While it is becoming a general consensus that the quantity of music released is not equivalent to the quality expected, and rightly so, there has been so much difference in the quality of music churned out recently to what was offered before. Even at that, there are few creatives who try to bridge the gap by making so much music available to their listeners and retaining the high quality in their art.
Preparing for the release of his third project in as many consecutive years, Henry Adams’ work rate is exceptional and has earned him widespread plaudits. In fact, for those who listened to his captivating debut “Bout Time“, the near perfection of his craftsmanship was on show throughout as he melded Afropop with RnB, neo-soul and Highlife. This led to one of the best albums released by an underground artist in 2022 and a globe-trotting debut album.
Earlier this week, we had a chat virtually with the talented artist to discuss about his career and his forthcoming project which drops next week. The following is the conversation that ensued between our correspondent and the creative, Henry Adams.
A-T: When and how did your journey into music begin?
HENRY ADAMS: The start of the journey was in 2010. It was in 2010 I realized I could sing and rap. I was just in my room with my friend Samuel freestyling to a song playing on a speaker from the living room. When we were done, I said I could put this into writing and make it whole. I think we were always listening to Ice Prince’s Superstar, and I would go on to rap the song word for words to my classmates. I already started feeling the need to do music because of my love for it. In fact, there was a time I was called “Terry G” by everyone because of my love for him and how I could sing his songs accurately. When I realized I could do music, I started to invest in my lyrics because I need to give the best. So this culminated to me being able to record my first song in 2011.
A-T: What’s your drive and motivation to do music?
HENRY ADAMS: What keeps me going, I mentioned it one of my songs titled Henry Adams ( the intro to his first project). I want people to see me, I want them to know my name. I want to create a very meaningful legacy for myself. I will like a situation where when my name is mentioned, the remark that comes with it is that I did something meaningful during my time. I want to become an inspiration to people basically. This is exactly what what keeps me going everytime. Although, I know that right now, at the mention of my name, many people already have a lot to say, but I believe there is still a lot to reach so I have to keep going to achieve that. I wake up everyday knowing that and makes steps to do it.
A-T: What’s your persona in real life and how does it influence the music you make?
HENRY ADAMS: Generally, I will say I’m a playful person because even in fact it shows in my songs. I play with my lyrics and try to be witty to some extent. I also have other things I do such as being a music facilitator and producer on the side. I have people I train on the process of recording music and all. I live and breathe music because my world revolves around it. Away from music, I enjoy sports generally, whether it’s football or basketball. I do everything really. This is why my friends call me the jack of all trade, its not easy.
A-T: Talking about your music, where do you draw inspirations from?
HENRY ADAMS: My music is drawn from my environment and my life. What’s happening around me and within me influences my music a lot. If I come across anything, maybe a person or an animal, that I really like, I always like to bring my feelings alive by converting it into high quality art through my music. For instance, I wrote “Abena” from around me, and even one of my all time favourite song, “Rest Assured”, was written from a friend’s experience. Sometimes, I might be going through a lot of stuffs, I imput it in my songs. So my records are mostly personal to me because it’s my story or the situations around me.
A-T: What are the goals you aim to achieve with your art?
HENRY ADAMS: I want to perform on the biggest stage and record with the biggest artists. I want to feature in events that if you have done this, then you have done well for yourself. I keep waking up everyday that there are so many things to achieve and I have a long way to go in the music indsutry. The goal is to achieve it and I believe I will. I’ve set a standard that I can’t even fall short of any one of those goals.
A-T: What are your expectations with the records you put out?
HENRY ADAMS: I want my music to help people get through difficult times and offered a breathe of freshness to them. I have had situations like this already though, but I want more. I want my music to be played everywhere in the world and be well regarded in this generation. It should inspire this generation and the one to come.
A-T: Tell us about your upcoming project, what is it about?
HENRY ADAMS: The new project is an EP titled “Hustle and Vibes”. It comes out soon, and it is the most interesting project I have done. Previously, I have created an EP and a full length album, but with this one, I really enjoyed the whole creation process. I actually believe that there is always a need to put your hustle first in life. It should be priority because loving without having the right rewards from your hustle is going to be a waste of time. Davido mentioned it in his song Assurance when he said “love is sweet, when money enter love is sweeter” . So this EP is about me projecting myself in a situation where I have enough financial power. On the track “Shaye” its all about enjoying the goodness of wealth while “Orimi” is about getting ready to take opportunities to achieve a lot in life. “Pak N Go” is about a girl complaining I don’t do enough, and when you look at it, it still boils down to having your own money. All the other tracks on the project go down the same line. So the message is that you should be committed to getting the money first, seek to be financially buoyant, then you can go and find the love.
A-T: Any special people or persons the EP is dedicated to?
HENRY ADAMS: Like I said, the project is more about me, but it is also dedicated to every hustler out there. Keep grinding and hustling because it will definitely pay. The issues you face 2now will all become stories. So, you have to believe and be alive to it all. It doesn’t end there, for the people who are loving too, there are also songs for you there. There is something for everyone.
Henry Adams is currently gearing for the release of his second project in as many years. If the thrilling nature of his debut album is something to consider, it is to expect a good body of work that will resonate with whoever listens. The EP is set to be released on 17th of November marking the beginning of his second wave era where he aims to remind audience of his essence and also set up a great time for his fans and Afrobeats audience as a whole.