Award Winning Singer is the Real Deal
Award winning singer April Henry is known by critics for her sultry voice and fun personality. With songs like “Watercolor Sky” and “Dangerous”, she is simply described as the real deal. As the daughter of parents who are both singers/songwriters, being a musician was something that Henry says she had no choice in becoming. At 3-years-old, she began harmonizing songs with her family. By the age of 12 she was creating music of her own. In an interview with 1st Amendment Media, Henry opens up about her musical journey. She openly shares what motivated her to follow her dream.
Using Characters as Channel for Her Music
Henry describes her music as pop\soul, but she approaches music as an actor using different characters and personas, making it easier to write through someone else’s pain and stories. Sometimes she will channel her own personal pain through these characters who can say the things she may not be able to, or understand things differently.
“The characters are able to hold the weight in ways I cannot carry, but it comes back more objective and more empathetic at the same time, but do still also get a lot of inspiration from other artists and songs.”
Her most recent personas embody apin-up like character. Henry’s earlier alter egos are just as varied, each one hailing from unique eras and locales. Her music parallels that of Florence and the Machine, with regards to its genre-crossing style, which incorporates elements of EDM, pop, soul, rock, and world music. Henry has no qualms with acknowledging the creative endeavors of her contemporaries.
“I love Janelle Monae, she is one of the coolest artists of the 21st century; her song “Tightrope” is a Pop inspiration. She’s like a female David Bowie combining style and counterculture vision. Josh Ritter is the Bob Dylan of our times. His writing and music is incredible. The voice of a generation with heart and soul. Arcade Fire blows me away, if I were a band, I would want to be them. I would also love to be on stage with Tina Turner, she is simply the best” Henry laughs.
To Walk Away or Not
April loves to perform and make music. However, there was a time in her career when she thought about walking away. Henry took a short hiatus, which lead to the composition of her single “New Day”.
“I was just so sad and I didn’t know why. I was just going to give up, and I went six months without doing music because there was nothing that made me feel better,” she recalled. She shared, “I tried to find other music, but nothing wasn’t doing it for me, and I went to write and it just came out.”
When she is not writing music, she takes on different hobbies such as meditation, archery, and learning about science.
The songstress likens her lover for archery to meditation stating, “[I] love that it is one simple action to reach one target. It’s like meditation with a goal, which ties back to music. I’m also an aspiring science nerd, reading science mags all the time like popsci and Scientific American.”
On the Rising of Independents
With today’s music, independent artist are making their presence known by bringing a fresh sound to the industry. She says that they’re bringing down the old infrastructure and building a new one. However, she also believes a lot of great artists are slipping through the cracks.
“We’re in a unique point of time and the industry now realizes that people are turned off and bored with a lot of music, looking for something more unique or just basic and authentic. As far as taste in music…We can choose better and make better choices, like eating better changes the way you feel, music is programming, its frequency, and vibrational shift. We are both wave and particles, and music moves us whether or not we see it, it becomes us,” states Henry.
Age is Irrelevant
One thing she feels that is irrelevant to artist is their age. She never reveals her age as it will allow the audience to perceive the essence of what she creates as timeless and relevant to all ages.
“Everyone relates to different music differently. When I was 18, I was listening to artist such as Billy Holiday, Nina Simone, and Janis Joplin, as well as pop artists. So many of my faves were dead and not in my age range. People in the industry do categorize you according to your age though regardless of this truth that we look to all ages for inspiration.”
Contributions from Parents Mattered
Growing up she learned different skills from her parents that she uses while on the road. Her father was structured and taught her to be a leader, while her mother was more free spirited. She has a willingness to try new things, and to do good in the world while also doing what she loves. By doing so, she feels that she is making a difference through her talent. Henry recalls the time when a fan reached out to her via social media last week.
“This 14 year old girl on Facebook wrote to me and said that I was the best and this is exactly what she wants to do, which was really cool and inspiring. Per the question, does it feel good to get the feedback? Yes, but I would rather be focused on getting better at my craft though, not getting big headed.” she says.
Things Beyond but Contributing to the Music
In addition to dreaming of one day winning a Grammy, she dreams of making a difference. She plans on singing in elderly residences and joining the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC). Henry also plans on continuing her charity work for PETA, Oceana, and African Wildlife, amongst others.
To make it in the industry, you have to connect with fashion and trendsetting. She states that you have to first present an image to lure in the intended audience, and then present them with something surprising out of that image. She wears a Turkish handmade bracelet by a local Chicago jewelry maker named Serda that always starts conversations.
“No one told me, but it’s true. it’s not just about how you sound, but also how you’re packaged to others. When you give your gift, give it with a sense of fashion, branding and your own personal trademark. My costume designer Motomimi has worked with Puff Daddy, Herbie Hancock, Janet Jackson, and works with me to get a classic edge.”
Advice to Aspiring Artists
As a musician and actor, April says that doing different things affects your music. For the people who want to follow their dreams to be an entertainer, she gives you this one piece of advice:
“You’ll need to own your unique fashion stamp to make you stand out. Also, have a supportive partner and team, and take care of your body…it is your instrument and health is wealth. Meditation is necessary.” http://www.aprilhenrymusic.com/