Teri Tobin

11th Annual R&B Album Vox Pop Winner
11th Annual R&B Song Vox Pop Winner

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Record Label: Sōl 2 Kēp Entertainment

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Home Base: Phoenix, Arizona

Genre: Soul/R&B

Categories Entered: R&B Song/R&B Album

Work Submitted: “Free”/ Love Infinity

Artists Featured: Teri Tobin

Label: Sōl 2 Kēp Entertainment


Who are your influences? Describe your nominated work. “Free” – I wrote this song to pay homage to Donny Hathaway and his song “Someday we’ll all be free” and to take us back to a time when kids could walk to the corner store; gas wasn’t so expensive, and when we knew our neighbors and the “village” looked out for one another.

Love Infinity – The album deals with various aspects of love. Love for your neighbor; Looking for love; Found love and love for your child.  Although, when writing this album I didn’t set out for everything to be about love, it just poured out naturally.

How did you raise the funds for this project? How long do you expect it will take to recoup your out-of-pocket recording expenses? I had to rob Peter to pay Paul and Mary.  I borrowed some from family and friends.  My uncle, who is also a musician, loaned me the money to get the CD’s pressed after requests were coming in from the UK for physical CD’s.  I’m preparing to release the next project so I hope that once I have the 2nd effort under my belt, I will be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Why did you choose to submit this work to The 11th IMAs? I read about the IMA’s and felt like finally there was an organization that wanted to recognize the hard work that indie artists put in to be heard.

What’s your definition of success and how will you know when you’ve achieved it? My definition of success was already achieved when I released Love Infinity on my own label in the midst of the naysayers that said my career was over. Within the first month of the release, there were over 20 countries playing my music.  After 10 copies were sold? That was success to me.

How will you leverage your IMA honors to achieve your career goals? It’s an honor to be recognized so, I’m not really sure how I will use it.  I hope that it inspires other artists like me, to lean towards the avenues and organizations that appreciate what we do.

Who’s sitting in your audience and what makes your fans unique? My fans are lovers of old school soul music and lovers of the modern sound of neo-soul.

What is your guilty pleasure on the road? Any close calls or mishaps while on tour?  My guilty pleasure is DoubleTree Chocolate Chip Cookies! They are the devil….but so good.

Most recently, the airline lost my luggage for 24 hours and almost had to wear my sweatpants at my show.  Thankfully, my luggage was returned to me at 1am the day of my show.

Who are your musical heroes & influences? Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Luther Vandross, Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin.  With the passing of Whitney Houston, I was reminded, like so many others, that she had a profound impact on me vocally.  She was the Vocal-Excellence that I strived to attain.

Are there any songs you wish you wrote and why? When I heard “Ready for Love” by India.Arie, for a second I thought I had written it because it said everything I wanted to say.

What artists are you listening to that would surprise your fans? Barbara Streisand’s Soundtrack to Y’entl. That is probably my favorite movie of hers.  The music just moves me. I have always loved Barbara and when I was younger, I viewed her as the epitome of an underappreciated talent that didn’t fit the typical mold of what society defined as “beautiful”.

How do you discover new music? Do you buy music or are you content with streaming? I find new music through my DJ friends, on Facebook, and from my son.

How will musicians make a living if fans continue to expect music to be free? That is the million dollar question.  We would make a living, simply put.  However, I also understand that in order for one to gain more fans and support from new audiences, there is the need to “gift” or “giveaway” material.  The hope is that once they become fans and true supporters, they will buy more product; therefore, allowing us to continue to put more out.

What don’t fans/audiences understand about the music industry today? That if you like a particular artist’s work, it’s very important to go out and support that artist by purchasing their music, going to concerts, etc.

Are digital singles/EPs vs. full albums the future? Yes and No.  Although digital singles are what people are purchasing, there are still those who prefer to purchase the physical CD just so that they can read the liners, etc.

Finish this sentence: The music industry is… not what it used to be and that’s a good thing.

What do you have in the works for the upcoming year? My single “So Good To Me”, featuring Morris Alan is currently available at iTunes, CD baby and Amazon.  The album of the same title will release on 6/12/12.