INTERVIEW – TEREZ
Photos by Photo Credit: Beedee (Bryan Dellosa)
Canadian musician Terez had an explosive start to 2020. After performing with Canadian star Ria Mae, the 24-year-old electro-pop/rock singer-songwriter was scheduled to perform with RALPH just as the pandemic hit. The singer spent the past few months at home writing and recording and has recently released “Hot Mess” – a fun, upbeat pop-rock song with a vibrant, colorful music video.
Terez has just released her latest single – a stripped-down, acoustic song called “Easy” detailing how the singer imagines love should be. The song showcases Terez’s brilliant lyrics and vocal talent, as well as her musicianship – accompanying herself on guitar. The song is a giveaway to her fans as the singer has promised them that there will be absolutely no love songs on her upcoming EP due out this spring. Here are her latest song and music video, Easy Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGfMk-3J1y0
In the song, Terez pokes fun at herself for making silly mistakes and the video is the perfect visual representation of that. Featuring Terez’s incredible creative abilities and her signature pink hair, the video follows Terez around the house, putting lipstick on mirrors, playing pool with a mannequin, and realizing she might be in the middle of nowhere. With plans to release additional music videos that all tie into one another, “Hot Mess”, the first video in the series, is a fun, upbeat, must-see! HOT MESS https://youtu.be/rjWX2x76tZY “The Hot Mess video is intended to be a light-hearted video of a girl choosing to have fun no matter who she’s with… Even if it’s just a mannequin. I hope viewers can find their own way of gracefully enjoying their Hot Mess side and have a little fun at home during this wild time.” With numerous aspects of her work remaining behind the scenes, Terez has become one of the most sought-after Canadian songwriters and creative directors across multiple genres of music. Between Calgary, Nashville, and Toronto, 24-year-old Terez has become a household name in the music community and is routinely commissioned to support other artists and their creative endeavors. With an early 2000’s pop sound that blends Ariana Grande with Avril Lavigne, Terez has over 400,000 streams on her recently released music and a fanbase of over 100,000. The artist is getting ready to release her first EP, with “Hot Mess” as its first single.
“Hot Mess” is an ode to poking fun at yourself – being able to laugh at the craziness, or coincidences going on in your life. Inspired by a night out when she accidentally left her wallet in an Uber (she got it back), and found out that the guy she was hanging out with was a new friends’ ex-boyfriend, the singer turned the craziness of the story into a song that anyone can relate to. Imagining “groups of girlfriends doing their makeup to the song” Terez’s “Hot Mess” turns a coincidence and a mistake into a pop anthem for everyone.
Terez has a creative eye that is rarely seen in the music industry today. At 24, Terez has written 500+ songs, shared a stage with Keith Urban, writes music for numerous artists in a variety of genres, runs her own company, plays her own instruments, writes her own songs, and was recently selected by SOCAN to participate in a female-only class in music production. Her songs discuss topics such as self-love, mental health, and acceptance. At her young age, Terez has an understanding of the music industry that can take most artists decades. Her new music complements the classic Terez sound while showing her growth, and will be sure to delight her current, and soon-to-be fans alike!
“This song was born out of leaving my wallet in an Uber after a night out (don’t worry, I got it back), and was written to poke fun at myself for doing so. I hope that this song can pick people up if they’re having a rough day, give them humor instead of frustration, and the license to be imperfect and love themselves for it!” – Terez
Her music releases have amassed over 400,000 streams within the last year alone, which have led to press coverage in notable outlets like Ear Milk and PopDust, performance opportunities such as opening for Ria Mae and RALPH, and attention from record labels, With every single release, there has been massive growth within Terez’s career and an abundance of opportunities.
Terez has a relentless work ethic and a ‘can’t quit’ attitude. Her ability to blend genres, mixing pop, R&B and punk rock, is what gives her music that uniquely intoxicating sound that listeners can’t help but sing along and dance to. Her mix of raw emotional lyrics, and catchy upbeat melodies, leaves her fans feeling a rare connection and bond to her and her music; offering an escape from reality and the chance to become fully immersed in the world, and vividly real experiences of Terez.
Terez has developed a deep understanding of the music industry through the many hats she has worn as a songwriter for other artists, a marketing consultant, a social media expert, all in addition to her experience as an artist in her own right. These experiences have allowed Terez to develop a realistic view of the industry and practical skills that many artists have yet to cultivate. Aside from her pink hair, these skills differentiate Terez from other artists in this industry because she has experience doing each of the tacks that her team now carries out, which allows her to work more efficiently, understand where her money is best used, and generate meaningful marketing campaigns and strategies.
