HOMETOWN HEROES — Port Arthur native named to Recording Academy, talks prestigious honor
Published 12:48 am Saturday, June 24, 2023
Port Arthur native and musical artist Audrin Windon, known professionally as Audi-Yo, is part of a select group of individuals chosen to join the Recording Academy as part of the new member class of 2023.
Audi-Yo shared the news with Port Arthur Newsmedia via phone call this week from Jamaica, where he is part of the Second Annual DJ Trucker Southern Soul Getaway.
“I was in shock,” Audi-Yo said.
The singer had been trying to get into the recording Academy for a while, knowing it would progress his career.
To become a member one must be nominated by someone who has been nominated for a Grammy or won a Grammy, he said. Gospel singer Vick Allen and Zydeco musician Cecil Green reportedly are the ones who recommended Audi-Yo to the list.
“New member submissions are considered by the Recording Academy’s Peer Review Panel each spring,” according to information fro the Recording Academy.
Audi-Yo shared his invitation to become a member with Port Arthur Newsmedia:
“This invitation offers you an opportunity to serve your community, celebrate your craft, and advocate for creators’ rights in the name of music. We hope you join us in celebrating your accomplishments and fostering a better world for creators,” the letter read.
Audi-Yo got his start in the church choir at Zion Hill Baptist Church and spent hours practicing vocal lessons. He sang in the middle school choir and was named to the All-Region Choir and again while at Memorial High School. He graduated in 2004 and in 2010 decided he would chase his dream.
By 2010 he started making money as a musician.
In 2020, Mayor Thurman Bartie declared June 19, 2020, Audrin “Audo-Yo” Windon Day in Port Arthur.
He’s racked up awards along the way, some of which include being named the Southern Soul Male Artist of the Year by Zydeco Blues and Trail Riders.
Last year Audi-Yo was named the 2022 Best Up and Coming Male Artist by the I Dream 4 All Foundation and the board of directors of the Hollywood & African Prestigious Awards.
He was also named the entertainment honoree during the 36th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. I Have A Dream Celebration in 2022.
But what does the membership mean for the musician?
“It’s like I’m part of history,” he said. “I’m in the class of 2023, which is for a lifetime. Now I can brand and help people from Port Arthur and the Port Arthur area get in and get knowledge.”
The Port Arthur native has traveled the world as a musician having performed in the Dominican Republic, Turkey, Asia and is now in Jamaica. He has hopes to perform in Dubai at the end of the year.
The DJ Trucker Southern Soul Getaway of which he is a part of shows the loyalty of the fans.
“They (fans) are the best,” he said. “Eighteen hundred people flew here to see us.”
The fans let the artist know he is appreciated.
“We have loyal fans. It’s different for southern soul versus R&B and Hip Hop. These people are die hard fans and love you.”
He offered some words of wisdom to others contemplating a musical career.
“There’s nothing you can’t do. You have to try,” he said. “God first and there’s no limits to where you go. If you can make it in the Golden Triangle you can make it anywhere.”
Audi-Yo gave a shout out to Port Arthur’s Hilton Kelley who, he said, was the first person to invest in him.
“I was already moving and when he saw I was from Port Arthur, he reached out,” he said of Kelley. “It was tough in the beginning and I didn’t know if I would have kept going.”
You can find Audi-Yo on multiple platforms across social media.