When I accidentally called Teraj earlier this month it was perfect timing, he said.
It was perfect because Teraj was anticipating the release of his debut EP “DEFY, Pt. 1.” Officially dropping this past Friday, April 27, the EP includes singles “We Got Each Other” and “Give It Up” adding “Defy” and “Fallen” to the mix. Working on the last two tracks he was so focused that he couldn’t even spend the holidays with family. This is part one of three of his EP “DEFY” leading to his debut album.
“I was going nonstop,” Teraj said of himself working on music and closing a real estate deal in January.
He did not go back home until the beginning of February but said the process was “an amazing test.” After letting go of a music engineer he was able to bring in both Arthur Indrikovs and Seb Berrios. The two had collaborated with Calvin Harris on his hit “Blame.” Working with the two came as a complete shock to Teraj who sent work to the pair just hoping to get feedback.
But “they just got it,” Teraj said. “They were like ‘yo, lets do this.’”
Having them onboard to mix the track was a perfect match because they admired what Teraj was trying to do. For Teraj, he admits that his intensity when producing his own music can drive producers crazy when recording numerous vocal tracks with the desire to stack them. But with this team he was in good hands feeling the quality of his work was even maximized with them all on the same page.
Through “Defy” and “Fallen” Teraj creates a sound that blends R&B, Pop and EDM producing these tracks himself with help from Danny Bobby and Vezzo. Writing the songs himself “Defy” as a whole album will tell his life story and he’s leading with part one of his EP as an introduction to himself.
While he’s creating music to help others understand his life he’s also learning more about himself through the process. Working on “DEFY” has “brought out the beast in me, I had tons of ideas,” Teraj said. With those ideas and expressing himself he’s studying his favorite artists to see how they moved people as that is what he intends to do with his music. With part one he’s done that. In doing so the perfectionist is learning to trust his voice rather than second guess it, he says.
“I want it to move you, transport you. Give you goose bumps,” Teraj said.
“Defy” is one of those tracks that comes with an emotional, uplifting jolt when hearing him perform lines like “putting your dreams in fruition” and singing the hook over a unique mix: “So don’t believe when they say ‘you can never do that.’ Be brave and take center stage, oh yes you better do that. For generations you’ll pave the way, yes you can do that. Defy and prove them all wrong…”
This track puts me in the place of a “Broadway” play when hearing Teraj tell the surface of his life story with his vocals and who doesn’t get moved when hearing a “Broadway” sequence performed to perfection.
By Gino Terrell