Hen is the modern day poet bearing all through her craft

Subscribe to Forte Magazine

Hen is the modern day poet bearing all through her craft

With her luscious red locks, stirring lyrics and saccharine voice, indie darling Hen, who previously wrote and performed under her actual given name Julia Henning, delivers us her debut single and video ‘Raincoats’.

Hey, thanks for chatting to us! What was it like opening the Shadows tour in Melbourne recently?

Melbourne was the first show I’ve done in two years time and we only had one real rehearsal before hitting the stage so I was a bit nervous but thankfully I work with some very professional and talented musicians and we managed to nail our set. It felt incredible to be back on stage and to be singing my new material as Hen, it was a very special show.

What was the crowd response like?

I wasn’t sure what the crowd would think of my stuff as it’s a bit more intense and energetic than my previous work. But they we’re great. A good crowd makes a big difference and these guys were all so warm and welcoming and ready to get into the spirit of things. We had a blast.

What were the main inspirations behind Raincoats?

‘Raincoats’ was written about a year and a half ago. Just me and a piano and it was quite different to what you hear now. Everything except the chorus has been changed a lot but the sentiment is still the same. I was struggling to find myself, to trust myself again after getting out of a toxic relationship. I felt like I was spinning my wheels trying to figure out what was right for me and I just explored those feelings and thoughts in the song. It’s something I often do when I’m struggling with emotions, just sit down and write about it.

What were the decision-making processes behind switching to a stage name?

I never really liked my actual name as a performing name or really as a name that I felt suited who I was and what I was about. I said it a few times to my band and they always told me to just stick with it. I guess it was just a gut feeling really that I wanted to be called something else. I just never knew what until I was playing some Mario Kart with friends and winning and they started calling out ‘Hen!’ and it just felt right. It coincided well with my change in direction musically too. I guess it is a stage name but it’s actually also the name I prefer to be called personally too. I still like Julia but Hen is a bit more me.

What are some of the key things you would like to achieve next?

Get the album out! It’s been a long time coming but it’s looking good for a March release both here and in the US. I’m very excited to finally have these songs out there. Playing them live at the moment is so much fun, we’re getting great feedback about all of them so I’m super keen to have them heard by a wider audience.

Is there anything you would like to add?

I do foster care of kittens. It’s kitten season at the moment and shelters are really struggling so just a message to please desex your pets. If you see stray cats, especially kittens, please contact your local rescue group and if you’re keen to help out, sign up to foster! It’s ridiculous amounts of fun and you’re making a difference while doing it!

Release: ‘Raincoats’ is available on iTunes and Spotify now.