Live Session with Music Supervisor Derryck “Big Tank” Thornton – The Hype Magazine
Meet Derryck “Big Tank” Thornton a man who has never allowed himself to be boxed into just one area of expertise. The official line is that after meeting Damon Wayans through a friend, Big Tank broke through in the television industry serving as a music composer on ABC’s My Wife & Kids in 2005. He’s since notched composer credits in You Got Served, The Boondocks, and many more.
The backstory indicates that Thornton’s wide-ranging musical expertise combined with an understanding of Hollywood’s inner-workings allowed the Azusa Pacific University alumni to graduate to the role of music supervisor, where he’s taken on added responsibilities for shows like STAR, Showtime favorite The Chi, Swagger, Greenleaf (
Thornton went from DJing suffocating frat parties in college to brokering deals inside executive boardrooms. The Pittsburgh native held a pair of A&R stints at Geffen Records (2008-2011) and EP Entertainment/Universal (2015-2018), which saw him assist in cultivating the lucrative careers of Slim Thug, Keyshia Cole, and Alessia Cara.
With a stable career in pharmaceutical sales allowing him creative freedom, a push from his mentor Timbaland propelled Thornton into realizing his production dreams. “Big Tank” originally landed on the mainstream radar at the turn-of-the-century when producing the wiry “One Minute Man” for Missy Elliott and Ludacris.
He’s continued to decorate his star-studded production discography with a myriad of placements from Ne-Yo, who he gave his stage name to, Fabolous, Rihanna, Queen Latifah, and Christina Aquilera. The entertainment chameleon’s decades of industry experience leave Thornton unphased when presented with just about any task.
To bring us up to date on his latest and greatest, we caught up with Big Tank for a conversation that covered more of his journey, his responsibilities as a music supervisor, and what he’s looking for to work with new artists and music. With more than seven current shows for which he’s responsible as music supervisor his days are running about 14 hours. Not sure how he keeps up the pace! Oh yeah! Lest I forget, he’s actively looking for new music to add to his library for possible placement on the show but you have to listen to the interview to get that info and specs…but I will tell you two of the shows for which he’s considering music is The Chi and Ghost AND you can submit directly to him via his Instagram @BigTankMusic.