The Bronx is a borough known for producing musical talent at a caliber simply above the rest— especially when it comes to hip-hop, which was born in the Boogie Down uptown some years ago.
One of The Bronx’s more recent success stories in hip-hop comes from the other side of the studio glass — that’s where producer Antwan “Amadeus” Thompson has been working up his magic and producing platinum records and albums for A-list artists over the years.
Before going No. 1 on Chris Brown’s most recent album with his track “Take A Risk,” Amadeus had humble beginnings as a kid on 169th Street and Washington Avenue in the Bronx.
It was there that he saw a movie in school about the one and only Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and fell in love with the name right away.
“I wanted to be the new Amadeus Mozart of hip-hop,” he said.
Though, being the natural percussionist he is, sometimes Amadeus wasn’t the world’s greatest student.
“I was that kid always getting detention for drumming on my desk in class,” he said.
Making sure that drumming was the only trouble that young Amadeus got in, his mother would bring him to The Bronx’s Church of the Living God each Sunday morning wether he liked it or not.
Those early morning preaching sessions ended up being a blessing in disguise for Amadeus’ music career, which took off shortly after the church started allowing him to produce his own beats and music on its MPC2000XL sequencer.
Since that time, Amadeus starting cranking out beats for many of his more notable peers in the Bronx, like Jennifer Lopez on her 2014 homecoming track, “Same Girl.”
Amadeus also recently put out eight tracks on Brooklyn rapper Young M.A.’s newest album, “Herstory In The Making,” which was released in October.
That comes in addition to earlier work Amadeus did with other NYC rappers Lil’ Mo, Jim Jones, Remy Ma, and Busta Rhymes, just to name a few.
He’s even worked on a holiday album with Justin Bieber (before he started acting like a tough guy from Massapequa), not to mention that any sports fan will also recognize Amadeus’ work on the “First Take” theme song for ESPN as well.
While his studio work and its subsequent record numbers are more than impressive, Amadeus is just as good on a live drum set as he is producing.
He flies out to Las Vegas every weekend to do a live percussion set at Drai’s nightclub alongside Trey Songz as the iconic rapper’s music director.
Although now technically a Brooklyn guy, Amadeus dedicates what little spare time he has to philanthropy work in his home borough of the Bronx.
Whether it being speaking at schools, hosting block parties or much more, Amadeus is still on a quest to “be a light for the Bronx” by showing what music can do for kids.