MY last interview of the week is with Teri Eloise...
who has been talking with me about her recent single, Lose Myself, and how that came together. I ask her about her Trinidadian heritage and how that affects her music; which albums she holds dearest and what she has planned for this year.
The songwriter recommends some approaching artists to look out for and looks back at a busy 2018; how she chills away from music and which artists she’d support on tour if she could – she ends the interview by selecting a new track.
Hi, Teri Eloise. How are you? How has your week been?
Hi. I’m great. Thanks for asking. My week has been pretty busy. I’ve been working on a lot of music and planning some new stuff for the near future!
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
Yes, of course. My name is Teri Eloise. I’m twenty-one-years-old, born in the U.K. and raised in Trinidad and Tobago. I’m a singer, songwriter; producer and a visual artist. Basically, all I do is create!
How did Lose Myself come together? Is it based on personal experiences?
When I started writing Lose Myself, I wasn’t really planning on writing what would be my next single. At the time, I was quite lost, trying to figure out myself and my future and I was dealing with some conflicted feelings. I remember one night there was so much going on in my head, so I thought why not write down some of these thoughts and feelings to help get some clarity and ease my mind? I played a chord progression that I was working on and the words started pouring out along with a melody.
The song pretty much wrote itself. I didn’t really know what I wanted Lose Myself to sound like either; I just started playing around on the keys and layering it with instruments and sounds that I thought sounded good. It’s one of the first songs in which I took such a big role in producing, so it’s something I'm very proud of and it’s always going to be an extremely special song to me.
Do you already have plans for 2019?
Definitely. I’m working on a lot of new music right now. I’ve also got a couple collaborations that might be happening and then, of course, once I have more music out I’m going to start doing some live shows. It’s all really exciting!
How do songs form and come to mind? Do you spend time specifically writing or wait for inspiration to hit?
It really depends on my mood or the weight of my emotions - or if I’m extremely under pressure! Usually, lyrics would pop up in my head at the most random times and I’d have to jot them down in my phone so I don’t forget. With that, I’d have some lyrics or a concept to expand on. A lot of times, I’d work on the music first and then start writing. Whatever comes naturally.
Do you feel your Trinidadian heritage is important regarding your sound and how you approach music?
Absolutely. Growing up, I was surrounded by so many different kinds of music - I listened to everything from Calypso, Soca; Reggae to my dad’s old Heavy-Metal L.P.s, to my mum’s old-school R&B C.D.s - and the list goes on. The music and culture of Trinidad & Tobago is so vibrant and rich; it’s influenced my artistry a lot but not to the point where I’d limit myself to one sort of sound.
I think, growing up, listening to so many different genres...t real- ly helped expand my musical knowledge to the point where I just love incorporating elements of different genres into my music.
When you were growing up, which artists guided and compelled you to get into the business?
Growing up, I really admired artists like Bob Marley, Michael Jackson; John Lennon and many more but I chose those three names because not only did they have incredible music; they had a message of peace and love. It taught me at a young age how much good you can do with music. That heavily inspired me to get into the business and take music more seriously.
2018 has just ended. How do you think it went and what was the most important lesson you learned?
2018, for me personally, was the year of taking a step back and just healing. I spent a lot of time on my own; sort of learning to enjoy my own company and learning how to love myself more… and the outcome was great because I released two songs that represent my growth!
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
Working in the studio and bringing my music to life. Those are always the most special musical moments for me. Ten.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
The first one would be Michael Jackson’s Thriller. I remember getting the 25th Anniversary Edition when I was ten-years-old and listening to it every single day. It’s definitely influenced my style and it’s an album that inspires me to this day.
Chapter II by Ashanti and Dangerously in Love by Beyoncé were two other really special albums to me. My granddad actually got them as a present for my sister and I which makes it even more special. Those were two albums that were always on-repeat when I was younger and inspired me a lot musically and vocally.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
It would be so cool supporting someone like Rihanna. My rider would probably be really simple and boring like water, some food; maybe a humidifier, some peppermint tea…I have no idea!
Do you have tour dates coming up? Where can we catch you play?
Yes. It is being discussed! Right now, I’m so focused on the creative side of things like writing and recording more music. So, when I have a few more songs out this year, live shows are definitely going to happen.
IN THIS PHOTO: Nina Nesbitt
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Stay true to yourself and to be honest in your music. Don’t compare yourself to others because this is your journey. Also, just have fun and remember why you started! It’s a lot of work but, if it’s your passion, it definitely won’t feel like it.
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I’m always making music these days so it’s a hard one to answer, but recently I’ve been enjoying cooking a lot…I love learning new things, acquiring new skills. I also love spending my time with the family, having drinks with friends; just trying to stay calm and enjoy my youth!
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
I’d love it if you played Dancing with a Stranger by Sam Smith and Normani!
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