Drawing inspiration from artists renowned for their storytelling skills, breakout singer-songwriter Henry Moodie is making cathartic tracks to scream at the top of our lungs.
Having grown up seeing music as a place to turn to for self-expression, discovery and belonging, it seems written in the stars that Henry Moodie would make a career creating his own. Now writing songs that inspire those three things – self-expression, discovery and a sense of belonging – in his fans, the 19-year-old is bringing together a community of like-minded people who view music in the same way.
Influenced by storytellers like Taylor Swift, his lyrics are resonating for their frank honesty and catchy delivery. Whether we’re finding solace or feeling seen in his words, they distil complex, universal themes into niche but highly relatable scenarios – meaning however we’re feeling, there’s a song in Henry’s discography that will make us feel less alone in it. His latest project, in all of my lonely nights, embodies this best. Opening with the pining ‘drunk text’ and resolving with cathartic ‘closure’, the six-track project tells tales of love, longing and loss.
Although his fans interact online from all over the world, there’s nothing like feeling that energy in one room, and it’s his live performances that cement Henry’s connection with his community. His latest Birmingham show, put on in partnership with Azar, was held to bring university students and young people in the city together. In line with the app’s mission to combat loneliness, the gig provided the perfect incentive to fight the January blues and get out of the house, listen to some endorphin-raising music, and connect with like-minded people.
To celebrate the show and the start of an exciting year for Henry, we caught up with the artist to discuss his rise in the industry so far.
Hi Henry. Let’s take it back to the beginning. What role did music play in your life growing up?
Music has always been around me since I was young. My mum loved musical theatre and used to take me to London all the time to see shows, my dad loves singer-songwriters and introduced me to so many amazing artists. When I was in school, I felt like the music block was the place where I belonged. My best friend also did music and we would spend every break and lunchtime singing covers and writing songs. It was the most natural thing, my parents never pushed it on me. I also was a massive Swiftie growing up and she definitely inspired me to do songwriting.
How would you describe your sound? Would you say you fit within a genre or move between them?
I would say my sound is quite singer-songwriter. I try my best to be as vulnerable as possible with my music and keep it organic.
Since releasing your debut single just last year, you’ve grown as an artist dramatically — what’s been your proudest moment and your biggest lesson?
I think my proudest moment was the headline tour last year. It was crazy to see all the people that my music has moved, and it made me so grateful that I get to do this as a job. The biggest lesson I learned is that anxiety tells you you can do much less than you actually can. I spent so much of last year thinking I couldn’t do it, but then I would get up on stage and do it! I think stretching your comfort zone is one of the most important things you can do in life to grow as a person.
What artists did you look up to? Do they influence your music now?
I’ve always been a massive fan of Taylor Swift. She’s so consistent with her songwriting and each album is such a distinctive era. The same with Olivia Rodrigo and Conan Gray – they keep their music super vulnerable and personal. It’s inspiring.
How does it feel to be someone who is now able to inspire other young people through what you do?
Certain artists and albums have helped me so much in my life, so the fact that I can do that for someone else makes me so happy.
Throughout your life, how have you connected with like-minded people through music?
I think social media plays a massive role. The fact that our algorithms are adjusted to who we are is very creepy but also means that we see music and artists that are going through the exact same thing that we’re going through. So, in some ways, it’s great.
You’ve built a strong community of fans already — how do you want your music to make them feel? Do you want to be someone they can turn to and relate to?
I want my music to make people feel like they’re not alone. Even if they can’t relate to the specifics of a song, they might be able to relate to the overall message. At my shows I want them to feel like they can scream at the top of their lungs and not feel alone.
When you’re playing live shows, how does it feel to witness this community and feel those connections in real life?
Nothing beats the high of a live show! Seeing everybody’s faces light up when they hear their favourite song of mine is an unbeatable experience – I never feel more grateful than I do after a live show. It feels like there’s a whole community of ‘moodettes’ now.
You recently played a show in Birmingham in partnership with Azar — what was special about this show?
This show was amazing! It was in such a cute venue – Castle & Falcon. It also was my first gig of 2024 so I was super nervous before going on stage, but the crowd were so lovely, so the nerves went away halfway through the first song.
What about Azar and their message feels aligned with your own?
January can be a really lonely time for a lot of people, so the fact that there’s an app that brings people together during this time is so amazing.
After releasing a string of singles throughout 2023 and your new project, in all of my lonely nights, this year, what can we expect from you for the rest of 2024?
Many more singles, potentially an EP! This is gonna be my year of building on everything that I did in 2023: better shows, bigger production, new concepts, more interesting visuals and travelling to new places.
For anyone discovering you and your music today, what’s one thing they should know about Henry Moodie?
Henry Moodie is a 19-year old up-and-coming singer-songwriter from London, who writers personal and vulnerable music about growing up as a Gen Z.