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I AM LION
It took just one night of un-controllable crying at rehearsals, followed by constant counselling and motivation by her bandleader, for Terri Lyons to let out all her built up anxieties and emerge with a bang. The end result? I Am Lion, one of her 2017 soca contributions, written by her and Nadia Batson and produced by Iko George.
When Nadia first played the song for her, she fell deeply in love with it, and was told to write the second verse—and so she did.
“Nadia got that out of me. She knows my story, because that particular night when I broke down, I didn’t know whether to give up or to continue. I was just confused, and it wasn’t about the music alone—it was about everything: from small growing up, it’s like, when will this end? I needed that release, because I tend to keep everything inside.
“When the band realised what was transpiring that night, Nadia took it upon herself to counsel me, even mentioning the importance of my son, who was outside in the band room at the time.” With that help, Terri pulled it together.
Her second release, titled Recruit, was produced by Alex “Kubiyashi” Barnwell, mixed and mastered by Keron “Scratchmaster” Hector and written by Terri, Skinny Fabulous, Kubiyashi and Scratchmaster.
“I always wanted to do a song with Skinny, so I approached him,” she said. “He agreed and flew me out there. I actually wrote this song on the plane going to St Vincent,” she said. The end result in the song Recruit is a unique approach for Lyons, as she articulates the songs lyrics in a slower R&B-like fashion over a thumping soca track by Skinny Fabulous.
Q: There are tremendous vocals on Recruit. Why this route?
A: The normal way of singing soca is my comfort zone and I wanted to move away from that... A lot of people don’t know that besides calypso, I also uses to enter all the karaoke competitions. It was fun and exciting, and I would sing a lot of R&B. Fireball, Multisymptom, Jameloday, Stacy Sobers and others would also take part as well.
Which genre do you prefer?
I love and definitely don’t want to change soca; it’s actually all I want to do. However, I just want to be me on the soca track, and that’s what is happening, while not losing the essence of soca.
Why are you so passionate about music?
I grew up with a father and mother (deceased) who used to sing. I also do a lot of background vocals for almost everybody—soca, chutney, gospel and hip hop artistes. I even did something for Beenie Man for one of his songs.
Are you entering any competitions?
Yes, I am entering Soca Monarch with the two songs. I am also in the finals of the Young Queens Calypso Competition, singing the Unfortunate Phrase.
What are the reviews of I Am Lion?
Everybody in the industry knew I could sing, they were hearing but just not listening, no one was taking me on. Now a lot of people are saying: Maybe this is the song, and for two reasons. First reason has to do with me being real in the song. The other reason, however, is that some people are saying that I am throwing words for my sister. This is far from the truth. She is doing very well in her career and I am finding my path, so I want everyone to know that when I come on stage to perform, do not expect a Faye-Ann or Super Blue performance, just judge me on Terri’s performance.
What might be a popular misconception about you?
That I am too serious and unapproachable. Most times my mind is just far and focused. On the other hand, some people may not know how to approach me, but I am humble, thankful and definitely approachable.
What is your greatest life lesson?
You can cause more damage holding on to something than letting it go. Let go and let God.
What is your greatest lesson in music?
You must have patience with understanding. I still have a lot of growing to do.
What can folks look out for?
Videos for my releases by the end of this month. Another release titled Don’t Judge Meh, after Carnival. And I will be in Battle of the Sexes, Army, Ladies Night Out, Nadia Batson’s children’s show and much more.
For bookings, contact Ian Pantin @icpan[email protected]
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