Singer quits Aberdeen for New Orleans and fame on US version of The Voice
TERRY MCDERMOTT, who left Scotland nine years ago, is one of the favourites to claim the $100,000 prize after reaching the last six of the reality TV show.
ROCKER Terry McDermott isn’t your usual TV talent show contestant. He doesn’t have a sob story, he’s not in a boy band and he loves singing 1970s rock anthems.
So the singer-songwriter from Aberdeenshire is stunned to find himself one of the favourites to win the US version of The Voice after getting to the last six singers in the live shows.
Terry, who left Scotland nine years ago, admits he’d love to perform his version of The Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen on the show for his family who can’t afford to fly to Los Angeles to see him sing live on TV.
The 35-year-old, originally from Pitmedden, said: “I am a little taken aback by the way America has taken to me, it’s a little surreal. I’m just trying to keep up a high standard now. I think America is starved of big rock voices at the moment so I get compared to a lot of 70s and 80s vocalists, but that’s fine by me as it was a great period for music.
“Hopefully, I can leave my own mark. My son Liam always asks me to sing Northern Lights of Aberdeen and Flower of Scotland, which I sang to him as a baby, but I don’t think they’ll let me do those on the show.
“To say I’m a proud Scot would be a massive understatement. It helps keep me focused and determined. The support from home lifts me 10ft off the ground and gives me an edge every time I walk on stage. I really miss my home country.
“The sheer distance and cost of travelling makes it almost impossible for family to get over for the show, but my dad has promised to try to get time off work if I get to the final, so fingers crossed.”
His performance of Maybe I’m Amazed hit No1 in the iTunes download chart and the Aberdeen FC fan has 40,000 followers on Twitter.But success has been a long time coming for Terry, who lives in New Orleans with American wife Malyn and six-year-old Liam. He moved to LA after his old group Driveblind landed a record deal in the States but they split up after one album.Terry said: “I never could have imagined all this would happen after the band broke up. “I was actually approached by a producer friend in New Orleans who asked if I’d be interested in auditioning for The Voice. I’d just found out that the spring tour for my current band Lotus Crush had been pulled so it seemed like there was a sense of karma about it. I decided to take a shot in the dark.”
Sadly, Terry’s family have not been able to see him perform, relying on internet updates to chart his progress.But he’s hoping he will be able to tour over here one day. He said: “My dad lives and works in London, my sister Angela lives in Aberdeen and has four wee girls. My aunt and uncle Mary and Joe Munro live in Echt, Aberdeenshire. Mary works for Debenhams and Joe is a joiner for the Lord Cowdray estate. My cousins Mark and Kristopher are welders and live in Echt and Aberdeen. I’m close to them all so we stay in touch all the time. I keep them posted about the show.“I would love to play live in Scotland one day. It’s a big regret of mine that I never got to tour more in my home country. It would mean a lot to me.”
It was at school that Terry fell in love with music. He said: “Two members of Driveblind went to Ellon Academy with me. Nick Tyler and I started the band after breaking up our old group from our school days. I’ve been in bands since I was 16 so I honestly couldn’t imagine doing anything other than music. It’s been my life since I was a kid.” And he’s a huge fan of homegrown music – particularly Biffy Clyro.
These days football nut Terry has very little down time away from the show but when he does, the first thing he does is check on his beloved Dons. He said: “Outside of music, my first love is football. First thing I do in a morning is get on the internet and catch up with Aberdeen FC. I was a season ticket holder at Pittodrie for years and I also follow Pitmedden team Formartine in the Highland League.“I have to say both Formartine and the Dons have taken the time to get in touch and wish me well in The Voice. Formartine even sent shirts for me and Liam. It was very kind.”