It‚s time to give an honorary mention to a longtime, local colleague who has stood the test of modern times: two-time Stellar nominated Gospel singer, Terri Carroll. Around the late 90s, I met Terri in Atlanta through ‚an even longer longtime friend, Norm Banton, who is a top sound engineer and video editor. Norm helped me upgrade my studio from the 90s forward, and his circle of friends bled into mine once he introduced me to ‚Apostle Carroll.‚ You‚ll get to know more about Norm later in this and other books; for now let‚s jump into Terri‚s corner to see what she‚s been up to!
Terri Carroll is no stranger to the Gospel music world. She started singing in church at the age of three, and won a slew of talent shows, contests and pageants growing up in Gary, Indiana. Terri was also a young talent who got into writing and singing commercial jingles that aired on Chicago area radio stations. Completing her circle of youth, Terri went through college, the army, marriage and motherhood but unfortunately, the challenges of life led to a break-up in the marriage, with three mouths to feed. To keep food on the table, Terri went on to front a top Atlanta Jazz band, then became leader of her own band. As they often tend to do, drugs and alcohol crept into Terri‚s world and her life naturally became hard to manage.
In 1996, an old high school friend who had turned into a pastor and producer resurfaced‚"Terry Garmon. They recorded a self-titled debut Gospel album in 1998 called Terri Carroll. Even though she received two nominations at the 14th Annual Stellar Awards the following year, her label CGI Records went bankrupt in 2000, and she was suddenly ‚cut out of the loop.‚ Faced with the task of what her next move would be, Terri went into hard prayer after discovering the people who were so into her and her music had stopped returning the singer‚s calls. ‚I was at an impasse,‚ she vividly remembers. Nevertheless, Terri began the task of reclaiming her place in the Gospel spotlight. By 2005, Terri connected with friend and producer Paul Persley to release an extended play project entitled Holding Out 4 God. Says Terri, ‚We didn‚t have a budget, but what we did have was a faith in God that said as long as we took one step, He would take two.‚ In my book, that‚s a perfect example of ‚walking by faith and not by sight!‚
Terri also did several Gospel stage plays, including securing the lead in Listen to the Spirit, Can a Hoochie Become a First Lady, which also featured Keith Sweat; and one more called True Love. In 2007 Terri penned a personal testimony, This Is Not Your Destination. February of 2009 saw Terri wrapping up filming of the script, delivered in the form of her first movie short. Because of that project, Terri now adds independent filmmaker, writer, producer, co-director, prop-mistress, caterer and technical consultant to her dossier of skills. Currently, she‚s putting touched on her second script, Secrets.
On top of being a terrific singer and filmmaker, Terri has also been a good friend to this writer by always extending an open hand. Besides owing Norm Banton for helping me hook up my recording studio, I owe Norm ‚big time‚ for introducing me to a gifted Gospel singer who I say still has not made her best album to date, but I plan on being there when she does! In the meantime, Terri‚s Holding Out 4 God exudes a cutting-edge urban R&B, Hip-Hop and Jazz mix, with lyrics brought straight out of scripture and life‚s challenges addressed as only Terri can do it. Songs like Holding Out 4 God and The Master are as good as it gets, while God keeps anointing her in preparation for ‚the big one.‚
Terri Carroll leaves learning readers who yearn to be all they can be with sound advice: ‚Whatever God has for you, He has equipped you fully for it. And that‚s whether you realize it or not. Trust Him, continue seeking His face and doing His will for your life. The race is not given to the swift or to the strong, but to the one who endures until the end. NEVER QUIT!‚ To feel, taste, see and hear more from Terri‚s world, check out at sites like www.airplaydirect.com/terricarroll
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