Vocalist and Songwriter Terri Walker
Today I met one of my favourite British female vocalist and songwriter , Terri Walker.
Walker is an English R&B and soul singer-songwriter. She has released three albums in the UK, Untitled, L.O.V.E, and I Am. She also provided the majority of the vocals for Shanks & Bigfoot’s debut album Swings and Roundabouts.
We met at London’s Groucho Members Club in Soho. I spotted her across the street changing her cute flats into some stellar heels, a regular move I also make just before I step into anywhere worth gaining some pain for.
After we ordered a semi healthy lunch we reminisced about the times we have bumped into each other. Anyone that has met Terri will know that she has an abundance of energy and a positive spirit which I love.
Terri embarked on a musical journey having moved from Germany where she trained, Walker stated “ I think classical training is the best kinda training you can get.”
She moved to London to attend boarding school and at 17 she attended the Italia Conti Academy of Performing Arts but only for a year ‘I thought about being in musicals but my main passion was to sing and didn’t have the patience to learn dance moves and learn lines, although I loved watching Doris Day , Judy garland , The Rat Pack, Frank Sinatra and if I could play I anyone in a film it would be Aretha Franklin, but she wants Halle Berry to play her.” I reminded her, that Aretha hasn’t met Terri yet, so you never know!
After leaving Performing Arts School , she began working on music independently and after recording a series of demos which were heard by heads of labels , she signed a deal with Universal Music.
Terri released her debut album ‘Untitled’ in 2003 to critical acclaim. Like a lot of aspiring artists, being signed to a major label is a dream come true but it doesn’t always end up being the dream we desire. Terri says ,‘The album was too early for its time , I was a serious soul artist whereas everyone then was obsessed with diluted soul pop and I was an afrocentric soul singer. If the album came out now it would have been better ,but all I wanted to do was sing so I did what I believed in” For the second album Terri’s music career was unfortunately taken over and managed by a top manager. Who even though has had successes, he took Terri down a direction that wasn’t the route she desired “when your young you believe that people in such positions should know what they are doing, but he got it so wrong”. With lesson learnt, Terri left the label and management and took matters into her own hands and has been controlling her own music career.
Having seen Terri perform live she certainly inspires a lot of female artists with her charisma and vocals to match. Terri tells me that Amy Winehouse was a fan of hers and when they would bump into each other Amy would praise Terri for her musical influence.
I asked Terri who inspired her growing up “ For me Whitney Houston blew my mind, after hearing ‘Greatest Love of All’, not only is she beautiful, but her voice and tone is incredible, I believed every word she sung and she didn’t need to get her booty out! Also, she always empowered woman and that’s what I like to write about , to empower women. Another artist I love is Lauryn Hill, I lost my mind even more after hearing her. The reason why I love music so much is thanks to my mum. Who had aspirations to be a singer, but she was not supported by her family to follow her dream. Mum had the biggest vinyl collection when I was growing up. I’d go to sleep my mum would play music and when I woke up she would still be playing music, so I’ve always had music in my life.”
Even though Terri has had a bumpy road, the road is looking smoother as she gushes about a new love in her life, who supports all that she does and remains a positive influence in her life.
Her new album coming out in the new year is called “Entitled”, but an EP is being released mid October and the first single from the EP has already had support on the radio by the likes of MistaJam and Giles Peterson.
Terri tells me “ I have four albums worth on my iTunes. I just want people to hear my music”
We want to hear it! So stop walking Walker and start running, we want to hear these tunes.