The life of singer Terah Lynn, reads like everybody’s favorite underdog story.
It wasn’t the easiest thing to get our Editor to agree to let us do a guest post, but here we are.
Terah Lynn was born in the mountains of Appalachia to a nurse mother and a prison guard father. Having grown up watching her parents work tirelessly to give her family a good life, she learned a thing or two about hard work.
Her teenage years were filled with trauma and tragedy, leading Terah to seek solace in drugs and alcohol. At 18 years old, she overdosed on cocaine, but even that wasn’t even to stop her. It wasn’t until a romantic heartbreak that Lynn finally decided to leave her small town, taking nothing but a backpack, a guitar, and a dream.
Terah made her way south to Nashville to sing for some producers. What was suppose to be a three day vacation turned into a 10 year adventure taking her all over the south. To find work, Terah relied on what she knew best: manual labor.
In addition to being a prison guard, her father was also a contractor. Terah would often work for her dad on his jobs, learning how to do work like hang drywall, roof, and lay tile. So when she found herself travelling in the south, that’s exactly what she did.
She dug ditches in Kemah, rebuilt houses in Houston after Hurricane Harvey and worked shoveling thousands of pounds of bull-rock a day in southeast Texas.
It was during that season that Terah became connected to Grammy, Dove, and Stellar-Award winning producer, Billy Dorsey. After hearing Terah’s unique vocal tone (she’s been likened to Melissa Etheridge, Bonnie Tyler, and Tracy Chapman,) Billy signed Terah to his record label and began work on her debut EP, “Wild Calling.”
As luck would have it (or lack thereof), Terah unknowingly released her first single one week before the worldwide Covid-19 shutdown. Despite the setback, “Wild Calling” debuted at No. 5 on the Itunes Blues charts, her second single hitting No. 4 just a few months later.
While Terah and her label strategized on how to begin a career in quarantine, she began to look outside of her own music. After mulling over her short time in the music industry and noticing new artist’s need for encouragement and coverage, Terah started Bridge Music Magazine.
In a few short years, Terah has grown Bridge from a passion project on her couch to a full blown digital publication having featured Grammy winners, music legends, and in 2021, Bridge was offered and entered into a partnership with Universal Music Group, the second largest record label in the world.
Bridge: So, the writer now becomes the..write-ee?
TL: Something like that. (Laughs) We will see if this interview ruins our friendship.
Bridge: Tell the people about yourself.
TL: Well, my name is Terah Lynn. I am a singer-songwriter originally from the Appalachian Mountains. I just relocated to Dallas and I am about to finish my debut EP, Wild Calling. I hope to stick around this game for a while.
Bridge: Because you are fairly new in the music industry…
TL: Yep, I signed with Billy Dorsey and thebridgelife label in October 2019. Started working on the album consistently in 2020 then of course, covid hit. I only just now feel like I’m joining the club after all of that.
Bridge: That had to be tough, I’m sure.
-You have two singles out, Wild Calling, which debuted at #5 in the country on the iTunes Blues Charts and Not So nice, at #4….what are you plans for the next one?!
TL: I say we just skip 2 and 3 and go straight to the top, baby! (Laughs) Honestly, just getting to have music out feels like reward enough. And this next song is more true to my heart, style wise, so I am excited for it.
Bridge: Yes and I got to hear the draft! Excuse me while I go swoon for a minute. (This is where the reader should know that Terah facepalmed)
TL: I think we have a bad zoom connection or something. Anyways…
Bridge: Not anyways, lets talk about the love song, the next song you are going to release, “Enough.”
TL:Yeah, it’s cool. It has a mountain vibe.
TL: Man, this is why friends should never interview friends! I mean, it’s about love. Loving someone a lot. Seeing them and what they’ve been through and what they struggle with and not being afraid to love them through it.
Bridge: It’s beautiful and based on your Instagram Q&A’s people are really loving it. Just like Not So Nice, which people especially loved on Tik Tok, might I add. You had everyone feeling empowered with that one.
TL: Yeah, my fans are so cool and supportive like that. That was a fun song.
Bridge: You really do have a way with words, I think people can feel what you say in a big way in your songs. Your birthday cards are always sweet!
TL: Well, thank ya. Words are my main love language. I have a lot of them, which is irritating sometimes that I can’t say what I mean with less words. But I really try. I love giving birthday cards because they are probably my favorite thing to get, which isn’t the way love languages are suppose to word but eh, I try.
Bridge: What is the songwriting process like for you? Is there a method to the madness?
TL: It just depends on my mood, whether I am sitting down with the end goal of writing something, praying about writing something or just driving down the road or woken up in the middle of the night with something on my heart. It’s fairly organic.
Bridge: There are so many artists out there who find making music easy but you can tell have trouble with words.
-You said praying about writing songs. Those of us who know you know that you are very open about your faith, which I respect. What is it like for you being in an industry that a lot of times isn’t conducive to your faith?
TL: That’s a good question. I am really not your typical Christian. And by that I just mean, typically what you would expect someone to be or act like if they’re trying to pursue a public career. I am a hot mess, because honestly all people are, and I really cant pretend to hide that. It wouldn’t do any good anyways, so why even try?
I love Jesus, I can’t help but talk about Him, and acting like I’m anything other than in the lifelong process of sanctification would be a lie. I’m just me. I’m a little weird, rough around the edges and struggle like the rest of humanity, but I love God and He loves me. And that’s the basis of this whole thing.
We are a mess, but He ain’t mad at us.
Bridge: And your producer/manager, Billy Dorsey, is a believer as well. What is it like working with someone who won a Grammy??
TL: Yes, he is! You know, from the very first phone call, Billy and I knew God was bringing us to work together. He is family to me. Going into the studio, he knows me enough to be able to tell what I’m carrying, heaviness or otherwise, and he will delay our session just to be there for me and make sure I’m okay. The absolute definition of a big brother.
Musically, it’s crazy. I was sitting in the studio a couple of weeks ago and the musicians were doing their thing and Billy was on his laptop because he has a million things going at once. And without even looking up, he said “hmmm no, I’m not feeling that there, why don’t you try this?” I was floored, even while taking care of other things, he is listening and processing and being attentive to the music. It’s the kind of skill that doesn’t come from anywhere but God. You find out real quick why that man has a Grammy.
But yeah, it is a little nuts that he wants to work with me and that they even let a mountain woman in the studio! It’s surreal.
Bridge: What would you say your ultimate goal is with your music career?
TL: I just want to make a living doing what I love. Writing, singing, creating is where I find my peace with God, doing what He made me to do. It’s how I function. If I’m not being creative, I’m not okay.
Bridge: Do you have any comment for the people on the fact that you don’t like to comb your hair?
TL: (Rolls her eyes) I just don’t have the attention span most days and I’m always running around doing something or building something or fixing something so what is the point in trying? I wash my hair, isn’t that good enough?
Bridge: No, it’s not. Im just kidding! I almost forgot the last question, what song would be the soundtrack of your life.
TL: I would say “Walk The Line” by Johnny Cash follows me a lot.
Bridge: Why am I not surprised?