Joel Turner (musician) - Life and Career - Move To Hardwax, Out of The Box and Assault (2006–2008)

Move To Hardwax, Out of The Box and Assault (2006–2008)

For the remainder of 2005 and into 2006, Turner continued to perform gigs with both the Modern Day Poets and Attention Deficit Disaudio partner Tom Thumb, notably appearing on stage at a show by beatboxing legend Rahzel in Brisbane. Turner also spent time performing at various schools throughout Australia, as well as events such as the Pacific Brands Fashion Show, Foxtel's 10th Birthday celebrations, the Sydney and Melbourne Auto Salon exhibitions, and the 2006 Gold Coast Big Day Out. In addition, Turner and MDP made their acting debut, appearing in two episodes of the interactive comedy Forget the Rules.

In January 2006, Turner undertook a televised performance with his band and special guest Axle Whitehead at the Australia Day Live Concert in Canberra. In a corresponding interview with music show Video Hits, Turner revealed that they had left their deal with Mark Holden and were looking to start their own record label.

Subsequent gigs included the Australian Hip Hop United benefit concert, Parkfest, the Bring It On Youth Festival, and Force '06. In April 2006, Turner made frequent appearances at the Royal Easter Show in Sydney, performing several shows a day and hosting beatbox workshops.

In June, Turner and the Modern Day Poets performed at the APRA songwriting awards in Sydney, where they had two songs nominated in the "Most Performed Urban Work" category. Turner spent the latter half of 2006 working on a new album and also formed a production company called Two Kingz Produktionz with up-and-coming Brisbane MC Preech. In October 2006, it was announced that Turner had signed a new deal with Rajon Music for himself and his company Modern Day Productions.

In early 2007, Turner released a single named "All Night Long" featuring Israel, Stan Bravo and C4 (AUS#38 March 2007). He also spent time recording in London, where he was invited to perform at a show by legendary hip-hoppers De La Soul. Turner later toured public schools in Canberra, such as Lyneham High School and Alfred Deakin High School, as well as others around Australia in support of his association with "Just Dream", a program aimed at imparting teenagers with values such as non-violence and accountability. Turner also made a return to the small screen, performing on the "Friday Night Live" edition of reality TV show Big Brother.

On 29 July 2007, Turner suffered a badly broken jaw after being struck in the face with a fence paling while attempting to break up a fight at a party in suburban Brisbane. He was admitted to hospital where he underwent surgery to have his jaw wired back together. Turner subsequently resumed performing less than a month after the incident occurred, in spite of doctors' orders. He later maintained in the August edition of S-press magazine that the attack had not fazed him.

August 2007 saw the release of a new single "City of Dreams" featuring C4 (Modern Day Poets) and KNO (Beatbox Alliance, Modern Day Poets). It debuted at #60 on the ARIA singles charts, but promptly rose to #30 despite an absence of airplay. The video for the song (showcasing Turner's hometown of Brisbane) was released online in conjunction with a 15-minute documentary titled This Kid. Along with an uncensored version of "City of Dreams", the documentary included footage of Turner revisiting his old neighbourhood of Acacia Ridge and previewing forthcoming tunes on acoustic guitar.

Turner's much-delayed second album Out of the Box was eventually released on 6 October 2007 through Central Station's hip-hop sub-label Hardwax. It included collaborations with members of De La Soul and the Modern Day Poets, as well as UK rapper Mystro and Australian artist Preech. Although Turner considered it to be superior to his debut release, the album was overlooked by critics and did not achieve the commercial success of its predecessor.

Having recovered from his injury, Turner set about touring his second album Out of the Box, performing in schools and venues in cities across Australia. He headlined events such as the Urban Youth Arts Warehouse Fest, Xposed, and the Buzz Monkey National Breakdancing Championships, then spent early December performing several shows a day at the ASIMO exhibition in his hometown of Brisbane. Turner also received a further two nominations in the Urban division of the APRA Awards held in mid-June 2008.

Aside from occasional television appearances, Turner spent most of 2008 away from the public eye, his only prominent performances taking place during De La Soul's set at the Gold Coast's Summafieldayze Festival in January and Melbourne's "Make a Change Concert" in April.

In October the same year, Turner submitted a victim impact statement to the Beenleigh District Court and declared that the broken jaw he sustained in 2007 had rendered him unable to adequately promote his second album Out of the Box, which he claimed was detrimental to the album's sales. The court was told that Turner's recovery period had also cost him money in lost earnings. Describing the assault as unprovoked and gratuitously violent, the prosector stated: "The attack nearly pulled the plug on his beatbox career." Turner's attacker was consequently sentenced to jail. During a November feature story on Nine Network news program A Current Affair, Turner spoke out about the impact of the assault and was reportedly working on a new album.

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