Legendary A.T is a multi-talented artist who’s musical passion has brought her multitude strides of courage and unapologetic attitude towards her craft to tell her very own story. Now I sit here and spend some time with her as I present to her a platform to tell her story with us.
In your own words, who is Legendary A.T?
Legendary A.T is a singer, songwriter, rapper & musician from Lonoke, Arkansas. I’m extremely passionate about music and creates it when I feel that I have something to say. I’m a real artist who only speaks on real life experiences that I’ve been through.
How did you come up with your stage name, Legendary A.T? What does the acronym or initials, A.T stand for in your name?
‘Legendary’ was inspired by Bob Marley’s Legend album. When I was introduced to his music, I began researching him and reading up about who he was. I was inspired by what he stood for as an artist. I wanted to choose a name that would represent who I am and what I want to achieve, which is someone who would stand out with a distinctive style of music that people can relate to. I want my music to live on forever. I want to always touch and motivate the people who listens to it, even if it’s 20 or 30 years from now. A.T represents the first and last initials of my last name which is Angela Terry.
What’s the story of how you got into music? How long have you been working as an artist?
I’ve been a musician since I was 7 or 8. I started out playing the drums at church, and as I get older I’ve always knew that I wanted to sing and rap from being inspired by Lauryn Hill. I began writing poetry and song lyrics when I was 14. I started pursuing music and recording professionally in 2016 with Ferocious Production Studios here in Little Rock.
Were you also magnified towards music, or did you once gravitate to a different route in your life?
Music has always been apart of me for as long as I can remember. Saturday mornings, in the early 90s, I used to hear my mom listen to artist like Sade, Anita Baker, and Howard Hewitt when she would clean our home. I knew since I was a kid that I wanted to do music. It just felt right. I come from a family of musicians.
You just released your second album, S. Murray (A Different Side). How is this album different from your first? How did you come up with the title of your new album?
S.Murray (A Different Side) differs from my Back To Me, album because the messages in my lyrics are a bit more in depth with what I’ve experienced and endured from me speaking about being molested. I’m able to show people my creative storytelling abilities. Also, my different styles of writing music I do without traditionally being categorized to just one genre. I’m able to create from all angles, hence the title, (A Different Side). The S.Murray portion of my album title was named after a close friend who inspired a few songs on the album. I began writing music for the album back in 2017.
You had the privilege of collaborating with Tray Chaney on a song on your new album. How did that come about and what was it like to work with a well-known artist like Tray Chaney?
I’ve followed Tray’s career since HBO’s The Wire series when he played ‘Poot’. Years later, he appeared on one of my favorite shows Saints and Sinners as Kendrick. I began following him on Instagram, and I started seeing him post about his music. It was different, unique and positive. Tray has his own style, so I reached out and after a year of trying to get in contact with his people, we finally connected. I like his vibe. He’s a super humble and laid back individual. I explained the concept of the song and that I wanted to feature him on, I sent it over, and the rest was history. I think he’s an amazing talented, inspiring, motivational artist whom I’d like to work with again!
Do you have other artists on your bucket list that you would love to work with?
I would love to work with Lauryn Hill, Seal, Sade, Phil Collins, and Paul Hardcastle. I’m a huge fan of their crafts.
How does it personally feel to have your own billboard ad in your state to promote your new album?
It’s always felt surreal to me, because I’m not a mainstream artist, as of yet, and we mostly only see major artists on billboards. I had imagined seeing my face on different billboards within Arkansas and other places, and I’ve made that happen. It is amazing and I feel somewhat accomplished in a way.
For an artist in Arkansas, what would the audience not know of the career development compared to those that are artists in a metropolitan area like Atlanta, Los Angeles, or New York?
Nothing comes easily. Being from Arkansas, you have to work hard to be heard, because there’s not a big market for music here although Arkansas is filled with talent. If you’re not consistent and willing to go that extra mile by marketing yourself, you’ll never be heard in my opinion.
What is something about Arkansas, or even the people, that you would like to share that outsiders probably wouldn’t know about the state? What keeps you to stay, rather than taking your career to another city?
Arkansas has some of the best musical talents, actors, and historical icons such as Civil Rights crusader Daisy Bates, Former surgeon general Joycelyn Elders (who was the first black woman to hold that post position in country), Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Poet/Actress Maya Angelou, Scottie Pippen, Al Green, Billy Bob Thornton, etc… all hail from Arkansas. I love the history here, plus most of my family is in Arkansas. It’s my home.
Do you feel the availability of social platforms and our modern tech world has helped those in more remote areas to be discovered?
Absolutely! I’ve heard so many artists have become overnight sensations with sites such as SoundCloud. You can upload your music and you never know who may hear it, and just like that an artist’s song could become a hit record.
In your album, S. Murray (A Different Side), the interlude “No Love for You” spoke out to me. Especially the line, “Told me, I shouldn’t have told people who molested me…” That’s a powerful interlude. What gives Legendary A.T her strength and her voice? What gave you the influence to speak out about that raw aspect of your story? Does it help that it gives others, who feel they don’t have a voice, something to relate to?
I get my strength from God and my supporters. Some people are afraid to speak up about being abused. One of the main reasons people don’t speak out about being abused is, because they feel that no one will believe them, or they may receive backlash as I did when I outed my molester back in 2017. I did not have much support from my family. Some tried to make me feel as if I was bringing shame on my family.
Overcoming that hurt is why I write these type of raw lyrics, so that my supporters will know how I was treated, and I will use my voice and be support system to other victims out there. I never completely allowed certain family members to tear me down when I’m a survivor of molestation. I felt as if they tried to regulate my healing process by saying things such as “I should let it go and forgive” or that “I shouldn’t have spoken openly about it”. I was even told by someone that me speaking about being molested could ruin me trying to to pursue music, but I never listened to them.
What other projects are you working on now? What’s next for Legendary A.T?
What should we expect from you in 2020?
I’m always constantly writing music, and I’ve been invited on a few projects as a featured artist, which you’ll be hearing soon. My goal by 2020 is to be known worldwide. A artist who touches people with my music. I will also like to have my 3rd released by fall of 2020. That’s the goal.
Your talents expand from singing, to playing the drums, to playing the acoustic guitar. Would you have a hidden talent that your fans may not know of?
I’ve always been an aspiring massage therapist. I’ve always been great with my hands, so yea, that’s one of my many talents. I enjoy relaxing people, because of the benefits your body gets by getting massages. I used to make money in High School giving messages during class to my teachers and some classmates. I would give them shoulder massages or hand massages and they’d fall asleep (laughs). That’s when I knew I had a special gift.