On Jan. 16, UMW junior Mary Turner won the award for Best R&B artist in Virginia at the 2010 District of Columbia, Virginia, Maryland (DMV) Music Awards held in Capitol Heights, Maryland.
Turner, who is also known as Harmony Muzik, began her interest in pursuing music during her five-year service in the Marine Corps, when she was stationed in Okinawa, Japan.
During her downtime she became really involved with music.
“Me and a girl named Melody used to hang out on the weekends,” Turner said. “She was a poet so she would recite poetry and drop a beat, and I would sing along.”
In 2004, while she was still stationed in Okinawa, Turner began writing and recording her own music, or as she called them “first bits”.
“I just sang choir songs. The marines in my platoon were supportive,” she said. “Then I was like, ok, I can do this.”
Turner and her husband were then transferred to Camp Pendleton, located south of San Diego where she began focusing more on her music.
In the summer of 2007, her husband was transferred again to the Marine Base in Quantico and Turner began attending UMW.
At the end of 2007, Turner began doing shows, but it wasn’t until 2008 that Turner did her first performance featuring her own music at The Atmosphere in D.C.
All the while, Turner was auditioning and singing with local labels in the DMV area, booking shows and networking.
When the nominations for the 2010 DMV Music Awards were announced in December, Turner was one of the nominees.
“ It was exciting, I felt pretty good…I felt like I was in the running for it because I worked really hard for it.” Turner said.
She was nominated for three awards, including best female R&B artist in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Turner also performed at the DMV Music awards singing her own song, “Take a Bite,” with local artists Pryme and Divinity, who were also nominated for best female rap awards.
Turner wrote “Take a Bite” back in October and it aired on radio stations WKYS and WKSH when requested by listeners.
“It gave a hip-hop edge to the whole vampire thing,” Turner said. “It was a really fun song to do.”
She also performed at the DMV Music awards last year, but had a much different experience.
“They didn’t have as tight of security with keeping people from backstage and VIP areas. It was very chaotic,” she said.
Turner is currently finishing up her album titled “The Masquerade” with all brand new songs.
It is expected to be released in late April, or early May of this year. She said that her musical influences come from various artists from Motown to classic rock groups such as Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix.
On Feb. 25, Turner will be performing in Candy Jam, located at Fat Tuesdays in Vienna, Va. where she will be performing three songs from her upcoming album.
Candy Jam is an open-mic night for rock and hip-hop acts, including Dyfor Entertainment and Innerloop Records.