.
LK: Besides making music what else do you have plan or what else do you do in the music industry.
TBII: I’ve been really blessed and he now has an awesome team. His visual producer is Jarmel Reece with Gah Faith Entertainment who is also producing all of his videos and upcoming short film. I also have Roderick Evans who is my photographer and designer. My business partner JP with Unheard Media and together we coordinate and facilitate the only Gospel Praise Open Mic called, “Testimony Tuesday” in St. Louis. “Testimony Tuesday” is a platform that we live stream and has reached over 91 countries and is averaging about 37,000 viewers monthly.
I’m also currently traveling on my “God, Love, & Music Tour” that started in January and has been extended all the way to December. I’m all about healing and helping others take their relationship with God to a new level because that’s what it took for me to gain the boldness to pursue my passion and be a blessing to others worldwide.
Thurman is currently ministering in song over the United States and was recently engaged to the person that keeps his schedule and love of his life Cassandra. Thurman states that his fiancée’ completes him keeps him focus and is super supportive. He feels that this is just the start of his music opportunities. “Save Me” is his upcoming album and it will be released in May of this year.
EDITOR’S NOTE: For the latest updates on TBII you can follow their ministry on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Reverbnation! To read more, visit Women with Gifts
By LaNette Kincaid
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LaNette Kincaid, is a Marine wife and mother of two, that took on the challenge of owning a business shortly after graduating college. Most of her tips and advice that you will read in our magazine will come from her personal experiences of trial and error. To see more of LaNette’s business and inspirational tips be sure to follow her on Twitter @LaNetteKincaid