Interview: Henry Verus

Henry Verus Interview x Soundkartell

Henry Verus im Interview

Auf TikTok hat sein Song „Let Her Go“ schon 1,4 Millionen Views. Ein weiteres über 2 Millionen. Der Songwriter aus der Nähe von Chicago hatte das vielleicht gar nicht mal so erwartet, dass seine Songs so durch die Decke gehen. Aber der junge Kerl ist ein regelrechter TikTok-Star, wenn ihr mich fragt. Seine Stimme hat so eine Wucht und das Songwriting wirkt schon so perfekt austariert und finalisiert, dass man sich schon fragen muss: Wie macht er das? Es ist vermutlich einfach eine Gabe und sein Talent ist so schier groß, dass man aus dem Staunen nicht herauskommt. Dass TikTok aus jungen Kerlen und Mädels Internetstars und professionelle Musiker mit Plattenvertrag werden lässt, ist schon unglaublich genug.

Wohin die Reise für Henry Verus noch führt? Puh schwer zu sagen. Wenn er so weiter macht, könnte ihm ein großer Plattenlabeldeal blühen und Songs mit Millionen von Streams. Er kommt ja jetzt schon auf Spotify auf mehr als 1 Million. Bislang gibt es über Henry keine Interviews, keine Review, nichts. Grund genug hier das erste Interview eines deutschsprachigen Musikblogs mit dem Chicagoer Songwriter zu präsentieren.

You grew up in Chicago. Can you tell us a little more about your background/life? Who is Henry Verus?

Henry Verus: Growing up in and around the city, you get to see so many different ways of life. Although we were never rich, I didn’t stress about getting food on the table growing up. But I couldn’t say the same for some of my friends. When you grow up in a place like Chicago you have to be conscious of so many different things. Personally, I’ve always kept more to myself. I like to exist in a world of my own thoughts and it is both beneficial and detrimental to my character. I’ve dealt with suicidal, depressive thoughts since I was a boy and they’re both my worst enemy and best friend. They make me who I am but also kill me slowly. My music aims to help those who may be feeling similar to me.

You have just released three tracks and the hype around you seems to be just beginning to unfold. How are you currently processing the impressions and experiences that you have made?

Henry Verus: I’ve learned a lot about the industry and everything surrounding it in a short amount of time. I’ve only been writing since March of this year, but I’m grateful for the opportunities that have been presented thus far. My current fan base is not of great mass yet but they are extremely loyal, and I consider them more family than fans. My current three releases, although I’m proud of them, are not my best. I have some cool shit planned for the early months of 2021 and even after that the hustle will continue. I have high hopes for a big year.

You only promote your songs via TikTok and Instagram. To what extent is dealing with the platform absolutely normal for you?

Henry Verus: Being 17 and working a part time job, I can’t splurge to an ideal amount in order to promote my music. In fact, I personally have put $0 into promotions. That may be subject to change, but this organic growth is something that I can take pride in as well. In the first couple months, I was able to accumulate a strong local following which eventually grew to a broader scene due to the success on TikTok and Spotify algorithmic playlisting. The business side of music is something I take very seriously and cannot wait to start working on more things business-related.

Isn’t that kind of awesome what a platform like TikTok can trigger and initiate for artists?

Henry Verus: My success on TikTok was unexpected but something I’m more than grateful for. The love and fan base I’ve been able to steadily grow through TikTok has propelled me to places I never thought I would be in less than a year.

In your debut single „Alone!“ you handle your breakup. Can you still remember the feeling it made you when you released this song with these feelings?

Henry Verus: To this day, the heartbreak associated with that song and every song that has followed lingers with me. I learned so much from it and also suffered serious loss from it. It changed who I am and the way in which I look at life and love as a whole. The impact of that relationship was far stronger than I would have presumed.

Breakup, heartbreak, these are really sad topics somehow right?
Is writing new songs more like a therapy for you?

Henry Verus: The topics I write about are glimpses into my most powerful feelings during that time period. Feelings of sadness, heartbreak, and depression have had a strong resonance with me my entire life and I recognize that in many ways, I am not alone in these feelings. Songwriting, I would consider is less therapeutic for me than it is for the listener. I do it mostly because I find it interesting to see what the mind can do with such strong emotions. My sound and feelings are more so based on inspiration from artists I listened to growing up, which consisted of a lot of R&B, emo rap, and traditional rap.

How exactly do you create a song after feeling like that?

Henry Verus: My songwriting process is, most of the time, based on a general concept which falls into a sub-genre of emotion. For example, for Better Off, the emotion is heartbreak, and the concept was feeling like my ex was better off without me. Once this idea is conjured, I am able to write lyrics surrounding this idea and emotion that are so prominent in my mind.

I think the first time I heard your vocals was on TikTok on „Let Her Go“. I just thought: Wow, omg, what is he doing there? How was the feedback you got on this video and what did it trigger in you?

Henry Verus: I appreciate that; the feedback on that video and a lot of other similar ones on TikTok was very positive and showed me how real my first crop of fans were and are to this day. The constant love from them reminds me that this is beyond me and I can help people with what I make.

Are you more that type of: Fuck it, I’ll just do it now?

Henry Verus: I think that one of the most important idealizations to be mindful of is the present moment. The future is just a concept, and the past is just memories, which can be altered by emotions. The present moment is where reality takes place, and it’s where you should take advantage of your time as it is limited. Saying fuck it, and doing it right then and there is arguably the most important thing to the makeup of who I am.

There are a few more tracks on your Soundcloud page, more like demos. What are your plans for future releases?

Henry Verus: Like i said earlier, i have some super exciting shit planned for the onset of 2021. A lot of ideas that will be quintessential to my discography and long term career. I stress how important it is that my songs are direct entrances into my mind, so it is the most raw of emotions that my listeners will experience.


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