Self-taught with no formal music training, former DJ and now producer, composer and musician Terence Thompson has come out with beautiful proof of his talents. His new CD “If I Only Had a Band” features eight tracks that are sweet and salty, with rhythms locked down tight and great grooves. “It’s Not Over” has a chill beat with an easy pace, and “Flowers from D to Curtis” breathes, contemplates and takes its time. The vocals pulse with heat in “No Inhibitions” and evoke the best classic R&B while adding some complex rhythms that brighten it up. His first solo project, this album stands up as a true original that is tasteful and compelling.
What’s the meaning behind the title of your new CD, “If I Only Had a Band”?
The title represents what I could potentially create if I had an actual band. I wrote, produced, and arranged the entire CD primarily on a keyboard before hiring session musicians to replay or add the various parts. I am not a full-time musician and did this project more as a personal project.
What originally inspired you to be a musician?
I became a musician primarily because of my love for all genres of music. Additionally, I was a deejay when I was very young and understanding how music and records were created always intrigued me. Music has always resonated with me and been present in my life.
What was the music scene like in VA when you were coming up?
The music scene in Virginia at that time was amazing. Especially for rhythm & blues and hip hop. The buzz that permeated between Virginia Beach to Richmond certainly had a profound impact on me as a songwriter, producer, and musician.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned as a self-taught musician, either about music or about the business of music?
There have been two valuable lessons, which were understanding the “business or industry itself” and the importance of honing your craft.
How do you write your feelings into the notes or melodies?
I write strictly by ear and feelings. A chord or melody must evoke a particular emotion I am trying to feel and convey to the listener. I will rework the structure of a piece until it makes me feel the way I intend for the listener.
Name some of your favorite collaborations.
Two of my favorite collaborations have not been released yet. My song “Safe Travels” featuring vocalist Anita BeSong and flautist Joyce Spencer, and “Too Soon” featuring vocalist Carmen Bruner are songs that I am most proud of as a composer, arranger, songwriter and producer.
When did you start writing these tracks for this CD?
In February of 2020.
What was the most rewarding part of producing the album?
Hearing and seeing the excitement of all the talented musicians that contributed to the project. The mutual respect and admiration that we all share is wonderful and has been most rewarding and humbling.
Favorite track? Most challenging track?
I love them all. On the album, “Yassie’s Cuban Café.” Favorite standalone song/single, “Safe Travels” featuring Anita BeSong.
How do you want your listeners to feel when they hear your music?
I want listeners to allow themselves to go wherever mentally and emotionally the music will take them. Each track is unique in my opinion and represents how I may feel at any given point or time in my life.
How would you characterize your sound?
That’s a great question. I characterize it as a “taste” of all the music and artists that have inspired me to create. It not my interpretation of their music but the result of how their music shaped me to create my sound or approach to creating music.
Due to a heavy production schedule for this CD, there are currently no dates booked. However, I am looking forward to performing when things open back up in the states and abroad.
What do you love most about being a musician?
I consider myself a songwriter, composer, producer, artist and musician in that order. My answer is the same for all five of those roles that I play at any given time. I love being able to create something from nothing and have it resonate with people I have never met and they understand exactly what I intend to say with or without words.
For more information visit https://mrterencethompson.com/music
Photos courtesy of and with permission of the artist.
© 2021 Debbie Burke