After finding massive success on her first 3 singles over the past year, Terez is currently in the process of recording the first full-length project of her career. The project Is due to drop in summer 2021 and will consist of 8 original songs. In order to help promote the project, three singles will be released prior to the EP dropping. Terez will be releasing 4 music videos alongside the project; Along with multiple social media, campaigns to help market the project to assure its success.
I am stoked to sit down as a huge fan of your stupendous creativity. At 24 years young you have achieved some pretty outstanding accomplishments not just as a Canadian electro-pop/rock singer, but as a sought-after songwriter, and creative director across multiple genres, you are an experienced marketing consultant and social media expert. . You have written over 500 songs, have over 130,000 loyal fans, with over 400,000 streams in just 1 year alone!! Now that’s bloody brilliant. You have shared the stage with internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning legend Keith Urban, you write songs for other artists in various genres, you own your own company, play your own instruments, and worked with SOCAN to participate in a female-only class in music production. The skies the limit with your abilities. Thank you for your time Terez.
Contrary to popular belief, making it in the art of music isn’t merely a game of luck and requires talent, strategy, and determination based on visions and goals.
DEB: 1. Share with your fans, your creative writing process and what your mission in music is all about? TEREZ: My creative process is different every time I sit down to write – sometimes I write a melody first, sometimes I have the whole premise in my head and I just need to get it down on paper. Most times I have no clue what I’m doing and just let my brain play. So, I would say my writing process is mostly based around freedom and lack of judgment. However I feel or want to create is just where I’m at that day, so I try to accept that and work with whatever I’m coming to the table with.
You started navigating the music industry at the age of 14 and have shown a relentless work ethic and a can’t quit attitude. You have spent the last decade honing your craft, gaining music industry insight and knowledge while never being idle. DEB: 2. Did your upbringing prompt specific reference points inside your music, making your music unique? TEREZ: My Mom used to buy those Grammy Nominees CDs and the NOW CDs so I got to experience all types of music from a very young age. This diversity is where I pulled a lot of Soul and R&B vocal stylings from, punk rock attitude, and crafted songwriting influences from. This blend of genres shaped me as a songwriter, artist, and vocalist in so many different ways, which I think makes my music unique.
Some of the most hysterically revered music has always played a deep role in the transformation of society and some consider how their art relates to current social-political landscapes or how their music can address these themes. DEB: 3. Does your music touch on social and political issues? TEREZ: My current releases don’t touch on social and political issues as much, however, the songs I’m recording for my upcoming EP have a lot more social and political undertones. I talk mostly about the pressures of social media and how today’s current social landscape affects mental health. I also talk about my experience in the music industry and how lonely it can be, which really is an ode to how lonely most industries and the workforce, in general, can feel. To be completely honest, I wasn’t very interested in politics until last year, and now I feel deeply invested in how politics impacts our lives, even outside our own borders. I wrote most of the songs on my EP before or during this transition so the political references are not as deep as the music I’ve been writing as of late. I have become more vocal about politics on my social media platforms, not trying to necessarily push a certain political view but encourage unity and understand regardless of one’s political view. I think socially we’re really missing that level of empathy around politics – if someone doesn’t believe the same thing then they must be “bad” or “lesser than”. We’re all trying to ‘human’ the best way we can and all have different experiences and outlooks that shape our political views. It doesn’t make anyone good or bad, or right or wrong, and that’s the message I strive to promote.
You have an ability to blend pop, R & B, and punk rocky sounds together with a taste of Ariana Grande meets Avril Lavigne, which creates a hypnotic upbeat melodic, and infectious flavor that offers fans an escape from reality with totally relatable songs. DEB: 4. Have you noticed a huge shift in music today (before Covid-19) compared to when you started a decade ago? TEREZ: Yes and no. I think that the industry as a whole still requires a massive amount of commitment and hustle to gain traction. Although income streams are quite different now than they were before, I wasn’t really making money when I started so I didn’t feel that shift as much as other artists did. Social media has been a huge development that provides artists with a lot more power and independence since artists no longer need a label to be successful. Social media also gives artists the opportunity to skip the initial grind of networking, playing shows, etc. to gain traction and essentially fast-track their careers. I like to think it’s all equal at the end of the day, whether you earn your stripes playing for a crowd of three or a crowd of 3,000, you still need to earn your stripes. I personally would much rather fall on my face in front of three people rather than 3000, and in fact, I have! Lastly, I have seen such an improvement in holding industry people accountable for their inappropriate actions, before the Me Too Movement I experienced a lot of questionable behavior from powerful people in the industry. Since this movement, I’ve seen my peers and I receive much more respect than before, which has been long overdue.
