Official Biography (courtesy of Tess Henley)
Seattle's Tess Henley has been described as an emotional voice that you can feel. Tess prefers to think of herself as a songwriter who strives to write musically rich songs (she was recently awarded Top 3 Finalist in the prestigious John Lennon 2011 Worldwide Songwriting Competition). Ms. Henley has made a name for herself around the world for insightful lyrics and melodic music, but it was daily Suzuki piano lessons from the age of three that developed an ear for a song’s “musicality”. That music draws comparisons to the best neo-soul and pop artists of today (and yesterday).
Recently opening for Jill Scott & Anthony Hamilton as the winner of Budweiser's Dallas Superfest Contest, Tess went on to win the $25,000 Grand Prize as the contest's overall winner. Now one of the top selling new artists for Tower Records in Japan, Tess’ new 7” vinyl took the #1 spot for all genres at Japan's mega vinyl stores, JetSet. After recently signing distribution agreements for the US & Canada, her new single, Boy In The Window, won the 2011 International Song Competition at the largest soul site in America (SoulTracks.com), who adds: “Henley as a vocalist doesn’t suffer from being compared to Alicia Keys. Both eschew the breathy little girl sound that is the rage these days. Henley, like Keys, opens her mouth and gives a full-throated vocal that sounds mature, passionate and believable.” Henley is an artist on the rise.
A recent University of Washington grad, the hard-working Tess has performed 100s of shows at the area’s top venues. Her music showcases an emotional voice and rhythmic piano that got her voted Best Local Band by the listeners of the Northwest's largest radio station. Tower Records has also become a supporter of her unique brand of music, pushing a Japanese Special Edition CD with some very large in-store displays and recommendations. "Tower has been so nice,” says Tess, “they’ve blessed the record with marketing that some big labels don't even get these days, Arigato! Tower".
Music lovers from all over are beginning to take notice, thanks to reviews like these; the highly respected Soul & Jazz & Funk (UK) says “Tess shows remarkable maturity and focus, her music is draped in luscious harmonies; it’s truly infectious. The Henley approach to music is all about craftsmanship, commitment and an appreciation of what truly constitutes musicality.” Jazz & Soul (EUR) calls it “An extremely fresh album”, while Sonic Soul (Germany) beams “Attention! Prodigy!…Very Easy To Love”.
Now "writing more than ever” Tess has a very large backlog of new songs, some of which will be on an upcoming full-length CD in 2012. Tess says her last few months have been "wonderfully crazy" and she looks forward to working with some very talented people in on that album. Like her large, Italian family celebrations, that 2012 project promises to include big helpings of stick-to-your-ribs, main course entrees. But in the meantime, you can enjoy 12 of her best tracks to date, all found on the new DELUXE Edition of Easy To Love, released Sept. 2011.