'My Voice Is My Treasure': Pembroke Singer Terence Ryan Finds Inspiration In The Home He Left

Download Audio
Terence Ryan plays “A Particular Time in Eternity” at WBUR. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
Terence Ryan plays “A Particular Time in Eternity” at WBUR. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Terence Ryan works in a warehouse. And he makes music. And often the two go hand-in-hand. He brings his acoustic guitar to the building, sings and plays — his voice echoing through the space where his family runs its architectural door hinge company.

The 26-year-old from Pembroke is releasing his debut album called "Don't Panic." The songs are both raw and rich.

Ryan says he grew up in "kind of a hard household." He left home in October 2015 for the bright lights and hopeful stardom of Los Angeles. He ended up jobless, broke and homeless. He lived out of his car for a couple months. And the car is where he both wrote the songs for his album and recorded about a third of the tracks for the self-produced, self-recorded and self-mixed compilation.

When he was away, Ryan says, he discovered his voice — the lyrical one that comes from the stories of his friends and family back at home. He returned to Massachusetts last fall, to a home he says is "fully recovered" and is his source of inspiration.

Hear Terence Ryan's conversation with WBUR's All Things Considered host Lisa Mullins above.

Interview Highlights:

On how he was inspired to write music while living out of his car:

I so wasn't there, like, consciously. I think my subconscious was just... wanted so bad to just be a professional musician, so that's the only thing I could resort to. It was the only thing I had at the time. I didn't have money, I didn't have a place to stay, I didn't have work. So music was the only thing that I had.

On finding his musical "voice"

I always go back to the metaphor of the book "The Alchemist." He [the main character] leaves home to find his treasure. He goes through the entire journey, and when he's on his last leg, at rock bottom, he finds out that his treasure was back home all along. My voice is my treasure — my friends and family back home and the people I grew up with, and the places that I grew up at. I want to tell everyone's stories...

I kind of grew up... in general, [a] deeper, sadder, more pensive person. And then when I left home, I realized that all that sadness that I was wallowing in was silly. And when I came home it was nothing but happiness... I grew up in kind of a hard household, which now has been fully recovered and it's the most inspiring story. And it's my inspiration.

This segment aired on June 2, 2017.

Headshot of Lisa Mullins

Lisa Mullins Host, All Things Considered
Lisa Mullins is the voice of WBUR’s All Things Considered. She anchors the program, conducts interviews and reports from the field.


Headshot of Lynn Jolicoeur

Lynn Jolicoeur Producer/Reporter
Lynn Jolicoeur is the field producer for WBUR's All Things Considered. She also reports for the station's various local news broadcasts.



More from WBUR

Listen Live