Q&A with Terrian

“My hope is always that they feel like the Lord is meeting them exactly where they are."

Terrian is a Christian singer/songwriter and vocalist in TobyMac’s band, DiverseCity. She released an EP, “Genesis of Terrian,” in 2021.

PEER: How did you come to know Jesus?

TERRIAN: Well, I grew up in the church. My granddad’s a pastor, and my dad was the assistant pastor at that church. So, I was just in church all the time. I feel like it’s just been a long journey. Whereas, on the front end of things, my relationship with my faith was based on going to church on Sundays and revivals during the week. And I do know for sure that I had several experiences with the Holy Spirit that just helped me to see and understand and know that Jesus was my Lord. But it wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I started to actually walk with the Lord, and that began by just opening up the word of God really and reading it consistently. And that just started transforming my life and my community started to change, and I was just very inspired by the people around me on their walk with the Lord.

P: Who would you say are your musical influences?

T: There’s been several over the years. Growing up, I loved Kirk Franklin. I loved Alicia Keys. My oldest sister was just into that era of R&B, so I listened to it as well because she listened to it. And I’m also a huge Disney Channel fan, so I was a big fan of Miley Cyrus at the time, Selena [Gomez], Demi [Lovato], all of them that were on Disney. But all those genres just kind of mixed together over the years. And then later on, CCM worship came in, so Hillsong was a part of that. I’ve latched onto a lot of different sounds over the years.

P: What inspires your songwriting process?

T: I think whatever I’m walking through in the season that I’m writing. But also, there’s just something about walking into a studio with nothing and allowing the producer to just start creating chord progressions and allowing the chord progression to kind of speak to where we need to land for that day. So, it’s a culmination of my story lyrically that plays a part in it, but also the other songwriters in the room, too.

P: What hope do you have for listeners who listen to your music?

T: My hope is always that they feel like the Lord is meeting them exactly where they are. I mean, those are the stories that make me the most excited. Because you stand in the room, a tiny room, and somebody else is writing a song, and then it just spreads into different situations and different lifestyles, and you just see the Lord work in such unique ways in all of that. So that’s always my hope.

P: Tell me about AngelStreet and why are you passionate about helping this organization.

T: Yeah, Angel Street is an all-girls choir. It began in my neighborhood, so I was one of the first participants there, and they meet twice a week; it’s kind of expanded beyond music a little bit. It’s now into mentorship, offering the girls opportunities to see other career fields as well and really just creating leaders for the future, and giving the girls something positive to look up to.


P: How do you remain grounded in your relationship with God while on tour and in the music industry as a whole?

T: Remembering that it is not about me at all. That keeps me grounded. Even moments when I’m nervous, just understand that God has every person in this building here tonight for a very specific reason. All those reasons are different. And I’m just here to be a vessel and play a tiny role, and that keeps me grounded, keeps me humble, and also keeps the joy there of what it is I’m doing.  

P: What excites you about being a Christian artist in 2023?

T: I think I am excited because there seems to be just a rise in this generation’s young artists. And I’m praying to the good Lord, that He just, puts His hand on what this generation is doing because I do think that Gen Z needs it desperately. I was just excited when I saw Anne Wilson just like blow up and Katy Nichole blow up. I was just like, oh, Lord, thank you, God. And just praying for any artist in our generation, that we could be an inspiration for Gen Z.

P: What advice would you give to young people pursuing music?

T: I would say practice. In times where you feel like no one’s watching. Like keep practicing and keep at it and find ways to serve in your local church, because I know the church helped me out so much as far as developing the talent that I had. And just start praying about the Lord’s will over it. Because it doesn’t always look the way we think it should look, just be sure that you’re in prayer about it and try your best to stay tethered to the Lord’s will for that.

P: What are you currently listening to?

T: Lecrae. Blanca’s album—I thought was awesome. And when I’m looking for that more congregational sound, Cece Winans for sure.

P: What is your morning routine while on tour?

T: I’m trying to switch it up this tour, but we’ll see how this goes. But usually, I wake up, I do all the necessary things like brush my teeth, wash my face, all the things and then go eat breakfast. And usually, at breakfast, I just talk to other people that are there, just hanging with people. And then I go to a coffee shop and that’s where I go read the Word and I’ll read a book. And I’ll just hang there for a couple of hours and usually, that takes up all of my mornings.

P: What is the Bible verse that’s been on your heart recently?

T: I would say John 1:3. “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him, all things were made. And without Him, nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:3, NIV). And with that entire passage, I think speaks so beautifully to the deity of Jesus but also makes you more grateful, understanding that God came to earth so that He could save and redeem us.

Follow Terrian on Instagram @iamterrian.

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