> Interviews....



ISSUE 180 - Summer 2001

where are they now?
For every REM there has to be a sleeper.

By Johnny Black

Once the snake-hipped future of soul, Terence Trent D'Arby never quite capitalized on the enormous publicity that greeted his arrival in the mid-'80's, nor the success of 1987 debut Introducing The Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby. Successive projects were each less successful than the last and, following 1995's Vibrator, he disappeared only to re-emerge on 21 August 1998, via a posting on his website that read:"I am a holographic representation in the third dimension of what was requested by your souls that one of your favourite artists be. I sent a portion of my soul to embody as an artist called Terence Trent D'Arby to favour that request."
Let's try that again in something resembling English...

Terence Trent D'Arby:
Between the making of my first and second albums, the people at Sony changed. I was in a similar situation to George Michael, where the people who had signed me were understanding of my music, but the new people seemed to think they should tell me what to do as an artist. There was another situation too, in that the label's major breadwinner, who can't be named at this time, made it clear if my second album [Neither Fish Nor Flesh] was promoted, he'd take his business elsewhere.
My first album, in 1987, sold 13 million copies but, just two years later, the second one sold only 1.5 million, which is all I need to say about that situation.

I've been through a lot of changes in the last decade. Six years ago I chose a new name, Sananda Maitreya, which came to me in dreams.
I had a recurring dream of walking with my friends, who were angels, and they kept calling out this name which I recognised, but it wasn't until the third dream that I realised it was my name.
I went through a lot of suffering as a child and I was becoming increasingly established as Terence Trent D'Arby. Changing my name has helped to heal me. By the end of this year it will be my legal name, once the paperwork is complete.

I also moved from LA to Munich in Germany, where I'm now based. I've had more fun setting up a new album in the last few months than I had in 10 years of living in California, but I think I'll eventually return to the UK, because that's where my daughter Seraphina lives, and I have other strong ties there.

As well as setting up my own label, I ditched my management and all other business ties. I have a full-time personal assistant and, when I need other kinds of expertise, legal or business or whatever, I'll bring them in on an individual basis.

Don't misunderstand me. There are many good people in the record industry, and there are even some performers who can work well within that structure, but the time has come to stand up for the rights of artists rather than the rights of record companies, so that we can be more creative and free. It took me until 1997 to get out of my contract with Sony worldwide, but I'm still shackled to them in the UK, so I will release my new album, Wildcard, on my own label on 24 September, everywhere except Britain.

  • Terence Trent D'Arby can be found at:

Thanks: Darren D'Arby, Marion Rausch, Christine Belden, Lily Philips


And Lily thanks:
Johnny Black & Gareth Grundy from Q Magazine for your attention!
Masayuki & Toshiko our fellow-fans from Japan for typing, scanning and sending the article :)

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