Mulling over the Terri Lyons interview, the lion from The Wizard of Oz flashed in my mind. He needed courage, just like Lyons and so, the phrase "Lyon-hearted" became prominent.
Lyons comes from a 'royal family" and her father is the top honcho within the family circuit. He has been and still is an icon and is none other than Austin Lyons aka Blueboy aka Super Blue.
It is no wonder that Lyons has forged her own territory in music. Said Lyons, "No matter what I do, I always get pulled back into music. I love interior designing and sewing but…"
Last year, she had a huge hit, "Gone" and this year, there is already much buzz about her with her three offerings, a groovy soca track called "Play"; a fast-paced track called "Ah Feel To" and the third, "De Riddim", which she admitted was inspired by her father's "Soca Baptist".
While she is well respected for her vocals in R&B and pop, she has also managed to make a huge impression in the calypso arena. In 2007 and 2008, she placed second in the National Young Queens competition.
She may be enjoying the ride now but the line to get on the ride almost deterred her. "Sure, at times I felt like giving up. I am only human. At times, honestly, I got depressed but I never gave up."
Having no qualms about sharing her most personal thoughts, Lyons continued, "Sometimes you reach the lowest point and I reached mine several times." She recalled that her mother, who passed away nearly 10 years ago at the age of only 42 years, would tell her, "Sometimes you need to reach to your lowest point to get to the highest." That played like a stuck record in Lyons's mind when the going got tough.
Asked about any one pet peeve in this business, she pondered then said, "People would always tell me that I have big shoes to fill and they would wonder aloud how I would fill my dad's and sister's shoes. I deal with that better now." Lyons is the sister of Fay-Ann Lyons-Alvarez. "Those comments would irritate me because I would be like, 'They had their time and I am me and will do my thing!' I felt and still feel that I have my own course to run. To say the least, if I am an 8, then that's my fit and I sometimes playfully say that my father and I don't wear the same size anyway!" She burst into laughter at her joke, probably realizing that she has a much healthier view of life and people..
Of her best experience thus far though, she gushed, "That was last year's Fire fete. I had never performed for such a huge crowd and I obsessed over if people even knew my song, if they liked it and if they will respond to me. Now 28 years old, she said with conviction, "I sang to an instrumental track and stopped it after a couple minutes and the patrons kept singing the song long after the track stopped! I was amazed and that just boosted my energy. I learned never to doubt myself ever again! I had to believe in me or else how could I convince other to do so?"
As a hectic season hovers and will continue with overseas commitments, she feels only some pressure. "I do sometimes feel a need to be perfect because all eyes are on you when you're a public figure. I try to maintain a certain image and working standard. My dad always told me that it's nice to be mysterious."
Speaking of her father, her voice became almost like a little child totally enraptured by her hero, "I love my father so much. I speak to him no less than 5 or 6 times a day! He will always call just to find out if I ate or he would say that he just called to hear my voice. He wasn't around too much in my early life because of his career but my mother always told me that when I did see him to run and hug him as if he had just given me a million dollars!"
Now being managed by heavyweight producer, Darryl Braxton, who was instrumental in securing Nicki Minaj for her recent local concert, she feels she is good hands. "I have a wonderful family in Darryl and his team. You don't have to be 'blood' to be family."
Having learned valuable lessons, she spoke emphatically. "Don't ever let someone's success deter you. Just be determined. Above all, just accept the good and the bad sides of the business. God does things in His timing."
Lyons may not be joining masqueraders on Carnival Monday and Tuesday as her tradition is to stay at home and look at the televised parade. However, with some pep in her voice, she exclaimed, "There's a band with costumes that I love so much, they might actually get me out of my house!"
Powered by commendable self motivation, Lyons intends to enter the annual International Soca Monarch competition, specifically in the Power Soca category. Last year, she made it as far as the semi-final round. So, Terri, what fate does this year hold for you, oh lyon-hearted one?