“Terra Naomi's ‘Machine Age’ may be the first truly great song
to come at the expense of the world’s collective sanity.”
Soon after graduating from University of Michigan’s School of Music, Terra Naomi decided to quit opera, kick her heroin habit, and become the successful singer/songwriter she always knew she could be. It was the summer of the highest gas prices anyone had ever seen. Instead of driving across the country on tour, Terra shared her music online, on this new website called YouTube. She quickly became the first musician to have a viral video that resulted in major label recording and publishing deals; she won the inaugural YouTube Award for Best Music Video, and moved to London to make an album and become a rock star.
Signed to Universal Island Records at the moment when Amy Winehouse was on her way out and Adele was on her way up, Terra played with Sara Bareilles, The Fray, Jack Johnson, and Martha Wainwright. She opened for Michael Bolton on his North America comeback tour, while back in LA, a young Phoebe Bridgers opened for her.
Terra has achieved enough to be presented with rock star opportunities, but is not enough of a rock star to have music industry minders protecting her from those opportunities, resulting in an unusual career path, fraught with adventure.
She carried her guitar through the London Underground to Wembley Stadium, as the only new artist to play Live Earth, alongside Madonna, Foo Fighters, and John Legend. She traveled solo across the world to play a private party in an underground bunker in Moscow, where she never met her hosts and was sworn to secrecy about every aspect of the evening. She was invited to play the first concert of western music in Kashmir, before a united audience of Indian Army and Kashmiri separatist leaders, huddled under furs, on top of the Gulmarq Glacier.
Then, the fallout from Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme struck a lightening bolt through her life. Her boyfriend left her to become one of the biggest movie directors of his generation. And her rock star record label dropped her for being “on the wrong side of 30.” It took Terra a few years to recover.
In the process of fighting her way back to a sense of self-worth, Terra ran one of the most successful music campaigns in Indiegogo’s history. She recorded her fourth album, the first over which she had complete creative control. Produced by Grammy Award-winner Tom Schick (Rufus Wainwright, Mavis Staples, Wilco) at Wilco’s studio in Chicago, the album features Joseph Adamik (Iron & Wine, Califone), Kelly Hogan (Neko Case, Mavis Staples), and Bob Ojeda (Count Basie Orchestra).
Terra recently returned from opening Italian pop star Elisa Toffoli’s tour, in anticipation of the release of this new album. With a past like hers, the future looks….well, interesting, at the very least…
“Terra Naomi played [an] original of hers, ‘I’ll Be Waiting’ and I was stunned, heartbroken and torn up. It was one of the most honest, beautiful and heart-wrenching songs I had ever heard. Not just that night. Not just at the Hotel Cafe. Ever. I knew I had truly found a special artist.”
- Ari Herstand, author of the best-selling music business manual "How To Make It In The New Music Business"