When it comes to music, TERR prefers not to define herself by a specific genre or label. She never sits in her studio thinking she should be doing this or that. Ideas just flow.
We spoke to TERR about her new EP, ‘Have You Ever’, her journey into music with Digitaria, and what she looks for in an artist.
LET’S START FROM THE BEGINNING. YOU WERE ONE HALF OF THE FAMOUS DUO, DIGITARIA. CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE MORE ABOUT THAT?
I am actually still half of Digitaria, but after so many years doing music together, Daniel and I wanted to work on different projects that would enable us to broaden the music we release, and how we release it. We had so many ideas along with unfinished tracks that we thought we could give Digitaria a little vacation and start our focus on other things. I then started TERR, and he later started Daniel Watts. Together we actually run our label Clash Lion with Shall Ocin.
HOW DID YOU AND DANIEL MEET?
Daniel had a studio in our hometown, and one day I met a mutual friend who took me over. When I entered the studio and saw all the synths and mics, I felt like a child in the biggest toy store! I immediately started to play around and tried out all the knobs and faders. I then started to play some songs which I had been composing in my bedroom for years. As I went to leave he said ‘Hey, would you come back again tomorrow?’… And that was it!
WHY HAVE YOU MOVED ONTO THIS NEW PROJECT, TERR?
I had so many ideas, of which were very different, and would not really have been the best fit for Digitaria. We thought it would be healthy for the both of us to start our own projects. I had so much music that was unfinished, and needed more work, that I began TERR as a solo artist. And here I am now!
WHAT IS TERR ALL ABOUT?
TERR is a musical and artistic project, a projection of myself and my personality. I like to mix different styles and emotions into a song or EP. So sometimes it might sound like party music and other times it might be a lot more melancholic and deep. I would get really bored if I had to do the same style music over and over again for years. With my releases, you can hear anything from techno to disco and electro with vocals. So TERR has become a direct output for my ideas and creativity.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CREATE YOUR OWN LABEL, CLASH LION?
The guys (Shall and Daniel) and I have always made music together, talked about music, lived music! We had a lot of friends that were also sending us some really great unsigned demos, and they were asking us if we knew suitable labels. It got to a point where we had heard so much good music, one day we just said “Let’s do it ourselves”. Our main focus is for electro and techno, but in all honesty it’s about how we feel when we hear the music, the story from the producer, the quality, something different. We have some upcoming releases which are just amazing, I think this could be a great year for us, so I am very excited and proud of where we have come.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN AN ARTIST?
Innovation and sincerity. I like artists that break with the mainstream ideas and bring something new to the world, like Thom Yorke, Kurt Cobain, Pablo Picasso, Elton John. Talented people that listen to their hearts and push the boundaries of art a little bit further than the rest. Yes, it’s always a risk when you are being more experimental, but that’s when all the best things happen.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE CREATIVE PROCESS FOR MAKING A NEW TRACK?
It’s always different. I travel a lot, so a lot of ideas are born in different places and circumstances, then I put it all together when I’m back in the studio. Sometimes I just start jamming with the machines and I have a riff or something to develop, but other times I might use a different synth or rhythmbox to check what it can do, and often an idea appears from that.
WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR NEW EP, ‘HAVE YOU EVER’?
Well, I often tell everyone I am a complete studio geek when it comes to talking about production, so for all the tech heads out there, I used a lot of analogue gear to get the distinct sound on each track; synths, reverbs, effects etc. The main track is an electropop trip, Twenty Thousand Leagues is Jules Verne jamming with Kraftwerk, and Memoir is a more upbeat mix of Moroder with house tones. It was made with a lot of love and attention to detail, from the lyrics to the final mixing. I am also really happy to be releasing it on Permanent Vacation, because I have been a huge fan of the label for ages.
WHAT HAS CHANGED FOR YOU SINCE THE RELEASE OF THE ‘MIDNIGHT’ EP?
Quite a bit. That EP opened up a lot of new doors for TERR. More people, labels and clubs were getting more interested in my music. Of course, that was great, but the main thing for me was to never let it change anything in the way I approach music and art in general. I am always trying to make better music, with more interesting ideas than the last. ‘Midnight’ was then my favourite EP when it came out, but now I think that ‘Have You Ever’ is my favourite, so who knows what will happen with the next one! Alongside this, I am working on developing a full live show with machines and live audio visuals. I am always looking towards the future.
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‘Have You Ever’ is available now
interview by DYLAN HILTON | @dylanxhilton