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Interview with Todd Terry – a music legend from the USA

Todd Terry
Todd Terry

Todd Terry was born as Todd Norton Terry on 18. April 1967 in Brooklyn/New York.He's one of the pioneers in house music and one of the most successful DJs and producers in the scene. Even in the 1980s he defined and shaped New York's music scene.

The house music landscape is diverse and so are his music productions. He's also known as Swan Lake, Orange Lemon, Royal House, Amy Studt, Black Riot, CLS, Dredd Stock, House of Gypsies, Limelife, Hard House, Tyme Force and Gypsymen.

Todd already produced remixes for SNAP!, Annie Lennox, George Michael and Björk.

He released his music on many awesome labels just as InHouse Records, Freeze Records, Sound Design Records, Terminator Records and Tees Freeze.

His radio show "InHouse Radio" is played by over 70 radio stations worldwide and shows that Todd Terry is one of the most famous artists in the dance and house music scene.

We're happy to present you this genius with an interview.


Hello Todd Terry, I'm glad you take time to answer my and our listeners' questions.

You already acted successfully in the house music scene when you were young. When exactly did your musical journey start, already when you were a child? Did you have an idol?

The journey started the first time I put a record on. James Brown inspired me, Quincy Jones and Aurthur Baker shaped my process of creating.

All fan pages and your biography tell us that you shaped New York's music scene and the house music scene in the 1980s.

What exactly did you do in the scene? I don't know, went out to the clubs and absorbed it all. What did you modify to shape the house music scene? I made records that I hoped would get played, some did, some didn't. What aims have you chased and reached? I was young hustling and making music, my aim was to be creative and get paid, no grand master plan, it is for others the say if I "shaped" the scene.

In 1988 you had your breakthrough in England and then in whole Europe. Which emotions did you have?

Being 19 and bit nervous about flying to Manchester and London for the first time to play The Hacienda and Ministry of Sound like WTF thats crazzzy. What came next? Again I was young and enjoying the moment, no big plan at the time.I wanted to release as much music as I could and play that music in the best clubs around the world.

Meanwhile you and your work are very important for the music industry. How do you handle your success? At the time I did not think of those years as a success, but a process as I tried to work on my skills. Did the success change you?

I can't say for myself, but others might say that. Which doors did the success open for you? It gave me access to collaborate with other artists and producers. To do able to do a legit remix for the label instead of a white label bootleg. If you have a "hit" everyone thinks you're hot and wants to work with you suddenly. It gave me enough money to buy better gear and work in better studios, have my tracks properly mastered and pressed up. In the beginning, I played and mixed everything, with some success I started to hire musicians, singers, and bands to play the things I might have sampled a few years earlier in my crib.

You express your musical creativity in various different music labels. Could you please tell us something about your labels and tell us their differences?

I have had many labels over the years, but currently, I'm focused on Freeze, InHouse, and Terminator. Freeze is my more classic house sound with bangin raw beats. InHouse is more current tracks, anything with a fully developed vocal. Terminator is my hard tech house and techno imprint. I release something new every week with one if not more than one of my labels, I gotta keep it moving.

Is there any person, any artist you met who inspired your life?

James Brown as an artist, Quincy Jones as a producer and arranger.

Many musicians appreciate your quality as remixer, so you already worked with lots of famous artists. Is there any artist you'd like to work with?

The Beatles. Which person would you like to work on a collaboration, what would that look like? I'm working on collaborations with some big-name Hip Hops artists for Return of the Hip House Volume 2. It's top-secret right now.

In my interview I try to show the private person behind Todd Terry.

My cars are my side thing. When I'm not in the studio or on tour I like to restore my vintage Ford Mustangs.

You can be proud of what you've reached in your life as a musician. Things that give you power in hard times?

Knowing I have the power to drop the right record at the right time and make the crowd dance, that's my super power!

Last but not least I want to ask you: What do you wish for your future?

Not to be greedy, but end the pandemic and open the clubs would be priority one. What aims do you have and do you want to reach next? I'm just going to keep making music, whatever moves and inspires me, it's what I do.



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