Interview by Sarah Kilcoyne
Terri Lee Harel!
Once a month here at ESDIP, there is a prestigious prize up for grabs – the esteemed ‘Coworker of the Month‘ award!
We are proud to take this opportunity to show off one of our fabulous coworkers, and give you an insight into the type of work that our community members do here on a daily basis.
Photo credit: Sarah Kilcoyne
We sat down for a chat with Terri, a writer/editor/DJ from the US of A.
Sarah: Hi Terri! Seeing as this is a coworking ‘award’, let’s start with that fundamental question – what do you do?
Terri: Hi! I’m a writer, editor, and product marketer by trade but I also DJ and (try to) make music.
S: Cool! Which line of your work do you mostly use your desk here for?
T: When I’m at ESDIP, I’m usually either writing / working on client projects or editing a track (usually when I really should be writing…)
S: I’ve been following your ‘First Year Music Producer’ blog since you started here, it’s great! Do you wish you had a similar resource, when you were starting out?
T: Ohmygod. Thank you! I guess I need to start publishing again (see above answer “when I really should be writing” ha). YES, I wish I had a similar resource. I want to encourage people to get over not knowing and just start doing. I wish I understood this better when I was younger. I was always so self-conscious. It’s something I still struggle with now so maybe writing about it helps.
There are tons of great learning resources out there, but I often found the basics weren’t well covered because they were assumed to already be understood.
S: You’ve been coworking with us at ESDIP for 6 months now! Congratulations! Did you also have a coworking space back home, or was this a first for you?
T: Wow, has it been that long? Thanks for making this spot such a great place to work! I had a full time office job back home, so no coworking spot.
S: Can you tell us a bit more about how/when you started producing music?
T: I’m really still learning a ton and definitely am not close to sending music to a label or anything like that. I started when I lived in Tel Aviv in 2011. A friend connected me with a professional producer there who became a mentor of sorts. Since then it’s been on and off because of work, but I’m excited to be in Berlin now and spend more time on music.
S: How is life as freelancer in Berlin? Do you plan on staying?
T: I quit my 50+ hour a week tech job to move here and because of that work I hadn’t freelanced in a long time. The freedom is incredible, but building a new routine and getting clients has had its ups and downs. Some days are amazing and some feel a little hopeless. Ha. I would love to stay here! Berlin is the best.
Terri doing her thing at Garage Club, Saint-Merri. Photo credit: Terri Lee Harel
S: What ‘genre’ would you say your music falls into?
T: Depends on the day. Anything from scratching techno to experimental ambient right now.
S: I’ve dabbled a bit in music creation myself (as in I’ve played around with Garageband on my Macbook) – what in your opinion, is the best production software out there?
T: Amazing! You should keep at it. I first started with Garageband too…making really, really bad noises on there. I think the answer is personal preferance and what you want to get out of it. There are many good programs out there. The most common among electronic musicians are probably Ableton and Logic.
A snippet from Terri’s blog, ‘First Year Music Producer‘. Credit: Terri Lee Harel
S: How does it feel to win the esteemed Coworker of the Month award?
T: Very nice, thank you so much ☺
S: Any gigs coming up in Berlin?
Not at the moment! Would be lovely to play here one day though!
S: How do you find time to work on it all! Do you find that having a coworking space helps?
I don’t always! Sometimes I decide to just sit at a coffeeshop and read a book instead. Joining ESDIP was one of the best things I’ve done though. I need to get out of the house to enter work mode; need to feel like I’m stepping out into the world to get stuff done! Plus, being surrounded by people doing amazing things is very motivating.
S: Any advice for aspiring writers/producers?
T: Funny that the same piece of advice goes for both writing and making music: Practice. Ask someone to read/listen to your work and have them edit it. Don’t be afraid of feedback. I wish I had made more music earlier or written more instead of giving into fear of it being bad. It doesn’t matter. Everyone makes crap, even the professionals. But you have to do it to get better and you have to have people tell you it’s bad to learn. Hm…I should follow this advice more often actually ☺
You can check out more of Terri’s music for yourself here: soundcloud.com/terriharel
Are you also interested in coworking? Then check out our pricing plans here, or just drop by the space any day within the opening hours, Mon-Fri 10-19h, and we’ll show you around.