A friend of a friend of another friend introduced me to the God-given gifts of budding R&B superstar, Terrell Pearson, also known as T.P. I love my grapevine. It yields ripe fruit.
Born in New Jersey and now local to southern Maryland, I was most pleased to give this youth’s music a fair listen. I did my usual when it comes to YouTube videos. Hit the play button and close my eyes so images don’t cloud the sound. I had to sneak a peek half way through though just to make sure there wasn’t a malfunction and the video didn’t skip over to a Fantasia recording. My youngest interviewee Terrell Pearson sounds just like Fantasia! Don’t believe me?
Click here so T.P. can holla at you a minute, Can I Holla Official Music Video (Audio)
As you just heard, little Terrell represents the DMV in a most lovely manner. Moreover, before this interview I hadn’t met with any R&B artists in the area so my curiosity was piqued long before we even met.
After listening to him, I started reviewing the promotional pictures. The first thing that jumped out at me was that this kind of swagger seemed to belong to an adult not a 12 year old child.
In retrospect though, what was I to expect with a mentor and road manager by the name of Keysha Kool…smh. She explained to me that what I was witnessing was the manifestation of the “LGMM, Lil Grown Man Movement.” The what?
Keysha Kool: You know so many young people nowadays only have role models that have their pants sagging. They all look unkempt and think it’s okay to disrespect women. Terrell wants to put forth a different image.
Me: Like to say it’s cool to be a gentleman?
Keysha Kool: Yeah.
And Terrell is not short on cool in pictures or on stage. His stage presence can be likened to that of any teenage to late twenties R&B prince. Terrell shows absolutely no signs of stage fright, connects with his audience and even pulls girls on stage. This next video captures T.P. singing his feature song at the 2012 “Safe Summer” Weekend show at the Sports and Learning Complex sponsored by 93.9 WKYS.
You see what I mean? Presence, pitch, comfort, delivery, range, screaming fans, seems like a lot for a 12 year old but his mom’s name is Miss Hollywood. If Hollywood can’t teach you how to deal with lights, camera and fame, no one can.
Miss Hollywood: Would you believe that doctors told me he would never talk?
Me: What? How old was he then?
Miss Hollywood: Eighteen months old but he started singing at 24 months.
Me: He sang before he talked?
Miss Hollywood: Yes! [I love her. She was so animated through the entire interview!]
Me: How did that go? Lol
Miss Hollywood: He sang his needs. Well first let me say that I heard him singing the Barney anthem. You know, “I love you, you love me…” then, he started singing his needs like “Mommy, caaaaan I haaaave some juuuice.”
Me: LOL That sounds incredible.
Miss Hollywood: It’s true. He didn’t get comfortable with his speaking voice until he was around 3 ½.
Me: What made him start to talk?
Miss Hollywood: His older brother hit him. The first thing he ever said was “E.R. hit me” in reference to his older brother, R.E.
After that mom started to read to him and give him Standard English sentences to get him to articulate.
Me: When did he start singing for audiences?
Miss Hollywood: At 4 ½ years old, his dad’s friend heard him sing and invited him to sing at a poetry night at the old Ibex. The second performance was at a funeral. He blew everybody away.
I could only imagine. Click here to listen to the audience’s reactions when he sings at the OMG Fashion Show at the Master’s Child Worship Center on Marlboro Pike, Brooks Drive.
Me: How did he overcome stage fright?
Miss Hollywood: Never had it. He always ad-libbed and connected with his audience.
You would never guess this just by bumping into Terrell though. T.P. is definitely a stage presence because in person just kicking it with him, Terrell is quiet, humble and acts his age.
We had a grand time while he explained to me the functions of his humongous electronic notepad that had all the capabilities of a laptop and a phone in one. He tried to convince me why I should get one and when the adults’ conversation got boring for him he just put in his headphones. You can’t help but love him being around him.
Then all of a sudden as if by divine providence, Miss Hollywood’s words were put to the test. The table behind us was celebrating a birthday and the Red Lobster employees tired of singing and asked if a singer was around. Terrell immediately disappeared and T.P. came to the rescue.
Miss Hollywood: When he’s on the football field or stage, his ego kicks in.
Check him out, the night of our interview!
Me: Wow, T.P. is a force. How do you plan on navigating his career?
Keysha Kool: Terrell is a humanitarian. He is always interested in helping the less fortunate and volunteers his singing at charity functions all the time.
Miss Hollywood: That’s true. He sings about homeless people and believes in giving back to the community. I remember Christmas 2008, I bought him some Jordans and one day I was looking everywhere for those shoes. He told me he gave the shoes to a neighbor who didn’t get anything for Christmas.
I glanced over to my right and Terrell didn’t blink an eye or show a sign of regret. Everything I was hearing was true.
Me: [I asked Terrell.] What is one thing you think that makes your life different from other kids your age?
Terrell: Working hard, you want to play but you have to work and go in the studio. It’s still fun though.
Me: What are some other moves you’ve made to open his sound to the market?
Keysha Kool: Well we have to connect him to his audience. He has done several performances at Suitland High School’s Annabelle Ferguson Auditorium.
Miss Hollywood: He performed there 4 times between 2008 and 2012.
Keysha Kool: He opened for Lil Chuckie and Lil Twist of Young Money in December of 2011 at the “Stop the Killing of Our Children” event. He performed at the Local Kiddie Cabaret and Luau Party at Plaza 23 hosted by Brooke Entertainment. He won second place at the National Park and Planning Dream Kid Talent Search competition for 2012. He’s getting exposure.
And my hope as a journalist is that this interview reaches the right people to afford him the exposure he needs to be great. I encourage you to stay connected and support our young people.
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THANK YOU …