Behind the Beats: Terem
First and foremost, who is Terem?
I am a beatmaker, I live in Vannes, in the western region of France. I started listening to Hip Hop in the early 90s, French and US Hip Hop and to make beats in the early 2000s.
Who have you had the opportunity to work with?
I have worked on projects with Melodiq on Straight from the Soul which was released in 2009. I produced the album entirely with features guests like Kohndo, Enz, Elodie Rama, or Just Brea of Deep Rooted.
More recently the album of The ParanormL T.A.P Oneness with guests like Braille of Lightheaded or Menacin Johnson.
A 6 tracks EP To be released soon: Mr Brady and Sha Dula Lava Lam produced by me and featuring LMNO and Moka Only. Here is a video of “Things Change”
I have made other collab with artists such as Aarophat, Dynas, Sene, Sinuous, Johaz of Deep Rooted, Kohndo, Rockin 'Squat, Oxmo Puccino, Gimenez E, Soulstice, Haysoos, Amad Jamal, Enz, Dj Atom and Dj Greem of C2C, and many more.
When did you start making beats and who influenced you to make beats?
I actually got into it towards 2005/2006 by buying a mpc 2000 xl and I found myself in this jazzy and, soulful vibe. At this point I understood a lot, like the groove, the musicality after listening to a lot of jazz, soul and jazzy hip hop. Albums such as Livin Proof by Group Home, Moment of Truth by Gang Starr, The Main Ingredient by Pete Rock and CL Smooth, Like Water for Chocolate by Common, Reflection Eternal by Talib Kweli and Hi Tek, The Renaissance by Q-tip, and so many others. I also love the vibe of producers like Illmind, S1, or M-Phazes.
I have noticed lately that a lot of Western artists are working with international beat makers. Can you explain why this is occurring?
I have no real explanation...I don’t actually know if West Coast artists work more with European beat makers than others. I collaborated with artists from NY, Pittsburgh, Miami, Chicago, Detroit, etc...and the West coast. I think the soulful vibe of the West Coast suits me better.
You have been blessed with the opportunity to work with some talented artists in your career. Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
I'd love to make beats for Oxmo Puccino again.
Writing rhymes translates to personal therapy for me. Does making beats allow you to release emotions?
I was emcee before making beats. I think it is often the material, that’s to say the music that inspires you and helps you to transcribe your message, your vibes… Even if some emcees first write their text without music, the music enhances the strength of a voice and the text, you have to know how to play with. I like listening to instrumental versions of an album too, which by themselves make me feel things, travel...art in general is a way to express yourself. Everything depends on the spirit of the moment and on your own sensibility, no matter if you are the actor, the beat maker, the listener or the viewer.
My knowledge of French Hip-Hop is limited, could you provide me with a list of dope french hip-hoppers?
It depends on what your style or your vibe are...There are some artists who for me really bring something special, through their commitment, their texts, creativity, and the way they renew their work; the freshness and musicality that emerges from their album...Artists like Rockin 'Squat, Oxmo Puccino, Hocus Pocus, Kohndo and also Elodie Rama, Dialect Music, Enz, make our Hip Hop go forward.
Hip-Hop has given me the opportunity to appeal to various audiences due to the reliance on Social Media and electronic Word of Mouth. Do you find it difficult promoting yourself in an industry that is populated by emcees?
Not really. Beat makers are increasingly being put forward... The beats are very important to make a good album. People are looking for instrumental albums of this or that artist. There are more and more beat tapes on the net. Beat makers make their own projects by inviting emcees. Producers have been more valued than before, and in greater numbers since the advent of the digital.
What are some of your short term goals?
I have many projects in mind. Releasing Projects regularly: Ep, album, beat tape. My debut album Here and Now mainly featuring artists from the West Coast. Working with new tools/machines for live on stage...in a word, move forward!
How can the masses stay in contact with you?
You can follow my news, listen to beats and learn more about past and upcoming projects on sites like Facebook, Myspace, SoundCloud or Twitter.