DEB: 5. What would you say was the most valuable advice you were given when your career started? As well, what advice would you offer young aspiring songwriters/musicians wanting to start a career in this day and age? TEREZ: In the book Big Magic, the author Elizabeth Gilbert talks about how projects or career paths are like a road trip and how fear will always be a passenger in the vehicle but you do have a choice whether or not fear gets to drive, choose the music, or pick the snacks. I’ve heard this said to me in different ways but this was the analogy that stuck the most with me. In this industry, there is almost always going to be fear in some way whether it’s nerves when stepping on stage, anxiety about how a release will be received, or any other intense career activity. I don’t think the term “fearless” is a fair assessment of people in this industry, it’s more of a “feel the fear and do it anyway”, which takes a lot more courage. The most valuable advice I could impart on someone pursuing a career in music is that you could fail at anything – a steady job, the one your family wanted you to get, or the “cool” job; so, you might as well relentlessly chase after your passion. If you do fail, then it was at something you love and are willing to continue fighting for. Failure hurts a lot more when you were doing it to please someone else, but when it’s something you love then you’re willing to get knocked down because you know you have the desire to get up over and over again until you achieve your goal.
Some artists seem reluctant to speak of just how frustrating and baffling the whole experience of navigating the general music realm is, let alone add in Covid-19, or how hard they try to still be ambitious about getting their artwork seen or sold. DEB: 6. Explain briefly how you are currently pursuing your career and some of the ways you’ve chosen lately to engage with your legions of fans, whether that’s within the top echelon of international art circles or based on your involvement with your local community, all despite the challenges musicians face trying to bring your art to the new formatted audiences at home, thanks to the Corona Virus. TEREZ: Social media has been such a blessing during this time to connect with fans. It’s also been an excellent creative incubation time, where I can work on my craft as a songwriter, producer, and vocalist. I do multiple virtual sessions every week so fortunately, collaborations have not slowed down, which makes me really happy! I’ve been making an effort to share positive messages on my social media and release light-hearted songs to help us all stay positive and hopeful. There’s so much heaviness and global anxiety right now, the least I can do is share positivity and light-hearted songs to help get us through!
Hot Mess is your first single and video released in a series of 3 singles and videos you plan to unleash as an introduction to your 1st ever full-length album which features 8 originals with a drop sometime in the Summer of 2021. Many artists would consider this next question a loaded question, but the purpose of this inquiry is to assess how aware you are of what audiences see in your work and what it provokes, and why you make music. http://Hot Mess: https://youtu.be/rjWX2x76tZY DEB: 7. Can you walk us through your soon-to-be-released new songs by letting your fans know what your songs aim to say? TEREZ: Each song covers different topics, emotions, and situations that I’ve gone through over the past two years. The songs I’ve selected for the EP encompass a lot of darker emotions. There are discussions of mental health such as anxiety and depression, the desire to fit in, revenge, longing, carefree and joyful emotions, and more. Each song feels like its own little world that all fit within one galaxy, so it’s hard to say too much about the songs because they each are so unique to one another. Yet although there is a lot of discussion about darker emotions, these lyrics are often paired with a catchy melody and pop production to highlight the contrast between what’s going on internally versus what I show to the world.
DEB: 8. What does success mean to you? As well, what do you believe is the secret to longevity? TEREZ: To me, success would be supporting myself fully through music, making music for the rest of my life, having 1,000,000+ dogs, and amazing people around me who keep me grounded. I believe the secret to longevity is to never stop learning and to do what you’re passionate about. When you’re passionate, you’re excited to learn, which makes it easy to grow, which makes it easy to stay relevant while still being authentic. No one is ever too good to learn more, in my opinion. Thank you so much! I really appreciated our chat, and I hope you stay healthy and happy during this wild time.
DEB: Thanks so much Terez for your time, stay safe and keep the musical faith.
Fans can stay in tune with you by visiting your website and various social platforms below.