- Born and raised in the Soundview section of the Bronx, Michael Tyrone Turner Jr., (professionally know as, PaperM8) has always been musically inclined. From the age of 9, when he first watched Soul Train, PaperM8 loved music and began writing music, and he would record his art on Radio Shack keyboards and karaoke machines. He later went on to practice his craft in talent show cases, hip-hop work shops, annual park festivals, school concerts, and writing jingles for TV commercials.
When PaperM8 was very young, both him and his sister, were raised by their Grandmother, because their mother ended up suffering from dementia. She has helped them and guided them through all of life’s trials and tribulations. With his desire to succeed, and the hopes of a promising music career, PaperM8 would “…like to give Grandma a break”, he says. But he’s not the only one in the family with talent. PaperM8 would record songs with his younger sister and best friend, Cynia, also a gifted writer, and record them on their home karaoke machines. They would call themselves Sugar Sweet Cross.
At the age of 12, PaperM8, (going by the name of Burning Flame), almost signed to an indie label in New York City; but no agreements were reached. PaperM8 continued to write and entered a jingle contest, for Oscar Meyer. He helped his junior high, I.S. 131, win $ , Danique (referred to in his more emotional rap songs) found out they were going to be parents, which changed his perspective, and added more meaning, and urgency to his music career. The first of his two daughters, Ayanna, was born and then a couple of years later, Amiya was born. "Twenty years old, going on forty," is what he’d tell you, and PaperM8 is maturing even more. With his new role in life, PaperM8’s music was definitely influenced and went to the next level. His family and children became his inspiration to continue to work hard so he can provide for them. His lyrical content evolved greatly from when he was younger.
PaperM8 continued to master his craft by attending The Riverside Church in Manhattan. Along with Charles Hamilton, he entered into a “Rap Writer’s Workshop” taught by KRS-One, and The Furious 5. Here he improved on his delivery, flow, stage presence, and lyrical content. He even performed in a play called “Black Water” where he earned his first professional pay check of $50.00.
While artists like Nas, Tupac, 50 Cent, KRS-One, L.A. Reid, and Charles Hamilton have all had various effects and influences on PaperM8, the streets has been the most influential. It showed him that it was sometimes smarter to do the opposite of what his friends may have done. He learned how to adapt to changing environments, from the ‘hood to the office, and how to survive for his family from gang violence. He is driven to reach his many goals ranging from owning his own company, traveling the world, acting, and being a good role model for his children.
When you listen to his music, or watch him perform, you can see a young man, but hear an old soul. PaperM8 feels like, “My music is true one way or another. I write about my life and how I see things." He speaks of a wide variety of subjects from self-help, spiritual content, to gang banging in the city streets. PaperM8 wants to be seen not as a gangster or a saint, but as a gifted artist with a positive and inspiring outlook on life. With God and the Lord Jesus Christ by his side to help him through the tough times and to help surround him with good people to help him on his journey, PaperM8 is ready to show the world, his world, and for everyone to enjoy it.
- Better to trust in God than man.
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