Thomas H. Rankin, III
Industry professional, Thomas Rankin has built a multi-faceted career in the entertainment industry as a renowned producer and musician for recording artists, movie scores, and soundtracks. Thomas is also the CEO and founder of Trak Fire Productions/Trak Fire House Recording Studios in Hillside, New Jersey.
A self-taught musician and audio engineer, he credits experience as his teacher through his exposure to the engineering field and formal education as a business major. “I majored in Business so that I would have the proper knowledge to run a successful business and was in the studio learning and developing my skills whenever the opportunity presented itself.”
Thomas was introduced to music at an early age through his family and his church. Even as a child he aspired to be a musician and music producer, from drumming on the church pews with pencils to later playing the drums during church services, he knew he was destined to pursue a career in music. By the age of 15 he had naturally progressed to playing the organ, as well as, creating and sequencing his own melodies. In junior high and high school he spent his entire allowance purchasing music equipment and continued honing his talents, playing instruments, and Dee Jaying at parties. While most teenagers were hanging out going to basketball games, Thomas found himself staying home to create music.
“I wanted to create music so bad I made an agreement with my parents that if I didn’t attend my senior prom, I could use whatever money they were planning to contribute to that event and purchase the latest top of the line equipment.” In college he continued to invest in his passion, using credit cards to add pieces of equipment to his ensemble for a makes shift studio in the corner of his parent’s basement. This was his first step into the realm of serious record making.
Today, Thomas works on numerous projects as a musician, music director, and producer for such artist as Karen Clark-Sheard and Kierra “Kikki” Sheard, Hezekiah Walker & The Love Fellowship Choir, Fred The Godson, Katlyn Nichol, Tonex, Virtue, and newly released Trak Fire artist: Racq Dolo to name a few. He co-scored made for TV movies “Truth Be Told” starring Regina King, Blair Underwood and Craig Sheffer; “The Seat Filler” starring Duane Martin and Kelly Rowland; and “Book of Love” directed by Jeff Byrd starring Eric K. George and Richard T. Jones. Additionally, Rankin is the music supervisor for multi-media company, The F.O.R.U.M working on television/animated projects and audio books.
Thomas describes his production style as organic, unapologetic, and unrestrictive. Combining several styles, sounds and whatever he’s feeling at the moment, not succumbing to any restrictions. Whether the music is R&B, Pop Rock, Country or Gospel, Rankin keeps it real. “I love experimenting with new sounds, plug-ins, and microphone technique to give my music something unique. At the end of the day, it just has to feel right, no matter how it’s achieved.”
Although his creativity is a God given talent that comes naturally, he is inspired by listening to “Old School” classics like Stevie Wonder and Donnie Hathaway or movie scores from his favorite arrangers Danny Elfman and John Williams.
Among the awards and accolades, helping others develop their musical gift is just as fulfilling. Thomas is currently active with his community and is working toward providing kids interested in music production, the opportunity to work with the latest equipment and nurture their musical or production talents.
Thomas H. Rankin III is a man who earns respect and gives respect. He will be known for his song titles and his music heard around the world on hit records by popular artists. “I never desire to be as popular as the artist, but I do want to be known for producing great music!”