By Peter Cronin
Hussle Club: The Artist Currently Known as Prince Terrence
From rock icons like the Ramones and Talking Heads to lesser-known noise pioneers like James Chance and the Contortions, New York’s Lower East Side has been fertile ground for any number of intriguing musical explosions. Citing the latter band’s “no wave” punk/funk as a major influence and thriving on that same street-level energy, SESAC’s Prince Terrence hit lower Manhattan four years ago and hasn’t stopped evolving since. As a self-described “drum whore,” he’s anchored rhythm sections for buzz talents like Spank Rock, Grammy-nominated producer Major Lazer, dance music diva Meluca and most recently, Brooklyn’s Holy Ghost.
“It’s been cool because I can survive in New York,” says Terrence, whose been drumming since his early teens and moonlights as a weekend DJ. “It’s definitely a hustle, but all you have to do is walk out your front door and there’s limitless possibilities.”
All of those possibilities come together in Hussle Club, Terrence’s one-man recording project that’s already catching fire in the indie-music blogosphere. With two Hussle Club remixes and one original song already picked up by influential site RCRD LBL, the project has created enough buzz to generate a real live 4-piece band to re-create Terrence’s starkly rhythmic in-studio concoctions.
“We’re getting ready to play our first gig at SXSW,” Terrence says. “People ask me what programs I used, but everything you hear on Hussle Club is real – drums, guitar, bass. It’s not a bad thing that music has gone in such a technological direction, but something has to happen so that it’s brought back to life.”
Born in Detroit and raised in Louisville, Prince Terrence was exposed to a “vast” array of music, from his grandparents Motown collection (“My earliest memory of music would be Michael Jackson and Marvin Gaye”) to the series of Louisville punk bands he came up writing, recording and touring with. Hussle Club plugs those influences into New York’s anything-goes creative ethic, with Prince Terence as the rhythmic glue holding it all together. And even though he brings a DJ’s drums-and-bass sensibility to the proceedings, when Prince Terrence picks up the microphone or the guitar, he makes it count.
With a lot of bands I’ve grown to love, it’s really minimal guitars,” he says. “If you have very little guitar, when that guitar does come in, it can make the whole world shake.”