Terry Ronald is a writer, author, songwriter & music producer. His debut novel Becoming Nancy was shortlisted for the 2012 Polari First Book Prize
A MUSICAL HISTORY
When Terry Ronald was a teenager his greatest passions were reading, writing and pop music. With his inherent talent for storytelling and love of writing comic scripts and sketches, everyone, including Terry himself, assumed he’d end up being a writer of some sort. Fate was to lead him in a different direction entirely, however.
After stints in a couple of unsuccessful pop bands, Terry’s soulful and somewhat androgynous voice secured this South London boy a recording contract with MCA records in 1991. The label promptly set him up in a glamorous apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and he began recording his self-penned album with some sizeable orchestras and a few legendary musicians (Roy Ayres, The Brecker Brothers, Bernard Purdy & Cornell Dupree). His first single Calm the Rage was a top ten hit around Europe, spending three months in the Spanish top ten, and the album Roma was unanimously applauded by the critics.
Terry’s music, sharp wit, and personality had undoubtedly won over the Europeans: he proved enormously popular on TV chat programs and radio shows, and landed guest slots on the Hall and Oats and Robert Palmer tours. A subsequent single What the Child Needs was a huge club hit in Britain, America and has gone down in UK music history as a true ‘soulboy’ classic.
During the next few years, Terry decided to further the skills he’d learnt in the studio by turning his hand to vocal production. As a vocal producer and arranger, (and frequently also a backing singer) he worked with Kylie Minogue on her first album for Deconstruction records: the first vocal producer to work with Kylie after the Stock, Aitkin, Waterman team. Terry produced her vocals on the seminal Confide in Me, amongst others, and also helped Kylie to prepare, vocally, for her first live Radio 1 sessions and her T- in the Park performance. During this period he worked with St Etienne, Lulu, Boyzone and other noted performers. His knack of making artists feel at ease in the studio, and then extracting outstanding performances, meant that Terry was in high demand from both record companies and the artists themselves. His work paired him with production teams across the country, including: Xenomania, DNA and Brothers in Rhythm. Terry’s production and vocal handiwork can be heard on many of Dannii Minogue’s hits, including All I Wanna Do, Who Do You Love Now? and I Begin To Wonder.
In 2000 Terry decided to return to what he did best: songwriting. This proved fruitful with a couple of top five tunes almost immediately (Automatic High for S Club Juniors and Don’t Wanna Lose This Feeling for Dannii Minogue). Terry also found himself traveling regularly again: to Los Angeles to produce an album for Sheena Easton (and also performing a duet with her on one of the tracks), to New York to write with Roger Sanchez, and to Sydney to co-produce Dannii’s spectacular Mardi Gras show. Terry worked frequently at the Murlyn production house in Sweden and has also penned hit singles for Geri Halliwell, Shaznay Lewis & Kim Wilde, plus six songs on Dannii’s Gold selling Neon Nights album: most of which were written and produced with his long time musical partner Ian Masterson, with whom he formed the production team Thriller Jill in 2003.
As part of Thriller Jill, Terry wrote and produced tracks for Sophie Ellis Bextor, Girls Aloud, Dirty Vegas, Atomic Kitten, Bananarama, plus several cuts on French superstar Lorie’s Gold selling album Je Vais Vite. Also having great success with several dance-floor fillers released on the Ministry Of Sound/ Hed Kandi labels
Terry is still always in high demand as a vocal arranger and performance coach: working with The Wanted, Cheryl Cole, Westlife, The Saturdays and, most notably, with Girls Aloud – working as live vocal arranger and coordinator on their 2009 Out of Control tour and DVD, their award winning BRITS performance, Christmas TV special, and Wembley stadium concert appearance alongside Jay-Z and Coldplay. In 2012 he worked on vocal arrangements for Kylie Minogue’s top ten album, The Abbey Road Sessions.
Moving further into television and theatre, Terry worked alongside Dannii Minogue on The X Factor as a co –mentor for Dannii’s team, both on and off screen, appearing as a special guest judge at judges’ houses in 2007. He has also written and produced musical numbers and original songs for stars such as Elaine Paige and Myra Syal for the BBC TV comedy show Beautiful People, and, alongside Ian Masterson and Steve Anderson, produced Kylie And Danniii Minouge’s first ever recorded duet- with the BBC orchestra- for the same show.
Terry was the vocal arranger and part of the creative team on the West End production of Jonathan Larson’s Rent (Remixed) at the Duke of York’s theatre in 2007. The production’s stars included Denise Van Outen, Jessie Wallace and Siobhan Donaghy, and Terry worked alongside William Baker and Steve Anderson, the creative forces behind Kylie’s live shows.
Terry’s passion for writing was reignited in 2005, after a serious illness. Deciding it was vital that he finally set aside some time to sit down and realize his dream of writing a novel, he joined a local writing group to hone his skills. He finally completed his first novel Becoming Nancy in the summer of 2009, with Transworld/ Random House publishers snapping it up for publication in April 2011. In September 2012 Becoming Nancy was short listed for the Polari First Book Prize
While awaiting the release of his debut novel, Terry collaborated with his long- time friend, Dannii Minogue, on her best-selling autobiography, My Story, and has since collaborated on several best-selling celebrity autobiographies. Taking on the roles of both vocal arranger and script writer, Terry helped to create The Hurly Burly Show - along with Polly Rae, William Baker and Steve Anderson – which had three successful west end runs. He also wrote Little Belter, which starred Elouise, and which played at Madame JoJo’s in London throughout 2012 as well as touring the UK..
In late 2012 he was writer and vocal arranger on Orchid, a musical/ burlesque/ circus extravaganza that played for three months in the design district of Miami, and in 2013 he took on the same duties for The Supreme Fabulettes, Viva La drag, at The Leicester Square Theatre.
Terry is currently working with new RCA signing Neon Jungle. His first play, Some Girl I Used To Know, a one woman play with music starring Denise Van Outen is currently in workshop and will make its stage debut in November 2013. Terry is also working on his 2nd novel, a follow up to Becoming Nancy.