Beyonce, Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, Major Lazer… these are just some of the members of pop’s aristocracy that the royally named “King Henry” has produced music for.
One would think that with such a star-studded back catalogue, Henry would be happy to stay behind the decks, waiting for even more artist collaborations to roll in. However, two years ago he decided to embark on his own music conquest as a credited solo artist. This year alone has seen him release the For You EP, a collection of electronic sounds which include vocals from artists like Rhye and Sasha Sloan.
Catching him in his beach front room on the sunny Cayman Islands, it certainly feels like King Henry has achieved all the typical tropes one would associate with a Grammy-nominated producer and artist. His chilled American accent gives off the aura of someone who’s content but also driven to seek out further success. So, what exactly made King Henry branch out as a solo artist?
“It actually happened almost by accident. I had a lot of material I’d worked on that I didn’t want to give to other people. For some reason, it just felt like I should release it under my own name. I think to an extent the music I’ve been releasing by myself is slightly different to what I’ve worked on with artists like Major Lazer and Bieber. My friends have heard the stuff on the radio and messaged me saying “is this song you?” because they say they can tell.” However, he shakes off any suggestion that he has a signature sound. “There are subtle things that listeners pick up on in the work I produce, but I wouldn’t go as far to say that I’m making something really distinctive.”
In terms of who he’d like to work with next however, Henry is lost for words. “It’s so hard to answer because it’s such a loaded question! I think James Bay would be really good to work with. Other than that it would have to be someone who really inspires me. My ultimate inspiration is Air, the French electronic band. When I first heard them I was like “wow”; they’re just so out of this world. I’d also really love to work with Jamie XX. If you’re talking about signature sounds in production he’s the guy to look at. You always know a Jamie XX song when you hear one.”
Henry is busy recording more songs to release this year. “That’s why I’m in the Cayman Islands right now. I’m going to jump in the ocean soon but after that, I’ve got a busy day of work ahead of me!”
Find out more about King Henry’s take on today’s world of music, in Volume 22 of tmrw magazine.
Words by Paige Tracey