Introducing act 2 of our Puma Music series, Tertia May. Known for her powerful vocals and soulful music Tertia has been making her mark over the last few years since releasing her debut EP back in 2018.
Having already done her first headline show Tertia May has shown no signs of stopping. After Teritas performance we had to find out more on what made her want to be a soul singer and how she found herself changing career paths at an early age.
Find out more in this exclusive Frequent Players Interview ahead of the Footpatrol x Puma Suede Collaboration.
Footpatrol: We are so happy to have you here Tertia! How are you?
Tertia May: Thanks for having me. I’m really well actually. Covid’s been tough but I’m optimistic for next year!
FP: Before we get into it could you start off telling us a bit about yourself for those readers and listeners who haven’t yet had the chance to listen to your music?
TM: I’m a singer/songwriter from London. Born and bred mate. Haven’t been able to define my sound in words but I’d say my sound is new wave soul meets church. Something like that.
FP: Tell us about your career, you came into the scene in 2018 with your EP, Kind of Purple. From there you have really taken off and been highly praised for your powerful yet mellow vocals, how did this all come into fruition?
TM: Yes, Kind of Purple was my first EP. Was really exciting releasing a body of work like that. Especially when it’s your first. I guess I started really taking this all seriously when I was a bit younger. Maybe 17? But from a very young age I knew I wanted to be a singer/performer. Over time I just worked hard at finding my sound and developing my tone. It’s funny because a lot of people have said that I’m quite petit and yet i have this very loud, strong voice. Can only thank the good genes in my family!
FP: What about your musical style, as you were growing up did you have anyone who you used to listen to that inspired you to pursue a music career?
TM: Yeah I listened to all kinds of genres to be honest. Motown, pop, soul, gospel, rock. You name it. I was a major fan of Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears. I used to play their albums regularly. We also had a jukebox in our house which played all kinds of music so that really opened my eyes to what else was out there that I liked or disliked.
FP: So I read that in your teens you decided you wanted to be a soul singer. What was it about soul music that made you so determined to want to get into it
TM: I love how much soul music moves me emotionally. Everytime i came across a brilliant soul/jazz record, I realised I could listen to this genre for the rest of my life and never ever get bored. Soul music hits me in the soul. Hence why it’s called soul music, right?
FP: Slightly off topic but… Am I right in saying that you originally wanted to be an actress and was even looking into musical theatre? What made you change your mind?
TM: I did want to be an actor, yeah. I grew up going to dance school where I also had singing and acting lessons all based around musical theatre. I dunno, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the over the top, fictional characters you play in musicals etc. I still would like to do acting on the side though I think. One day.
FP: It was amazing to finally hear you live. It’s definitely a sound we have been craving to hear at Footpatrol and makes it even better that it was for the Puma suede project! How did you feel it went?
TM: I thought it went really well. It’s refreshing and very much needed especially in these times. I felt nervous at the beginning because it’s been so long since I’ve sung, but nonetheless, I loved it.
FP: You also brought with you your Guitarist, Cam with you. Have you guys been performing together for a while?
TM: We went to college together and both did music for A levels but only once we finished school did we start working together. I think it’s been about 5 years now. He is an amazing guitar player and It’s an honour having him in the band.
FP: Was it an instant bond between you guys then I’m guessing?
TM: Well, we didn’t really hang out at college or speak much, which is quite a joke, but when we got in the room together and started playing tunes, yeah we got on really well. Cam is very easy going and I love the friendship we have created over the years. He’s a true hunny!!!
FP: I wanted to talk to you about one of the songs you performed for us, Monsters in your bedroom was one of the tracks on your debut EP Kind of Purple. How did that single come together because you also performed that for your Colors session right?
TM: Yeah I did perform it for my Colors session. I wrote that down in Cornwall with my producer on a writing getaway. Was the most angelic, eerie setting. Right by the water in this amazing house, was only right to make a blues type track. We also got Ariel (my labels co founder) on the guitar so was a proper little family affair.
FP: Tertia May, it has been lovely to meet you and be able to talk about your journey. Before we let you go is there anything you want to share to the Footpatrol and Frequent Players readers?
TM: Thank you for having me. It’s been super fun. I can share with you that I’ll be releasing music very soon and a possible tour. 2021 has got to be better than this year!