Interview – Terez

The SOCAN Foundation has announced Calgary’s Terez is the winner of one of five honourable mention awards at the second annual Her Music Awards.

The Her Music Awards celebrates and supports female-identifying, mid-career Canadian music creators who are on the verge of taking their creative careers to the next level and awards winners a prize of one thousand dollars.

Terez, a young Métis pop singer-songwriter and producer, has grown a considerable fan base over the years with over 130,000 followers and has since released her debut EP Sad Girl Summer in 2021. She’s shared the stage with industry icons like Keith Urban and collaborated with influencers like Nicole Arbour.

With a passion for songwriting and production, Terez has worked with the SOCAN Equity X Production Mentorship program and continued to utilize her music as a platform to talk about topics ranging from empowerment to self-love and mental health.

Through her vulnerable and personal lyrics, Terez understands how to make her listeners feel seen and heard and colours her music with infectious pop melodies.

We caught up with the rising star to discuss her exciting new award, being a young ​​Métis woman in the music industry, and her journey as an artist.

Hi, Terez, congratulations on the SOCAN Her Music Awards honourable mention award! How do you feel about receiving this recognition?

I’m so incredibly honoured! This is my first time receiving recognition like this from any awards ceremony, so the excitement is hitting hard. I feel very privileged to be a part of this community of women blazing their own trail and building each other up.

As a young Métis woman in the music industry, we’d love to understand what your experiences have been like and what you’ve learned about yourself as you’re building your career.

Like many women in the industry, it’s been a mix – some good, some bad, some ugly, and some out of this world amazing. There are a lot of ups and downs and I’ve learned that my mental health needs to be a higher priority than my output and productivity as an artist. I’ve switched my approach from “just address your mental health when it gets bad” to setting up my life in a way where I proactively take care of my mental health.

How did it feel to release your debut EP, Sad Girl Summer? What was the process like bringing that EP to life?

Not going to lie… it was HELLA stressful! That was my first time releasing a body of work rather than a single and I had no clue what I was doing. So, essentially the process was caffeine, a sliver of productivity, a quarter-life crisis, rinse, and repeat. I joke, it wasn’t that bad, but it was definitely a “fake it till you make it” time in my life. I produced each song as best as I could, then took the tracks to a Vancouver producer named Kelland who spruced them up, all while I watched and he explained what he was doing and why. From the start of this EP, that was my goal – to challenge myself and create an opportunity to learn. Once the EP came out, I was so proud of myself for all of the different roles that I played in bringing this project to life and felt blessed to have an amazing team around me along the way.

How did working with the SOCAN Equity X Production Mentorship program shape your career or your understanding of where you want to go as an artist?

Prior to the Equity X program, I had an interest in music production but always figured it would be too much of a learning curve to ever pursue. In hindsight this was a horrible mentality to have (note to my past self: you got this girl!) But now, I couldn’t imagine not being a producer. I absolutely fell in love with music production throughout the program and found a passion in cheering on other women (and non-binary folks) to empower them to pursue their dreams even if they’re the only woman in the room. Music production is that activity for me where I completely lose myself, any sense of time, and allow myself to be the most creative. It’s the perfect mix of challenging and rewarding. The process of thinking that this was “too much of a learning curve to pursue” and now doing the damn thing, makes me believe that as humans we can learn and do anything we put our minds to.

What does the rest of 2022 look like for Terez? What can fans expect?

I’m currently in Mexico on a sporadic 2 month trip working on my second EP, so more music is coming very soon! In 2021, I feel like I found my voice for speaking up for what I believe in and this next EP dives into that with discussions of bullying and mental health, the experience of women in the music industry, and other topics that are close to my heart. I’ve had a lot of fun pairing these deeper topics with catchy melodies then enhancing the song with a killer track. I personally love songs that you can dance to or you can strip down to just a guitar and still have an incredible song.

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