Terri B Interview (2014)
One of the many amazing things about going to Winter Music Conference is that you never know who you are going to run into. Enjoying a set by HiiO on a hotel rooftop, I saw Terri B walk in and started chatting her up. Aside from Jes, it’s hard to think of anyone else who is such a quadruple threat – singer, songwriter, producer, and DJ. Then when you see her perform you will know why there is an exclamation mark instead of a period after the B! Take a listen to this Spotify playlist, you will probably recognize a lot of her music. Terri B! is a force to be reckoned with so watch out for her sets and new releases.
DJ Ron Slomowicz: Terri B, you are a singer, songwriter, producer, and DJ, what can’t you do?
Terri B: I can’t ski and I am not a great swimmer!
RS: I heard that you have been remixed over 1,000 times and you have a relationship with Avicii through that.
Terri B: Avicii’s first major remix was “Bang That Box,” which was my collaboration with Roger Sanchez. It was also remixed by Laidback Luke, and he also remixed “You Used to Hold Me” which was a big track with D.O.N.S. ft. Terri B. I have opened a few times for David Guetta and also opened for Tiesto, so my diversity has been very clear. I started in trance by doing vocals for Future Breeze and went on from there to do a lot of major Global Deejays remixes.
RS: When you say opened for, does that mean that you sang or you DJ’ed?
Terri B: I open as a vocalist with my own complete set and it just means that the two of us are on the billing.
RS: Do you DJ also?
Terri B: I do, I started DJing last year. I just wanted to understand what was going on from a technical standpoint. I have been a mixer on my own radio show for more than three years, so I have already done some technical work and I feel that it is important. We have more than 3 million listeners on The HouseCrunch radio show and it is working.
RS: As a singer, what do you bring to the world of DJing?
Terri B: I love vocals but I don’t play as many vocals as you might expect, I have a nice balance. Instrumentals are never a bad thing and I think that I have an ear for music. Since I sing in front of people I am able to look at the audience and tell very quickly what is working and not working.
RS: As a songwriter, what are some of your biggest songs?
Terri B: I wrote “Lonely” for Medina who is a very good friend. I have written for classic guys like Chris Norman of Smokie. I wrote a single for them that was in the Top 10. I wrote for Roger Sanchez and even Japanese and Chinese artists as well.
RS: And of course you did “Bring It Back” with Global Deejays.
Terri B: Yes, it was a big hit on the Billboard Charts and a lot of people didn’t know that it was me. It was a huge hit in France and actually earned quite a lot of money. I loved the boys out of Austria and Niels Van Gogh; we created a hit the first time that we worked together.
RS: When you work with for example Global Deejays and Niels Van Gogh do they give you a track and ask you to write over it?
Terri B: No, for them it was actually reversed, I wrote the song with a friend in Brisbane, Australia and we gave it to them and they fixed it up. For the the original “Get Down” with Avantgarde I wrote it and sung it. We pitched my voice down and everyone thought that I was a transvestite. We did “Oh La La” in the Netherlands which was my first #1 and I just kept going.
RS: Are you from Germany, I can’t place your accent?
Terri B: I am American; I have just been there too long. I am originally from DC, and my family is in New York, DC, and Florida, but I live in Hamburg, Germany right now.
RS: Why do you think that you had success with dance music in Germany but not so much in the United States?
Terri B: I didn’t care, the world is so big. Between touring Asia, Siberia, and all of the other countries I was so full, I had 500,000 spins in Russia on one track last year. When EDM started to blossom in the US the way that it is now I started to embrace the new energy of EDM here. I was just so busy and now it is really nice to come home.
RS: Sounds amazing! What would you like to say to all of your fans out there?
Terri B: Electronic music is very diverse, don’t put it in one pocket or get used to one sound because it is ever changing and evolving. Thank you to all of the people that follow me and let me be who I am and those who gave me a home and a place to be. I am very grateful for electronic music; DJs have been my best friends.
RS: And you have a new one now.
Interview conducted during Winter Music Conference 2014.