Currently living in Barcelona but ready to move to the moon, Daniela Caldellas alias Terr has taken over the scene in a frantic tempo and delivered with ‘Have You Ever’ on Permanent Vacation one of the most in-demand tracks of 2018. The DJ and producer whose musical roots are twisted with 60s and 70s sci-fi influences, is now ready to release another dark, mysterious and dystopian EP, ‘Neuromancer‘ on Correspondant. Shortly before the release Torture the Artist spoke to Terr about her faible for sci-fi movies, characters and books as well as her super hero powers, her latest EP and, of course, her home country, Brazil.
It would be cool if I was as revolutionary as Terr is – fighting oppression is always a good idea.
Torture the Artist: Hello Daniela, tell us something about your day.
Terr: Hi! I am in Barcelona and the summer is really, incredibly hot. I am going to the beach now and when I come back home later I’ll probably spend the rest of my day in the studio. I am working on a new track right now and I am really excited about it, it’s a bit less electronic than my usual stuff and I am having lots of fun with it.
Torture the Artist: Terris the main character of a movie called ‘Fantastic Planet’. Which of his character traits come closest to yours or which do wish you had?
Terr: Terr is the leader of the human revolution on the planet, where the aliens used them as pets. I am a bit restless and combative as well. It would be cool if I was as revolutionary as Terr is – fighting oppression is always a good idea.
I’ve seen some of artists been eaten alive after some caressing.
Torture the Artist: The movie depicts some dadaistic procedures in nature like a mother animal eating her newborn shortly after caressing it. Do you see any parallels to these procedures in today’s electronic music scene in a metaphorical sense?
Terr: Well, I’ve seen some of artists been eaten alive after some caressing. It may happen if you don’t take care. The good old ‘build them up, knock them down‘.
Torture the Artist: Speaking of music and movies. What movie soundtrack would you have loved to produce, and why?
Terr: I like a lot of different genres of movies, but I think my music would fit better in 70s/80s sci-fi and space stuff. The good old days when dystopia was just a metaphor.
I am naturally inclined to like labels that has this artistic point of view, that try to release music with substance, depth…
Torture the Artist: In 2016 you started your Terr project and since then you have released music on labels such as Hotflush, Permanent Vacation and now Correspondant. All labels stand for forward thinking electronic music and do not focus too much on names but rather the music. What criteria does a label have to fulfill so you release your music on it?
Terr: I see electronic and dance music as a form of art, as a step in the story of music. I am naturally inclined to like labels that has this artistic point of view, that try to release music with substance, depth… Music that can be danced to as well as listened to at home. So these kind of labels are always my first options when I think about it. I am really proud of the labels I’ve released so far, I already admired each one of them, and this is very important for me.
Torture the Artist: ‘Neuromancer’ is your latest EP and will come out on Correspondant shortly. Does the EP’s name go back to William Gibson’s novel or what is the story behind the EP?
Terr: During the process of ‘Neuromancer‘I realized it was sounding a bit sci-fi-ish, mysterious, dark, dystopic… I never think about what to do when I start a new track, I just let things flow and I let the music take me somewhere. In the end it was obvious to me it has this cyberpunk, noir, foggy vibe, so it was a natural choice to call it ‘Neuromancer‘. I’ve read the book when I was a younger, so it was a good idea to name it as a tribute to William Gibson.
Maybe it’s the antidote for the cyberpunk dystopia depicted in the book.
Torture the Artist: Which experiences or personal events does the EP cover or depict for you?
Terr: I love the cover, it’s a very beautiful picture. One thing I really like about the word ‘Neuromancer‘is that it can be read as ‘Neuro-Mancer‘ as well as ‘Neu-Romancer‘. I don’t know if this wordplay was intentional, but I like the way it can be read in different ways. The cover is more romantic than technologic, but in the end we are all alone, and all we want isa hug from a loved person. Maybe it’s the antidote for the cyberpunk dystopia depicted in the book.
Torture the Artist: What was the most challenging track on the EP for you to produce and pushed you to your musical limits?
Terr: ‘Neuromancer‘ took more time, but sincerelly, both tracks were really fun and easy to do. Sometimes doing a song feels like a fight between you and the music, but this time it just flew. I wish it was always like this.
Sci fi is a great genre because it’s about creating things that don’t exist yet at the same time it always has a social comment hidden.
Torture the Artist: Where does your preference for sci-fi movies derive from?
Terr: Probably from my father, he was a big fan of science fiction movies and books, and since I was a child he was always showing me the best stuff… Kubrick, all the classics… Sci fi is a great genre because it’s about creating things that don’t exist yet at the same time it always has a social comment hidden.
Torture the Artist: What movie would you like to star in, and why?
Terr: ‘The Woman who Discovered the Key to World Peace‘. Now I just have to wait for someone to discover the key to world peace.
Torture the Artist: You grew up in Belo Horizonte in Brazil, what made you move to Barcelona
Terr: Life’s too short to live in the same city. It’s always good to change. Yesterday itwas Brazil, today it’s Barcelona, who knowsabout tomorrow? Maybe the Moon.
Torture the Artist: Name something that you worship about each city that the other one does not offer.
Terr: Belo Horizonte has my friends, my family and Brazilian food, that are things I still miss a lot. Barcelona has the beautiful beaches, the incredible architecture and cultural life. I am very lucky that I can live here and visit Brazil two or three times an year.
Torture the Artist: What food dish from Barcelona would you like to see served in Belo Horizonte?
Terr: Belo Horizonte is in the middle of Brazil, so we don’t have beaches there, and that means that it’s almost impossible to find good seafood there. And I am a huge fan of seafood, so it’s another reason for me to love Barcelona.
Torture the Artist: In your opinion, how does the electronic music scene in Brazil differ from the scene in Barcelona?
Terr: The Brazilian scene is younger and smaller than the European one, so in some aspects things are still developing. Of course, there are tons of excellent producers and DJs there, but there are less clubs, parties, festivals, etc.
I am already a super hero.
Torture the Artist: What’s the club you basically experienced electronic music for the first time and what memories do you connect with that night?
Terr: I used to study in a really small town in the middle of nowhere, and there was a small bar that sometimes played stuff like Underworld and The Chemical Brothers, and people danced where they could. It was not a proper club, but when you are really young, full of energy and curiosity everything is fine. You can make a rave with some friends, a CD and some speakers.
Torture the Artist: If you were a super hero, who would you like to be, and why?
Terr: I am already a super hero. I am Terr and I make people dance, have some fun and forget their problems for some hours.Daniela is just my secret identity. <winks>
Interview by Holger Breuer