Amos Larkins II on Learning the Music Biz by Breaking Into TK Records' Studio
Photo by Anthony Larkins Amos Larkins II playing bass in the Sunnyview Records studio.
"Bass Rock Express" was the first international Miami bass hit, and it opened the floodgates for the rush of quad-heavy records that followed.
The song was produced, engineered, arranged, and vocalized by Amos Larkins II for MC ADE, and executive produced by William "Billy" Hines on 4-Sight Records in 1985. Amos produced it under the pseudonym Leon Green to mask his identity from radio program directors who saw his credits on too many slabs to put on the air. By then, he was already an established regional hitmaker.
But his start in the record business came between stacks of Blowfly's nudie magazines at the TK Records Hialeah compound. Here's what Larkins himself has to say about his earliest days in the industry.
Photo by Anthony Larkins Freddy Stonewall and Amos Larkins II.
"Before there was Sunnyview records, there was TK Records, that's where artists such as Betty Wright, Gwen McCrae, Timmy Thomas, Benny Latimore, Bobby Caldwell, T-Connection, Foxy, Blowfly, KC and the Sunshine Band, and a lot of other Miami artists recorded and released records.
"My father was a manager for one of the artists there, David Hudson, who did the song 'Honey Honey.' And my father used to take me along with him when he went to work."
"I was a classically trained bass player that studied rock and jazz fusion. During the summers, I attended University of Miami jazz workshops, studying music theory with greats like Jaco Pastorius, Stanley Clarke, Chick Corea, Jean-Luc Ponty, Lenny White, and Al Di Meola. In my spare time, I'd play in the neighborhood funk bands with my electric bass. I started playing clubs when I was around 14 years old."