Terez iz a Hot Mess: Calgary pop artist shares light message for a heavy time

“If I’m having fun, then shit that’s all that matters/Ain’t a secret/I’m the cutest disaster you ever met.”

Calgary artist Terez shares one of her dating experiences during the pandemic. On her way to the date, she accidentally left her wallet in the Uber — song lyrics mention her phone but Terez says it was actually her wallet. 

Instead of giving herself a hard time, she chose to laugh at herself and sets the tone for her latest single, Hot Mess.

“The next morning, I was like, ‘I am such a hot mess,’ as I’m trying to hunt down my wallet. Then I just wanted to poke fun at myself, give myself some grace, and have fun with it. And I thought that it would be nice to share a very light message during such a heavy time.”

Not only did Terez learn to take things lightly during the pandemic. But she shares that she feels privileged to have all the free time to create more music and focus on enhancing her skills in music production through a program called the SOCAN Equity X Production Mentorship Program. 

“It’s been awesome in some ways, because it’s been like a creative incubator. Artists very rarely spend this much time in creation and writing mode,” Terez says. 

“I also did this incredible program that teaches women and non-binary people the skills to become a producer, to close the general verity in music production. And so, I learned how to start producing my own music, which has been so much fun and so liberating. It’s still a journey and I’m still learning a lot. But, again, this is another really amazing way that this past year has helped me develop.”

However, as the pandemic continues, Terez admits that she misses sharing her music live, and the community aspect of music. 

“My love is really with putting on a show, I love performing more than anything. I love that it’s such an exchange of energy. And I think people really understand that when they’re in an area with so many people with the same interests, it creates such a sense of community.”

Terez’s love for music and performing started when she was 10 years old. She shares she used to sneak into her brother’s room and play his guitar. After, her parents bought her a guitar and her relationship, with music grew from there. 

“They got me this Toys R Us guitar, and I just loved it. I started writing songs on there. From there, I absolutely fell in love with music, and never stopped loving it since then,” she says. 

“I ended up venturing into the world of songwriting for country artists when I was 16, that’s when I started to take music seriously. I was convinced that I wanted to be a songwriter. Then I started writing pop music — and I just fell in love with the world of being an artist.” 

Starting her career in country music has helped Terez excel, thanks to the fact Calgary is a westernized city and country is one of the most listened-to genres. The style of songwriting has also helped shape the lyrics to her music. 

“Since country is based around storytelling, it’s created an interesting dynamic when I did move to pop because you don’t lose that storytelling aspect after having done it for so long. I think it really developed me in a bit of a unique way. I don’t think I would have that writing quality if I hadn’t been an emerging country (artist) and likely if I wasn’t born in Calgary.”

As Terez’s music career grows, and she has the opportunity to share her passion, she desires to continue with her music career and grow as an artist — hopefully expanding her boundaries when restrictions are lifted and playing shows around the world. 

“I really look forward to playing shows around the world and getting to meet the online supporters I have in person, give them some big hugs, because hopefully we’ll be out of this pandemic soon. And I hope to continue creating music, sharing positivity and brightening people’s days.”

She’ll do that to a greater extent at the beginning of March with the release of an acoustic song, Easy, and an EP later in the spring.

Meanwhile, as we’re still in the midst of the pandemic and we are faced with many uncertainties. Terez hopes Hot Mess conveys a message of enjoyment and reminding us that we should still have fun in light of a heavy time. 

“I hope they can get up and dance a little bit. Find some lightness and take a little break from so much heaviness that we’re seeing in the news. We’re all feeling a sense of global anxiety and I  just want to put something out that could add a bit of a vacation into people’s days.”