Interview with Terri B!
Mathias Haegglund met up with non-other than Terri B! to speak to her about music, collaborations, and upcoming stuff. This is the interview.
Over the years, you have become one of house music’s most recognizable voices. How did you make that possible? What were some of your greatest obstacles? And how did you overcome them?
I accidentally landed a number one song with 2Eivissa, (Produced by Luis Rodriguez of Modern Talking, Jennifer Rush, Avant Garde) with “Oh la la la” and had no idea that I was in the music business nor did I really take it serious. I just wanted to write a bit and sing, but the pop success landed me on the Billboard dance charts and simultaneously I had landed a studio job with trance stars, Future Breeze which meant I was charting in Top 100 in many countries. I was on the road and around the globe almost immediately. I then decided to take it a bit more serious and recorded an LP with the band and then came my best friend Jerry Ropero, who found me at a concert in Malaga, Spain backstage.
The track, “Get Down”, was the kickoff for his career and it circled the globe. We are still buddies and have recorded several killer tracks to this day. Jerry, who had so much success with the Storm, phoned me to record “Soul Heaven” and begged me to use my own name and then I had a new image on the scene. I love him dearly for his support. German DJ, Oliver Goedicke a.k.a. D.O.N.S, and I recorded “Big Fun” and it received great reviews, later we recorded “Night Train”, ”You Use To Hold Me” and collaborated with a host of deejays on my “List”, but I’ll explain that later.
You have worked with some of dance music’s most famous DJs throughout your career. Who was the most memorable and why?
I would have to say, Roger… Roger Sanchez is a gem. He is kind, considerate but let me tell you, it wasn’t easy to make this happen. His manager and I have been in touch for 6 years working on ideas that he would consider working on with me. Roger was tough and completely honest about his taste but curiously offered me a window for creativity, especially when I sent him auto tuned vocals at a time when T.I. and all of Hip Hop had not even jumped on it. We were really cutting edge. I performed with him at the Mansion in Miami at the 2009 WMC and the crowd’s response and energy was AMAZING. His staff was so organized and professional it was a great experience.
I have to also mention a couple of other favourites, John Dahlback and Oliver Goedicke a.k.a. D.O.N.S., I can proudly say are my friends. We do a lot of writing together and really get down to the basics of finding what works. Oliver is fast as hell with ideas and knows what he wants. John will kick songs back five or six times until he finds melodies that fit to his picture of how he wants the track to work, we really hash it out. I love that. He is so talented and it really shows he came from a musical family.
You have such a unique and soulful voice, what made you choose this genre of music?
Actually, it chose me. I’m so eclectic and that can sometimes be a curse. I love going to places like L.A and having the opportunity to write with country music legends like, Wendy Waldman and Stephen Dorff. I’ve even written for Smokey band member Chris Norman. Sometimes I have hung out in the Bronx with me of Hip Hops finest to hash out lyrics to beats. In the fall of 2008, I released my first R&B album which I will tell you guys more about later. I love all styles of music and I just can’t be bound to one style, it is like a bag of M&Ms, so many colours to choose from and I’m gonna eat the whole bag. (LOL)
What inspires your music and lyrics? Tell us about one of the most difficult times you had to write but felt no inspiration, yet wrote a hit song? Have you written for or worked artists outside of the house music scene? Who? Tell us about the experience.
Heartbreak, triumph and success are all motivators for my writing process. If I didn’t have a past, I wouldn’t be as proficient at what I do. People want to know you mean it. I remember being at Amsterdam Music Conference and a long time friend and label owner complimenting my lyrics to “Can’t Slow Down” and I was so proud, however it wasn’t difficult because the moment I heard the melody from Diaz, Dahlback and Young Rebel it was written. I was inspired by my new found independence and celebrating my success in a business where people doubted me and my passion. Roger was not easy, but he taught me to keep my eye on the prize. I just couldn’t slow down.
How are your collaborations chosen? Have there been some recently released songs? What projects can we look forward to this summer from Terri B!?
I collaborate with well known deejays, who I have an interest in their work and with deejays, like Jerry Ropero when we first met, who just have a killer track. There will be a new track this summer from me and a Hungarian deejay who sent me the most rocking song so I just recorded it right away. He was surprised but I told him don’t be, cause we all start with something and someone. It is still about the music for me.
We noticed many dates are performed with D.O.N.S., tell us about how that partnership developed and is there a Terri B! solo tour in the works?
D.O.N.S is my colleague and friend. We have been to Beirut, China, Australia, Russia, India and so many places that he has become a part of my life, like a husband sometimes but I respect his career and we respect each other. I have ideas that challenge him and he challenges me but we work together to do a great job. We have done the set up as a featuring for a while now, so I am moving more to work in the clubs that specifically challenge my art but we will still perform together from time to time.
You mentioned that you released an R&B project in Fall 2008, “The Terri Green Project.” How was this project developed? Tell us about the sound and what to expect in a live performance.
Yes, check it out on http://www.terri-green.com . I had so much help from producers that have been my friends for years. Johan Boback, (Cindy Lauper “Into the Night”), Stephen Dorff(Whitney Houston, Celine Dion), Torsten Abrolat (NANA, Underdog Project) and many others helped this come to fruition. Jochen Mueller, a German sound engineer, actually flew from Australia to mix down the record for me for a few weeks and really stood by to help me finish things up. I am eternally grateful for their great friendships.