Tess Henley is a diamond in the rough. Amazing, talented, and beautiful singer! Check out her interview below.
If your sound had a personality how would you describe it?
It’d be totally amazingly cool! Ok, kidding. It would be original, fun, emotional, creative, thoughtful, and it would get along with different groups of people. =D
Many people believe playing sports is more than just playing a sport itself. But it helps them in more areas of their lives like discipline, learning hard work etc…How has music been influential in your life as a whole?
I definitely agree with that first statement, as music and sports were a huge part of my life growing up (and still are). Sports have actually helped my drive, focus, and discipline in music! Along with sports, I began taking classical piano lessons at the age of three with the Suzuki method, which is a very disciplined style of teaching using progressive books. Music has helped me in so many ways. It helps me express my emotions. It helps me get through tough times. It creates amazing experiences and memories. It is what moves me. The power of music is incredible and I am always affected by it.
How big do you want to get as an artist? Or are you content with where you are right now?
I don’t think I’m ever content without growth or direction. It’s not so much how big or famous I want to be but rather being able to have a lifelong career in music doing what I love. I’d love to play around the world and hear people in different cities singing my lyrics from the crowd.
Your fan Brian wanted to know where do you get your inspiration to make music? Thanks Brian! My inspiration to make music is the result of different things. It definitely started at home with the way I was raised. Listening to my mom sing in her band or letting my dad DJ and play me his favorite songs was the foundation. Music was always around and it became a source for inspiration in other aspects of my life – sports, faith, etc. My mom used to tell me that songwriting is where the longevity is in the music business. At that point, I had realized the power that music can have on people, including myself, and started writing my own songs. One thing led to another and I couldn’t stop! Of course, other artists inspire me to make music as well. Life experiences are HUGE for me when I write, whether they are mine or observations of others I’ve made. Most of the time, though, my songs are written from my own experiences.
Your fan Jake wanted to know what’s your biggest dream? What drives you?
Hi Jake! My biggest dream would be to have a lifelong career doing what I love surrounded by the people I love. I want to be able to give back to my parents and family because they have given so much to help make my dream come true. Family and passion for music is what drives me. Not to mention, great support from fans keeps me going!
Tell us about your new album high heels and sneakers? The process of making it? What you think of the final result and what you want your fans to get out of listening to this new album!
High Heels & Sneakers is by far my biggest project to date and I’m really excited for fans to hear it. I’m really happy with the finished product. The quality of work and time put in to the project exceeded my expectations. I recorded the album in Philadelphia with Dice Raw from The Roots and producer/arranger Khari Mateen (The Roots, Jill Scott, J*DaVeY). The musicians on the album have played with the best of the best and everything is live. We even used glass bottles, a prayer bowl and a nail file, stomping, clapping, etc. for percussion. The process was just fun! Met great people and created music together – hard not to have fun. I hope High Heels & Sneakers is a record people won’t get tired of listening to and one they can listen through. I hope listeners can connect and relate to the music.
With Mother’s Day and Father’s day approaching soon. Tell us about how your mom and or/dad have been influential in your life?
Oh man, they’ve been EVERYTHING. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. Not only the obvious of them bringing me into this world, but my parents have been there to pick me up each and every time I can’t pick up myself. They’ve selflessly dedicated countless hours to what’s going on in my life. I hope to pay them back!
Sneakers or High Heels: Trick question! 😉 In all honesty, I’d probably lean towards sneakers and sweats if I could do it all the time. Though sometimes, I just like dressing up and feeling bossy n’ flossy!
Candy or Fruit: Candy!!! It’s a love/hate thing. I love candy and hate that it’s not good for me.
Picnic date at a park or Date in a fancy Restaurant: I’m not hard to please so no need to get fancy shmancy. Picnic date at a park would be cute! I won’t completely X out the fancy restaurant though 😉
Last Question for you! What advice do you have for others striving after a career in music?
The music industry is a tough one and you have to be able to accept rejection and bounce back easily. Some of the greatest artists of all time have been rejected more than once (and in general, some of the most successful people have been rejected time and time again). Above all, the most important thing I would say is to ALWAYS know who you are. Be sure of what you stand for and be yourself!! It’s a scary thing but it can be easy to lose yourself if you aren’t confident in your own values going into such a crazy industry. Be different.