MEET: Terk Lewis

words Evie Smith

Releasing music in to the world is a brave thing. Putting your heart and soul in to something and sending it out to various labels and social media platforms is something musicians know all too well. The hard work that is involved can be both rewarding and challenging. Something that Terk Lewis has managed to do successfully and without falter over the past several years. I was lucky enough to interview Terk and talk all things music, passion and inspiration.

photography   JR Christiensen

photography JR Christiensen

You’ve cemented yourself in the music scene, has this always been your passion?Music has always been one of my passions. My mother was once a singer / songwriter, so maybe she planted the seed. As a kid I simply wanted to be like Michael Jackson. Singing, Dancing, Performing, Acting... Creating. In a way, music is an outlet in which I can tie all of my passions together. I satisfy my passion for music in creating the beats, writing lyrics, rapping and performing the song. But after that I am also able to incorporate my passion for dance and being a performance artist in creating videos and doing live performances.

You always wanted to create this genre of music?

I never set out to create a whole new genre of music. My intention when I started producing was simply to create my own sound. Something uniquely and distinguishably my own.

At what age did you realise that being a musician could be a potential full-time career?

The realisation that I could be a full-time musician probably didn't arrive until a couple of years ago. For so long (and still, up until now) music was simply my "Passion Project" as I make a living right now touring and performing as a professional dancer. There is something that changes once your passion becomes your work, I experienced this with dance. I may never fully rely on Music as a full time career as I don't want the stresses and complications that come with your passion becoming your work. I want music to always be an escape for me. A place where I can freely express myself and outlet my creativity.

If you could work with any artist, who would it be and why?

If I could work with any artist it would probably be Kanye West. He's probably one of my biggest music influences. I appreciate the way his music has evolved over the years and how has carefully crafted his sound. I am also a big fan of his lyricism, the way in which he tells a story by tying in abstract moments is really brilliant to me.

Do you have a particular muse that you have drawn your inspiration from for this current track?

I would say my main muse right now is... myself? I am a bit of a one man show right now, which I enjoy. It's similar maybe to being a clothing designer and making clothes for yourself. It's exciting to make something for yourself that is exactly what you want and something no one else has.

What has been the main challenge of this track?

The main challenge with this track, EP and video have been time. My schedule as a professional dancer can be a bit hectic. I dance / perform 6 days a week, and have travelled all over the world to do it. This leaves little time for much else, which means after a 10 hour day of dancing, I will usually go home and spend a couple hours on music (producing / writing) before I go to bed and do it all again the next day.

What are your plans for the future as an artist?

My future plans right now as an artist are to simply continue to be an artist. It's a difficult career path, one that sees very few benefits at the beginning. I have always said, I don't have much desire for fame and money, only to make a living making art.

  photography   Al Bracken

 photography Al Bracken

Have there been any challenges that you have come across, being a gay man in the rap scene? If there have, how has this made you stronger?

So far I haven't come across many challenges being a gay man in the rap scene. But, perhaps this is because I don't see being gay as a challenge and don't give people the opportunity to challenge me on it. I prefer to speak with my art and my art doesn't acknowledge labels or stereotypes.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In 5 years I hope to be doing exactly what I'm doing now but maybe on a larger scale. My entire life, all I've really known is Art, singing, dancing, rapping and painting... to create. If in 5 years I am still making a living as an artist, I'm sure I will be a happy guy.

If you could give any advice to your 12-year-old self, what would it be?

If I could give my 12-year-old self any advice it would be to not worry so much. To not worry about fitting in, about being "weird", about not looking like everyone else. I would tell my 12-year-old self to love and embrace the things that make me different. To continue on believing in and loving art. To not be afraid to be an outsider, a weirdo, or a "loser". I would tell myself, those characteristics will later lead to being unique, distinctive, remarkable and avant-garde. I'd tell myself, those characteristics will lead to being an artist.

For more information and updates on Terk Lewis' career, please visit his page: