Terry Lynn does UK tour with Tricky
Erin Hansen, Gleaner Writer
"There are so many things happening in this world, madness on a global scale," vocalist and electro beat artiste Terry Lynn said from her home in Waterhouse. What began as a conversation about catastrophic weather occurrences quickly materialised into a metaphor about the artiste's transient sound.
"I wasn't exposed so much to world music, it was more likely my spirit was yearning to do something different and I wanted to try something different," says Lynn, who harbours a curious nature about her.
Early last week, Lynn embarked on a United Kingdom tour with English musician and Trip Hop veteran, Tricky, for the release of his new album Mixed Race, an opportunity that Lynn doesn't take lightly.
"It's a big experience for me. I have to pull out my notebook, because Tricky has worked with people like Madonna. It's something I really have to take note and learn from."
Originally, Lynn came up in Waterhouse as a dancehall artiste. As a novice, she lingered in local studios trying to catch a break, when Switzerland-based Canadian producer Russell Hergert strolled in and asked her to sing. "I was like, why should I be doing this, does he even understand Jamaican music?"
Hergert's persistence and enthusiasm intrigued Lynn and the two recorded a one-drop track called Lioness. After Hergert returned to Canada, the two continued to speak through a series of phone conversations, setting their musical relationship on a different path.
"He would hook up with different producers in the world and, because of that, I heard different sounds than you would normally hear in Jamaica," Lynn said of Hergert.
"I started to inquire about different music and he set me on to a lot of different genres."
The result was 2008's Kingstonlogic, a charged ghettotech album that had some critics comparing Tricky to M.I.A., the Tamil singer who got her start in West London mish-mashing Brazilian cumbia sounds with dancehall and complex electro and jungle beats.
Kingstonlogic is packed full of venomous social commentary and staggering beats, a wall of sound engulfing multiple genres with a common theme. "The sound clashing in and out of it, it does have a tribal beat to it, the root is still there and I like that," said Lynn about her uncharacteristic sound.
With a new album coming out in 2011 called The Reason, which is partly produced by Russell Hergert and Swiss producer Wildlife, Lynn is expanding her sound with a softer tone. "It has an electronic feel and a bit of a world sound to it but I'm widening the perspective of writing to open it up and broaden the topic."
Lynn said she looked deeper into her present state instead of commenting on the social state of her environment.
The album will also feature tracks produced by Tricky, who first heard Lynn's music when Chris Blackwell handed him Kingstonlogic and suggested he take a listen.
Lynn connected with Tricky over the phone initially, finding it easy to exchange ideas.
But it was Tricky's Jamaican background that added to the bond. "His father is from Tivoli Gardens. His heritage is rooted here and that created the tightness of me and him working together."
Over the phone from their UK tour, Tricky spoke about his fascination with Lynn's sound.
"She is going in different places," he said, in his own distinct guttural voice. "Her video, the visuals, the whole concept. She has her own style and that makes her unique."