Artist Sessions: Q&A with Paula Terry


Paula Terry was born in Sydney, Australia and studied for a career in drama as well as singing. She can be heard singing around the world and performing in many different languages such as Japanese, French, Spanish and Portuguese. Paula has performed all over the world with some impressive musicians and industry professionals including Naoki Maeda, producer from the Dance Dance Revolution series. Paula’s contribution to rhythm games has not gone unnoticed. Incredible hits including “BROKEN MY HEART”, “DIVE ~INTO YOUR HEART~”, “Destiny”, “MEMORIES”, “CAN’T STOP FALLIN’ IN LOVE” to just name a few, can easily be recognized by players. She prides herself as a widely respected vocalist renowned for her seamlessly versatile vocal style range, including jazz standards, bossa nova, pop, dance and R&B.

Paula! First off, what was the process on how your career started? What made you want to go to Japan to record music?

I had friends in Sydney (Australia) who had been to Japan and enjoyed it. It seemed like a great idea, and what an amazing country it is. Japanese love music, and in a city like Tokyo, there are so many different types of music venues to perform at.

How did you get linked up with Naoki? You two together seemed unstoppable. How was your chemistry together when working in the studio and what was the process like?

I was booked by an agent to do various studio session jobs. He then booked me on a job with Naoki, where I think the first song was ‘CAN’T STOP FALLIN’ IN LOVE’. I wasn’t used to singing this style of music so the recording took some time but we got through it. I think the rest is history as it worked. Naoki and I gelled, and he knew how to get the best out of me without giving me a lot of pressure. We became used to working together and I understood what he wanted, so we managed to do a heap of songs together. We are friends on facebook, but I am not sure what he is up to these days.. time does get away! I really like Naoki. We just clicked. He is charming and easy to work with and he called me his ’Kylie’ as in Kylie Minogue! I thought that was funny.

How much creative control did you have over your music and did you face any challenges throughout your time creating music for the rhythm game genre?

They would give me the song name and I wrote lyrics around the title. I had to sing very high, which was sometimes challenging as at my usual gigs at clubs and hotels I am singing a mix of pop and jazz.

Did you like creating music for the games? What did you learn, if anything?

I really liked it. I really had no idea what the games were until I went to a game center in Shinjuku (Japan) and saw my name with Naoki on a machine. I eventually started to get fan mail by people from all over the world and I was just very surprised and flattered by it!

Have you played any of the games your songs were featured in? What do you think about rhythm games from when you started to now?

I played ‘Guitar Freaks’ and that’s it! I think the games are fun and they brought people together to enjoy them.

What are your immediate career goals for the next few years?

I am seriously thinking about recording the songs I did for BEMANI, sort of like a cover album.. so look out!

Do you like performing live? What can people expect to see at your shows?

I love performing live and I love connecting with the audience. It depends on the venue what you can expect, but I love it when people dance as I sing!

How has the music industry changed from when you started to now?

It has changed so much now with iTunes and digital content, etc.. Its not like artists can sell their whole album anymore. You can download whatever you want from entertainers and sometimes for free without the artist getting paid. That’s just sad…

Do you have your own favorite type of music and is it different than what you play now?

I have so many different genres of music that I like. I have a very eclectic taste! I do like dance music and electronic music. I have recently been doing my own music as I studied audio last year, but I am still learning and it’s great being creative.

How can people keep in touch with you and your music?

They can do so at my website, which is and I have a DDR page on facebook but I have not had many hits.. not sure why. I would like to thank all the great fans that have had my back for all these years. I feel like we kind of grew up together, not that I was a kid when I was doing Bemani but I was younger and much more naive!