Terry Nandlal is one of the founding members of the Home Grown Roots organization. If you haven’t heard of them, you’ve probably HEARD them. If you ever walked past a bar late at night and felt the humbling buzz of bass shaking your bones through layers of walls that muffle primal chants with unforgiving feedback, and an untuned pound of a drumset bouncing through the room. There’s a good chance that Homegrown Roots was involved. They are a local promotion for young up and coming musicians and musical groups. Their main job was simple. Find and promote all the unseen talent in the local area. Terry helped get a lot of young musicians their first step towards performance. There are levels to starting a band. Step one, find people. Step two find a garage. Step three play terrible music until it’s not. Step four, go talk to Terry. Daytona is known for its very original and unique live music. A lot that is due to the work of the Homegrown Roots organization, along with others who share the same love for the scene. Terry is just one of many. We sat down with Terry for a Humid Being Q&A and let him talk us through the creation and expectation of the promotion.
Personal history, family history, where you grew up, when you got into music, whats the first record you remember hearing that inspired you?
I grew up in the United States, but spent my teen years in Trinidad, in the 80’s. This is where music took its hold, in my early teens. Everything from the late 70s to the early 80s that was current at the time, that I had access to. In Trinidad the music and movies seeped into the culture like a wildfire. I’m lucky, my experience was infiltrated with reggae, calypso and especially Indian music, a mastering of diversity. Oddly enough, the first song that I remember singing along with was from Paul McCartney. I believe it was “Coming Up”. It was being played on 8track in my Uncles car, and I distinctively remember the hooks, especially Paul’s high vocals screaming thru the song, with passion.
When did you move to Daytona and why?
I moved to Daytona in 1997. I made my first visit to Daytona in my early 20s, to party for spring break but I came back here on a job promotion, ironically in early 97. That year I dropped out of my last year in College, my band broke up, so I came to start over proper. Once the company folded I got a new job and got comfortable making new friends, meeting people is easy,
First impression of Daytona?
Coming from south Florida. My first impression was that it was more laid back. Which meant less stress for me, something I strived for since my teens. Of course, in the back of my mind, I was sure I would meet someone out here, and I’m sure I was gonna get into music and have another band. Let’s just say I was very optimistic.
When were the seeds planted for Homegrown roots?
Besides interacting with my musical friends, I began networking and meeting new people, at shows or events in the area. There was a new community being discovered through Myspace in the mid-2000’s, this brought back the nostalgia of the early 90s with my first band and encouraged the idea for HGR. There were other people and organizations doing this in the US and around the world, So why not duplicate, and make something new, for our area.
When did Homegrown roots begin?
The Homegrown Roots began the week after my band had its first show on main street. We had other shows prior, which were dorky little peformances. By the time we’ve gotten to the main street show which was held at Dirty Harry’s , we strived to make the show something special so that all of our friends could come out and see and hear the new band. A couple of months later, I was able to connect with a couple of other bands in town, and put together a big show called the Homegrown Roots jamboree. We had three shows by the end of 2007 with alternate bands.
What was Homegrown roots mission?
The Homegrown Roots mission at the beginning was just to network the bands and the fans together, so that our bands could rise in the ranks, perhaps regionally and locally.As the years went on, it became a mainstay, the only platform offered to Original Music fans to experience something other than what was being fed to them at local bars at the time. Officially our mission is as follows:
To assist our local original musicians in sustaining and proliferating an interactive original music culture in Daytona Beach by engaging fans, local/national bands, and original music venues.
When did you get a feel that Homegrown roots were making a difference in bringing original music to Daytona?
In 2008, I began weekly shows at the bank and blues, which turned out to be too much, for the area. By the time we scaled back. People were looking for more, so we started doing mini-festivals mixed in with shows at different venues in 2009. By 2012-14, it was becoming more accepted at the present venues to host more of these type’s of shows as an alternative to a night filled with one cover band. We then scaled back to a few festivals, and now have more of a social media promoter presence for the area.
What were some of the most common hurdles and obstacles you had with venues?
The common obstacle was always about money. Was the venue going to make enough money from our event? Were the bands going to play for free or make money from the event? How could we balance things in the best way to keep everyone happy? Well, it meant we broke even 90 percent of the time. All we wanted was a space where people could drink alcohol, medicate, meet other people and enjoy the music. Either way, most shows went well, very few instances of violence, and everyone was happy the next day. The venues loved that.
Talk about how Homegrown roots always got the artists paid when other promoters offered drink tickets?
If it was a new band and they wanted to showcase themselves and there weren’t enough resources, they had to play for free, Especially the first time playing. From 2008-2010, we also did frequent shows at Tir Na nOg and charged money at the door, that way some of the money paid for the sound guy and the bands. At our bigger shows, we negotiated low guarantees on headliners or promised something as opposed to nothing, which also meant we worked for free if we fell short.
What are some of the most memorable shows from HGRs run?
Our band showcases and headliner festivals were the most fun. The 420 Fests always sticks out in everyone’s mind but the Cafe DaVinci shows in Deland saw the biggest turnout numbers during our last few years.
You nurtured countless bands through HGR especially your new band showcases, who are some of the bands you promoted through the showcase that really went on to make an impact on the Daytona music scene?
If I can mention the band’s name, and people say, yeah I remember them, then that’s the impact they’ve made. Kinky Catawampus, Sex Monkeys, Halifax Contraband, The Transfers, The Watchmen, Euphrates and so many more
Why does a town need a music scene? How important is it for a town to have a music scene?
A music scene is an extension of a local communities desire for live music and also a platform for aspiring musicians to grow. Not every town has a music scene but musician’s, like artists, gravitate towards each other. It’s important that every generation of musician nurtures the next.
Whats one of the craziest nights/moments youve experienced during your time as a musician?
I’m not sure what your definition of crazy is. However, there have been some nights where my elation was at its peak, of which I’ll never forget. When your friends or fans are in the packed venue, and they’re all singing your songs back to you, and those times when the love from the audience makes you tear up, so you wipe it off as sweat, those are my crazy moments for sure.