featured interview

Terem Here And Now The Lava Lamp EP switched on French producer Terem's international shine due to collaborations with Mr Brady, Sha Dula and LMNO. But who's the man behind the beats? Just recently he dropped the 'Here And Now' compilation, a nice overview of a beatmaking career in the making, For those who want to learn more, here's the interview...

Comment ?a va Terem?

I'm doing well, thanks...

Where did you get the name Terem from?

My maternal grandmother is from St Petersburg. Like everyone, I am attached to my roots and to this part of my family culture. She told many stories about her country, her past, her arrival in France. It is important to know your own roots. Terem has several meanings, to me it means 'waking dreams', passionate about music.

'Here And Now' is a nice introduction to your music, but who's the producer behind the music, could you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?

I am a French producer. I started producing in early 2000. I quickly found my vibe in this style of jazzy, soulful instrumentals. 'Here and Now' is a compilation of tracks I have produced between 2007 to 2011, with artists such as of Mr Brady, Sene, Melodiq, The ParanormL, Sinuous and many others...Free to you to listen and learn about my world.

'Relax and meditate' it goes on the first track of the album, is that what making beats is like to you; relaxing and meditating?

I think that when you're "here and now" doing what you like at 100% without thinking about the stress of the day or the past, you simply feel good. I make this style of music because that's how I feel the music. Inspiration comes by itself, I don't ask myself too many questions. I start from a sample, no matter where it comes from, and I build the beat around it. Once my music flows, it's up to you to define it as you feel...

'I'm locked in the lab with the music sounding lovely, feelin so high like it's nothing else above me', Mr Brady raps on Lava Lamp. The exact same words that could be coming out of your mouth?

Nothing to add...

Ever rapped yourself by the way?

Indeed, I first started rapping. Let's say from 1997 to 2004/2005. It actually helped me a lot to learn about making beats. And beatmaking taught me a lot about the rappin bit, how to write and settle the rhythmic : the groove of the words. I dropped from rappin little by little to invest myself fully in the production which actually takes more time. I really enjoy this, and technically, there is so much to learn.

A lot of artists who feature on your album are West Coast related. Coincidence?

That's right. Most of the rappers I have worked with are from the West Coast. It could be coincidence, but it's probably because for some time I listened to a lot of albums of this area. There is also a concentration of talented artists out there, I did not specifically wanted to work on projects with artists from Oakland or LA more than artists from NY or Detroit. There is that soulful vibe that simply attracted me, and some artists are among my first contacts at the time on Myspace !

The one foreign emcee you work with a lot is Mr Brady... What was the reason for you to say I wanna work with this cat, or was it the other way around?

In fact, the first American artist I worked with, is Melodiq from Pittsburgh. It is also with him that we released the album "Straight from the soul". 16 tracks produced by myself. This is the first project I produced entirely and it was released in October 2009. It is also the artist with whom I made the most tracks. Brady and I knew each other already for a while. We've been communicating by e-mail. A few years earlier around 2008, I made beats for Just Brea and also for Johaz of Deep Rooted too. Brea is also featured on the album 'Straight from the soul'?. Brady asked me earlier this year if i was interested in producing an EP. That's how "Lava Lamp" was made. A 6 tracks EP with Sha Dula, featuring LMNO and Moka Only.

Tell us some more about T.A.P..

T.A.P means Terem, Adam Payne and ParanormL. I loved the album "The Fundamentals" by The ParanormL featuring Freddie Joachim and more...We started making 2 or 3 joints then we came to the idea of doing a full album. I really like what he shares, his philosophy, his words. We made excellent tracks like "Transcendence", "Patience Is A Virtue", "Divine" or "Eternal Karmic". TAP Oneness was released in February 2011 on digital platforms, with the collaboration of Adam Payne (vocalist), Braille of Lightheaded, Fat Hed, Menacin Johnson and more.To be checked !

What's your production set-up right now?

I have been working on MPC 2000 XL since 2006. A S900 for drums, some softs, a MIDI keyboard, HS80, NS10, and samples, samples, samples from all countries of the world. Music has no boundaries...

Do you play any instruments, besides the beat machine?

I play a little on my keyboard. But I think like a musician. I hear the notes, melodies, sound spaces, the silences, a feeling in the way of drums are played, and how to put the samples. I'm having real fun on bass lines. And always the off quantize. Yes ! I play beats.

How's la douce France? A lot of hip-hop is French, what made you to decide to work with English lyricists? Are a lot of people in France already listening to English hip-hop or do you feel that your French fanbase could grow bigger?

I have been listening to rap music since the early 90's. As much French as American hip hop. I have actually already worked with some artists who are precursors in French hip hop such as Rockin' Squat Assassin's leader, a legendary group. I produced three tracks on 'Confessions d'un enfant du si?cle" I also had the opportunity to work with Oxmo Puccino. And more recently I produced two tracks on the Kohndo "Soul Inside" album (former member of La Cliqua). It must be to listened in emergency!

I've got a jazzy vibe...I do not approach everyone and I have not had time to collaborate with the whole French hip-hop ! There are other collaborations to come... French rap remains France, and is not exported much. There is the language barrier. English is universal and swing much more than many languages. It is this musiquality that makes the difference, and probably a certain maturity in hip-hop culture. The French public has been into the American hip-hop since the beginning. I encountered some American artists on the net. We understood each other quickly, having the same vibes, and we started working on tracks.everything just went through. Anyway, there is a real hip-hop culture in France, I will work again and again with people I have good vibes with. Indeed, with more exposure, and working with more French artists, it is clear that I would be more famous here in France. There is much to discover in other countries too. Germany, Poland, Japan.

Did you grow upon NTM, IAM, Doc Gyneco perhaps? What were your favs?

Of course ! NTM, IAM, MC Solaar, TMC, The Little Mc's, and especially Assassin!

In Belgium we have a few French-speaking rap crews, ever heard of Starflam, Rayer, CNN or Pee Gonzales?

Yes, I remember Starflam. They also appeared on projects with La Caution, Profecy, Pyroman if I remember correctly. I also remember Smimooz ...

What were some of the latest albums you uploaded onto your iPod?

The latest? 'Monumental' by Pete Rock & Smiff N Wessun, 'A face in the crowd' by Edo G, and obviously 'Soul Inside' by Kohndo, and tracks of Jay Dee or Strange Fruit Project follow me everywhere...

What's next for Terem?

I have been working quietly on my first album that will feature a lot of American artists. An instrumental album coming by the end of the year. An album with Sinuous for which we have already done 75% of the work and some other projects on which I appear...


Big up to you ! Thank you for sharing some good hip-hop on your site. Thank you very much for the interview. Take care.


POSTED 08|17|2011
conducted by cpf

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