Downtown musician gets business boost from timely grant

Rich City Studios celebrates six years with music, food and art
ChuckT of Rich City Studios (Photo Credit: R.D. Lopez of Shots From Richmond)

By Kathy Chouteau

Local musician and businessman Charles Turner (“ChuckT”), owner of Rich City Studios, is among the beneficiaries of a national grant program aiming to help downtown businesses and business districts weather the COVID-19 storm.

Turner’s business, which operates out of Market Square Mall downtown and offers music production, audio recording, mixing and other related services, has obtained funding from the HartBeat of Main Street Grant Program, provided by Main Street America and The Hartford. As part of the program’s second round of funding, grants ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 were awarded to 31 brick-and-mortar small businesses nationwide.

ChuckT said his plans for the grant include investing in a portable professional recording booth from Whisper Room, purchasing a new “gold standard” microphone, applying money toward business marketing and for overhead. ChuckT also recently bought equipment that enabled him to kick off a new business venture recording the songs of incarcerated people over the phone. He recently completed a recording with an inmate at Santa Rita Jail.

The grant couldn’t come at a better time for ChuckT, who has weathered numerous hard knocks amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including the temporary closure of his business and a serious car accident. The accident, which occurred on July 24, totaled ChuckT’s car and left him with serious arm lacerations and a broken finger and knee. While his recovery continues as he undergoes physical therapy and the prospect of another surgery related to his accident, he says that he’s having more good days than bad ones these days.

ChuckT’s recovery from his accident hasn’t quelled his creativity. Recently, he released an EDM album called Electronic Maestro, beat tapes called More Beats Than a Heart Murmur vol. 2, 3 & 4 and also a sleep music album called Sleep Music Sounds. All music can be downloaded on iTunes, Spotify or other online music outlets.

He’s also about to release a three song EP on Jan. 15 called The Fan Favorite Compilation vol.1. Music lovers are invited to text fanfavorite to 833-312-1936. After texting the number, they will be sent a multiple choice question about which song they like best on the album. People can vote for their favorite song after checking out the album online. The winner of best song on the multi-artist album will win a free album produced, mixed, mastered and recorded by ChuckT in his studio.

“I’m really happy that I got it—I mean, it came at a really good time with everything that’s going on,” said ChuckT about the grant. “It’s really a blessing and is going to make a way for me to elevate my business and the quality of products that we give out.”

The Richmond Main Street Initiative, the local organization working to revitalize Downtown Richmond, congratulated ChuckT for becoming not just one of 31 recipients nationwide, but one of just two from California, to benefit from the round of grants.

For more info about ChuckT’s offerings at Rich City Studios, contact him at 510-374-6061. Learn more here.