No matter you go in the world, current events influence our daily lives. Many capture these influences in such works as poems, songs, plays, and stories. For musicians, they draw from these inspirations to create timeless tunes.
I held an interview via email with UK Terry Guy to talk about he draws inspiration from these events to craft his music. I also talk about his latest song “Ticking” as well as himself as an artist.
First of all, can you introduce yourself?
Yes, sure. I’m Terry Guy. I’m a singer and songwriter from Peckham in South East London, in the UK and I’ve been making music since I was 14. I started out composing Synth-based music and this eventually transitioned into the Rock-influenced music everyone is hearing from me now.
What kind of musical genres and artists inspire you?
It sounds like a predictable answer but I really have been inspired by many genres, ranging from Trip-Hop to Grunge, from Folk to Pop and the list just goes on. However, there are specific artists that, of course,
I look up to for different reasons, whether that be PJ Harvey for her performance skills on the guitar, David Bowie for his concept skills and visual fearlessness, or Emeli Sande for her emotive lyric writing. Again, I could go on forever about how much I love and am deeply inspired by so many artists and bands, but we would be here for years. Lol
How has music inspired you?
Music has opened many doors of inspiration for me, one of them being visual art. At one point during the “music-making” process, whether that be the songwriting stage, or even the production and recording stage, visuals will appear in my mind, which usually means that I either want to take photos to accompany the song or make a music video.
The first music video I ever directed and edited for one of my songs was for “Brown Eyes” which I released in 2017 and I am still so proud of it and what it stands for. Conceptually, both the song and the video speak out again HIV stigma, and the lyrical openness of my social and political views is also another thing which was inspired by listening to music. I look up to music artists who are unafraid and are expressive of social issues and political subject matters.
Can you talk about the song “Ticking”: what was the creative process like?
The songwriting process for that song was actually pretty quick. I love the moments where within minutes the song is finished, which usually happens for me when my gut instinct tells me that everything is done i.e. the chord structure, the lyrics, the melody, etc. Following suit of the way I have written most of this record, it was literally me, in front of my piano in my bedroom, jamming away to myself and the first lyric that came out of my mouth was “time is ticking all over the capital” and that was the starting point.
Producer Franc Cinelli, who I have been working with on my debut album, and I really took our time with the production on “Ticking.” I always know exactly how I want my songs to sound when going into the studio. I knew that on this song I wanted there to be a slow build-up from the piano and vocal, to an epic fusion of string arrangements and big-sounding drums towards the end, and I was so happy with the result.
What do you want the listeners to notice or to feel when they listen to “Ticking”?
I would love listeners to emotionally connect with the song. It’s one of my favourites from the record, but I’ll, of course, let the audience decide. People will take from it what they will despite what the song is about. Some people who have heard it so far have thought instantly that “Ticking” was inspired by the COVID 19 pandemic crisis and the lockdown which has occurred in several countries, even though it was inspired by incidents, involving terrorism and austerity, which actually occurred in 2017. Either way, I hope the song has a profound effect on listeners.
“Ticking” has such a profound message in the lyrics. How about the instrumentation and the musicality of the song: was there anything special about the composition?
Franc Cinelli’s string arrangement. I needed this section to compliment the simplicity of the piano, and he pulled it off 100%. He’s a brilliant musician and producer who understood exactly where I was going with the song. Up to this point, I had never composed a song with the Indie Rock sound it delivers, nor had I composed a song with the dramatic build-up it delivers. Musically, it became a special moment for me on the record.
What is your favorite song in your discography? Why?
I usually hate telling people what my favourite is because I feel like it makes me come across super arrogant. Lol. “Brown Eyes” is probably my favourite. I remember the first time I heard the finished version of the song. I cried a lot that evening, and not necessarily because I was so proud of it, it was more because it felt like I was listening to someone else’s song and I was connecting with it as a listener. Writing, recording, and then listening back to “Brown Eyes” was very cathartic for me because it was such a personal song in comparison to the others.
What are your future plans and goals?
My main goal is to finish recording my debut album, which I have entitled “Cloud Zero In Society” and then finally release it. It has been a long time coming. My pianist and I also plan to go on tour to promote the record after things have somewhat calmed down regarding the COVID 19 pandemic. Watch this space I guess.
Do you have any message for the readers of ai love music?
I hope you all love listening to my music and connect with it. I hope it reaches you emotionally and thank you for taking the time to check out my interview with ai love music. Peace and love to all the ai love music readers.
About the Artist: Terry Guy
Having not released anything for 1 year, Alt-Rock, London-based singer and songwriter Terry Guy 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.
Following suit of Terry Guy’s usual, socially and politically-charged, lyrical content and although, symbolically, could easily resonate with listeners now during the current, ‘lockdown’ crisis, “Ticking,” as quoted by the singer himself “was written in 2017 when the Grenfell Tower fire and the London Bridge terrorist attack both occurred. During this time, I remember feeling as though the place where I was born and had grown up was falling apart, but not just for these reasons.
When I read that during this time, the victims of hate crime in London consisted mostly of Muslims and gay men, this statistical fact, along with the incidents I just mentioned altogether sent me into a period of depression, and ‘Ticking’ was one of many songs which were written as a result of this difficult era for me. It was a profoundly sad time and one which had never really officially left me.”
Born and brought up in south east London’s Peckham, the singer and songwriter 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.
You can learn more about Terry Guy through these sites: