Born and brought up in south east London’s Peckham, the singer and songwriter Terry Guy has been composing music since the age of 14 and is currently working with producers Franc Cinelli and Julian Chown, on material for his forthcoming debut album “Cloud Zero In Society,” which has drawn a diverse influence from renowned music acts such as Martin Grech, Emeli Sande, Sinead O’Connor and PJ Harvey.
Time is ticking…on BANG BANG and we are ready to invite to our red carpet Terry who has dropped yet another song from his highly-anticipated, debut album, to YouTube today entitled “Ticking.” This follows on from the release of his official music video for the heartfelt piano ballad “This Is What It’s Like To Feel Lonely” and his haunting, 2018 single “Brown Eyes,” as well as a string of SoundCloud releases.
So we gonna share our lockdown interview with Terry Guy
and let shoot straight
BANG BANG …
Hi, Terry! How does a person feel when he has a debut album?
A cross between excited and anxious. Lol. The excitement stems from the creation of the music because what I was once hearing in my head now is a real being which I can play out loud in my bedroom. However, the anxiety kicks in when it’s that time for the world to hear it, and I guess the question is “will people connect with the music?”
Are you working on the album yourself and when should we expect it to be released?
I have been working with producer Franc Cinelli on the production and engineering side of things, but pretty much all the songs were written by me in the comfort of my bedroom, either at my piano or on my acoustic guitar. Franc is a stupidly talented musician and songwriter himself. However, due to the recent pandemic, the rest of the studio recordings have been put on hold until further notice. In March I was ready to go back into the studio to finish the album and then the lockdown happened and everyone knows the rest of that story. I am hoping to have the album out by the end of this year dependent on how things pan out.
So „Тime is ticking all over the capital”, if you can stop time what would change for yourself and others?
As much as this makes me sound like such a cynic, to be frank, people would experience less pain, both emotionally and physically if time was to suddenly stop, which is what my song “Ticking” is about. Lyrically, it was inspired by the pain of others. If the 2017, Grenfell Tower fire and terrorist attack in London Bridge never occurred, “Ticking” would not have even happened.
To be honest I feel as though, due to the lockdown, time literally did stop for the best part of two months. Every day pretty much rolled into one and whilst I can’t speak for others, time stopping made an unpredictable change for me or another word would be that I had an epiphany. I realised I had been missing out intellectual stimulation prior to the lockdown. My thoughts, opinions and sharing of knowledge and life experience have mainly been poured out into my lyrics and not through conversations with new people. Being in isolation made me feel lonely, yes, but it also made me crave for having these conversations with people, because it is important to talk about subject matters such as terrorism, racism, homophobia etc. Therefore, time stopping has made me want to take my previous desires, which was solely to perform music and get drunk, and trade them in for having in-depth discussions with people regarding these social issues, as well as continuing to make and perform music.
How your friends and acquaintances define your music. Were there any tips you didn’t take and tips you thought about?
I actually get quite shy when playing my music to my friends. Lol. In my early twenties I set out to record and release my debut which delved more in an Electro Punk direction, but I wasn’t being authentic nor was I being strong enough in terms of the songwriting and the whole project was shelved. However, some of my friends say they prefer my music back then, and then others say they prefer the music I am making now. It swings in roundabouts. One of my best friends recently told me, in observation, that
“I have this burning desire to continue to musically achieve goal after goal” and he is right. I will never stop making music even if it doesn’t always pay the bills, because I love it too much to walk away from it.
We found out that you love the visual “games” and arrangements in the videos, even you made the video for “Brown Eyes”. Tell us more about your work so far and whether it was difficult?
The process can be just as straight forward and yet just as difficult as songwriting. “Brown Eyes” was literally a moment which was captured, both the music and lyrics were written in half an hour and my instincts were telling me not to change a thing
However, another song entitled “Boy From The 1990s” took months to finish, because my instincts were telling me not to bin it, but instead to persevere until it was finished, and it’s those songs which are the fuckers. Lol. Video direction and editing is the same. It’s hit and miss. The making of the video for “Brown Eyes” was effortless, which is why I enjoyed making it and showing it to the world. For a first stab at making a music video, I was very proud of it. It almost felt like the video made itself. However, to this day I am not at all proud of “This Is What It’s Like To Feel Lonely.” I handled the editing process of that specific video as though someone was breathing down my neck to get it finished a.s.a.p, and the end result was 70% complete. Many people who have watched it have said they love it. I on the other hand am not a fan of that video, but it is out there now and I have to live with it. It was a valuable lesson to learn….”never rush anything because you will be unhappy with the outcome.”
If you were to visualize the current music in a video, what would it look like? Are there things that you miss from the old sound or is the music built according to the dynamics of life and the events in it?
As Sinead O’Connor quoted in an interview a few years back “rock n’ roll is being murdered,” and sometimes when I listen to current music here and there I agree with her. Barring a few of my current favs such as Lana Del Rey, Taylor Swift, and Sam Fender, much of the current music in the charts is pretty repetitive, which results in a lack of originality. The cause of this is definitely due to major labels discovering trends which bring in the money, such as EDM and Tropical House and due to this there has been a huge decline in live, Indie music, so it is evident that music isn’t always built on social events surrounding the art, otherwise more people would be coming forward with music which references social issues such as racism and depression, or systematic issues such as white supremacy.
Visually, the current state of music in a video would look like a record player, literally spinning a broken record with dents and scratches on it, on the back of a van with me singing behind it, alongside a full, rock band performing in front of a backdrop of the Black Lives Matter logo, and a picture of Donald Trump with a big, fat red X drawn through his face.
Given the current events surrounding the pandemic and the racism scandals, what song would David Bowie write now? (or one of your favorite artists who is not among us)?
Whilst I’m definitely not generalizing all American people, because we all know that white supremacy and police brutality on black people occurs in the UK as much as it occurs in the US, even if it is on a lower scale, given the recent racism scandals and the way in which most people across the world have reacted to the pandemic in terms of hysteria, one of my idols David Bowie would have 100% written and released the song “I’m Afraid Of Americans” during this period. It is still one of my favourite songs of his and no one could ever replicate the unique sound on that track even if they tried.
Is it easy to become a star? There are so many bands right now. What is your quality or power that you would say or scream loud: Hey I am Terry and listen my music?
As my favourite rapper MIA once said in an interview “to actually have access to a million people you kind of have to stand for nothing” and that’s why I’m more than happy to musically keep things low-key if it means that I have to sell-out in order for me to become a star. I wouldn’t have even bothered making the music video for “Brown Eyes” if I cared for stardom, since the video reveals a young girl with HIV imagining all the disgusting things hateful people would say about her, written on pieces of paper stuck to a wall. And the fact that I don’t care much for fame as an artist is quite empowering. I have no one breathing down my neck, pressuring me to do things differently. Everything that everyone hears and sees in terms of my music is 100% me, and I have something to say. In a nutshell, that’s pretty much what I would tell anyone who was curious about my music.