Canadian folk singer-songwriter Joel Henderson sings stories straight from the soul.
Writing personal and honest songs about love and life, his relatable and touching lyrics have found their way into the heart of his hometown.
Now, following his recent UK shows from festival slots to cosy house concerts, we caught up with Joel to find out more about his musical journey and plans for 2017.
Can you tell us how you first discovered your love for music?
My dad used to listen to music a lot in the car so I would learn the songs on the oldie stations. Those were the first songs I fell in love with. Music was a part of my life always, but it wasn’t very dominant until I started to realise that I could create as well as listen to it.
For those who haven’t discovered your music yet, which track would you recommend they listen to first?
That’s a tough question to answer. The album does have some range to it but, lyrically, I think ‘Atlantic Ocean’ is a good representation. It’s a fairly mellow sound. I’m still a firm believer in listening to an album from start to finish.
How would you describe the progression in your music from your first album to now?
I reluctantly recorded my first EP. A friend of mine was simply trying to show me that recording would be a good thing for me so we tried. This last album was intentional. The violin adds character, the drums and bass add depth of emotion. Simply, I went from a pop electronic producer to choosing to work with one who had a rich history in working with singer songwriters and Americana artists.
In terms of songwriting, do you approach this with the same process per track?
Every song is different. It’s a different story and feel. They are certainly all part of the story of an album though, they have their place in the story of the record. A friend of mine used to talk to me in terms of a 10 song album though. I’d write a song and we’d listen to it. He’d say things like, “This has the feel of a 5 or an 8” with regards to the ebb and flow. We started to use those terms to describe songs back and forth.
Which song have you found the easiest to write to-date?
I’m not sure. Some songs get put to paper quicker than others, but it’s a process of searching through lyrical content. For me, I’d imagine that takes longer than it does for other writers. Off the last record, I think ‘Radio Return’ was a quick process to pen. I knew what I wanted to say and the format was a bit more straight forward.
On your recent trip to the UK, you also performed at The Great Escape and Sound City Festival, how were these slots for you?
Both festivals are quite different in the way they showcase their artists. The Great Escape was overwhelming and being an international artist, I actually got to see some musicians I’ve been hoping to see for a while. I enjoyed the atmosphere and each venue had its flavour. Sound City was such a crazy set up. If you bought a hot dog and just closed your eyes, you could hear 3 or 4 different sounds echoing in the air from various stages. Both were great to be a part of.
What are your plans in terms of releases for the rest of 2017?
I’m not sure on timelines to be honest. There are new songs coming, but I’m excited for more time to write. We’ll see if anything earth shattering comes out. I certainly have an idea on the next release though. It’ll be pretty intimate lyrically.
If you could have one wish come true by the end of the year in relation to your music, what would this be?
My teenage crushes contacting me saying they are in love with the music and can’t wait to meet me? Haha. I think my answer is pretty simple. I’m just happy when more people feel connected to the music and it helps them describe and define their own story. It always brings me joy.
Anything else you wish to add?
I don’t know what the big deal about mustard is. I’ve never understood why people put it on sandwiches or hot dogs…
Listen to new single ‘Atlantic Ocean’ below: